Purple Tiger offense sputters in opener
By RANDY SHORTNACY | News-Telegram Correspondent

Sept. 2, 2006 - LONE OAK - This is not an opening night of Texas high school football that the Mount Vernon Tigers offense will want to remember as they only totaled 51 total yards in a 33-22 opening loss to Class 2A's No. 14 Lone Oak Buffaloes.

The Tigers defense and special teams kept them in the game for the most part. Kyle Clayton turned in a big night for Mount Vernon, returning a kick off 89 yards in the second quarter, and returned a Lone Oak fumble 65 yards in the third. Clayton was also be credited with blocking two point-after attempts made by the Buffaloes.

� Neither team could get much going in the first quarter as they swapped possessions and were not be able to put any points on the board, ending the period still locked at 0-0.

Things started heating up in the second when Lone Oak's Alex Bowman  started pounding the Tiger defense with rush after rush. Bowman led the Buffaloes' attack carrying the ball 34 times for 245 yards and added 66 yards in receiving to give him 311 yards of the team's 497 total yards on the night. 

With 8:33 left in the half, Bowman gave Lone Oak its first points on a 30-yard run that closed a four-play drive covering 63 yards. The PAT failed and the Buffaloes were up 6-0.

Mount Vernon's offense could just not get anything going in the first half and Lone Oak was keeping the Tiger defense occupied full time.

With less than three minutes left in the half, Lone Oak struck again after quarterback Blaine Moore found Tyler Jones for 12 yards on a fourth-and-7 to kept the drive alive. Then it would be Bowman again scoring for the second time in the quarter from 4 yards out. The PAT by Cole Middleton was good, and Lone Oak was up, 13-0.

Mount Vernon pulled to within seven after Clayton scampered 89 yards to paydirt on the ensuing kick-off to put the Tigers on the board. The point after attempt failed, and at the half Lone Oak had a 13-6 advantage.

The Tigers' special teams stepped up again to begin the second half, recovering a muffed snap to the Lone Oak punter to get the ball at the Buffaloes' 12-yard line. The Tigers would only be able to pull three points out of the turnover when Landry McGonagill was good on a 25-yard field goal, cutting the Lone Oak lead to 13-9.

The Buffaloes would not allow the Tigers to stay within striking distance, though, answering the Mount Vernon points with their own. Facing a third-and-10, Moore hooked up with Bowman in the air this time for a 66-yard touchdown pass. The point-after was blocked by Clayton as Lone Oak extended its lead to 19-9.

Clayton struck again for the Tigers, recovering a Lone Oak fumble with 2:47 left in the third and returning it 65 yards to pull within three points of the Buffaloes. The PAT failed, leaving the score at 19-16.

With less than two minutes left, Bowman broke the plane of the goal line for the third time on a 55-yard run from scrimmage. Another conversion failure led the Buffaloes up 25-16.

Kolton Stoker tried to spark the Tiger offense in the fourth by scoring from 10 yards out for Mount Vernon. The PAT again was no good, and the Lone Oak lead was again only three points, 25-22.

From there, it was all Lone Oak as the Buffaloes ate up valuable time off the clock spoiling any type of comeback for the Tigers. Bowman tacked on some insurance for the Buffaloes with 4:48 left, scoring from 10 yards out. The successful conversion made the final score 32-22.

Mount Vernon is on the road again next week as the Tigers  travel to Brownsboro to tangle with the Bears, game time is 7:30 p.m. Friday.

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