The Loris Lions saw their 2019 season end as it began — with a loss.
After scoring the game's only points in the first quarter thanks to a Quan Soles touchdown, the Lions failed to find the end zone again in their 13-6 loss to Marion Friday night.
The Lions (1-9, 0-5 region) had numerous chances in the red zone in the final quarter, but the Marion defense held its own each time.
This has been a pattern over the course of the season. Six of Loris' nine losses have come with a margin of a touchdown or less.
“The effort these kids have given every week has been incredible to see,“ said Loris head coach Jamie Snider. “They never stopped until the clock showed zeros on the scoreboard. And to me, in life, if they continue to take that approach they will be ultra successful in life.”
As the Lions started the second quarter with the 6-0 lead, Marion and Loris traded possessions with neither team being able to get anything going on offense.
Loris opened the second half with the ball and a great drive that had touchdown run all over it. That was until a fumble was recovered by Marion and taken 69 yards the other way for Swamp Fox touchdown.
With just over nine minutes to go in the third quarter, there was still plenty of time for the Lions to get a response. However, quarterback Gage Conner would see his pass on the ensuing drive intercepted and Marion had the opportunity to increase its lead.
However, the Lions defense held and then the game went back to trading possessions.
Loris started the fourth quarter inside the Marion 15 and had to convert a fourth down and five to keep the drive alive, but the Lions failed to get the first down.
The Swamp Foxes would take advantage of the turnover on downs and a huge 50-yard run by Saeqwann Mccollough would set up a Marion touchdown to make it 13-6 with just under nine minutes to go in the game.
Loris kept pounding the Marion defense and once again found themselves inside the red zone was under five minutes to go and needing to convert a fourth down.
Conner saw his pass fall incomplete and Marion took over from inside their own 10 yard line and would use the run game to milk the clock down the triple zeros.
After the team broke from their postgame huddle, Snider shared a moment with his quarterback.
“I told him that I appreciated all that he has done for our program,“ he said. “There are things that he as done throughout the season that doesn’t show up on the stat sheet. He’s a competitor and he’s going to be successful in whatever he does in life.“
Snider said there was definitely something special with this group, despite a rough year.
“Forget records, this team has been my favorite team to coach,” Snider said. “They competed until the end and they still showed up for practice on Monday … in preparation for the next game. It certainly was a very special group of young men.”