Sometimes victory comes easy.
That wasn’t the case Friday night in Loris, however, as the Lions (2-0) pulled out a 19-13 win over Georgetown (1-2) in a tightly-contested matchup.
“They’re resilient,” Loris head coach Greg Mance said of his team. “They don't give up. They keep battling.”
Early in the first quarter, Loris took a 7-0 lead following a score from running back Mikell Lance.
That remained the score for the rest of the first half, which saw several unsuccessful drives from both teams, including a possession in which the Bulldogs recovered a Lions fumble.
“We keep shooting ourselves in the foot,” Mance said. “We missed some opportunities in the first half. We dropped some balls. We give up a fourth-and-12 touchdown. But at the end of the day, they keep battling, and I'm just proud of them.”
Georgetown was finally able to tie things up in the third quarter when Phillip Frazier grabbed a long reception and took the ball into the end zone.
Loris wideout Jasir Sinkler then garnered a touchdown of his own to give the Lions a 13-7 lead.
“I thought we settled down in the second half and played much better,” Mance said.
Laontray Knox netting a pick in the end zone meant the Bulldogs weren’t able to capitalize off of Carter Sheridan coming down with a long pass.
Time and time again, the game came down to big plays.
And the Lions answered.
“They’ve got heart,” Mance said.
Late in the fourth quarter, another Loris fumble recovered by Georgetown gave the Bulldogs a chance to take the lead and put the game away.
Loris got a sack, but Georgetown responded the very next play with a passing touchdown on fourth-and-10. A missed extra point attempt, though, sent the game into overtime.
That’s when the Lions’ quarterback Brice Faircloth took things into his own hands, scrambling for a touchdown.
“He's a football player,” Mance said. “I thought he threw the ball well tonight. I thought he ran it exceptionally well. We just put the ball in his hands and said bring us home.”
The Loris defense held strong and kept the Bulldogs scoreless in the extra period for the win, sending the crowd into a frenzy while also keeping Mance undefeated as the Lions’ head coach.
“It feels great to watch these kids smile and laugh after ballgames,” Mance said. “All we asked them to do was play their hearts out for 48 minutes, trust their teammates, trust their brothers and just play until the horn goes off.”
While the Lions were able to secure a win, their play wasn’t entirely flawless. Mance pointed to penalties, including one that cost Loris what would have been a long passing touchdown.
“We’ve got to play better and we’ve got to execute a little bit better in certain situations,” Mance said. “If we can do that, we have a chance to be a decent football team.”