High scoring affair between Leopards and Wolves

Malvern’s Jason Lambel (61) signals touchdown with the referee after Cedric Simmons scored for the Leopards during their game with the Lake Hamilton Wolves on Friday, September 13, 2019 at Claude Mann Stadium-David Alpe Field.
By: 
Alexis Meeks
Sports Editor

It was a high scoring affair as the Malvern Leopards hosted the Lake Hamilton Wolves at Claude Mann Stadium-David Alpe Field on Friday, September 13, 2019.
The Wolves struck early to hold the lead and get the win over the Leopards 63-34. “Our kids played their butts off,” Malvern head football coach J.D. Plumlee said. The Leopards will now go on the road to Hot Springs Lakeside as they battle the Rams on Friday, September 20. Kickoff at 7 p.m.
The Wolves won the coin toss and elected to receive the opening kickoff. The Wolves first drive started at their own 37 yard line. It took the Wolves five plays to get into the end zone to open scoring with a 12 yard rush. The point after touchdown (PAT) was good and the Wolves took a 7-0 lead with 10:44 left in the first.
The Leopards first drive ended in a punt after a three and out. The Wolves were able to capitalize on the punt and found the end zone once again. This touchdown was from 23 yards out and took five plays. At the 7:49 mark in the first quarter, the Wolves led 14-0.
The Leopards didn’t give up though. On their next drive, the Leopards started at their own 29 yard line. The Leopards used a mix of passing and rushing to make their way to the Wolves 10 yard line to bring up first and goal. It took all four downs for the Leopards to punch in the ball, but freshman Cedric Simmons drove in the Malvern touchdown. The PAT was good and the Leopards trailed 14-7 with 3:53 in the first quarter.
After the ensuing kickoff, the Wolves were able to bust through the Malvern defense to score a 71 yard touchdown to extend their lead to 21-7 with 3:37 left in the first quarter. The first quarter ended with the Leopards turning the ball over on downs and the Wolves running one play.
Up 21-7, the Wolves began the second quarter with the ball at the Malvern 46 yard line. A 13 yard pass and a six yard run put the Wolves once again at first and goal. From the one yard line the Wolves were able to score and take the lead 28-7.
The Leopards were able to answer the Wolves touchdown with their own touchdown. After a series of wild plays and a targeting call on the Malvern offense, junior Braxton Allen was able to find Christian Warren for the touchdown. The PAT was good and Malvern trailed Lake Hamilton 28-14 with 7:51 left in the first half.
The Leopards then gained momentum as junior Daylan Ross intercepted the Wolves on the next drive. The Leopards got the ball back at the Lake Hamilton 34 yard line. After getting to the Lake Hamilton five yard line, sophomore Marquez “Bud” Johnson was able to rush into the end zone for the score. After the kick was good, Malvern trailed by a touchdown, 28-21 with 5:28 in the first half.
The Malvern defense was then able to hold the Wolves to a punt, but the Leopards fumbled on the punt return and it was recovered by the Wolves. The Wolves offense was set up at the Malvern 15 and after two plays were able to score another touchdown. With 2:39 left in the first, the Wolves led 35-21.
With time still left on the clock, the Leopards tried to get another score before halftime. A series of penalties on the Wolves helped the Leopards get downfield, but time expired before the Leopards could get into the end zone. At the half, the Wolves led 35-21.
The Leopards received the second half kickoff and made big plays before fumbling the ball. The Wolves recovered and were able to capitalize on the turnover. From the Malvern 31 yard line, the Wolves were able to catch a pass in the end zone for another touchdown. With 9:08 left in the third, the Wolves took the lead 42-21.
Once again the Leopards were able to answer the Wolves touchdown with their own touchdown. From the Lake Hamilton 22 yard line, Allen was able to find senior Dallas Lewis for a 22 yard touchdown pass. After the PAT the Leopards trailed 42-28 with 6:33 left.
Scoring went back and forth between the Wolves and Leopards from there. The Wolves scored again at the 2:40 mark in the third with a 25 yard rushing touchdown. The Wolves fumbled the ball on the extra point attempt, but were able to convert a two-point conversion to lead 50-28.
The clock expired in the third as the Leopards marched down the field. At the 11:53 mark of the fourth quarter, Allen was able to connect with Lewis for a 22 yard touchdown. The Leopards now trailed 50-34.
It would be the last time the Leopards scored in the game. The Wolves were able to score two more touchdowns in the final quarter of play. The first was a 19 yard rushing touchdown at the 9:42 mark. That score gave the Wolves the lead 56-34. The second touchdown was a 15 yard rush at the 3:31 mark. This gave the Wolves a 63-34 lead over the Leopards.
The Leopards final drive ended in a turn over on downs. From there the Wolves took a knee to end the game. “Credit to Lake Hamilton,” Coach Plumlee said after the game. “They’re a good football team.”
The Leopards had a total of 403 yards against the Wolves with 254 yards passing and 149 yards rushing. Simmons had seven completions on 10 attempts for 62 yards. Simmons also had 15 rushes for 23 yards and one touchdown. Allen completed eight passes on 14 attempts for 192 yards and three touchdowns. Allen had three rushes for six yards as well. Rushing, Johnson had 10 carries for 41 yards and one touchdown, Kieth Caradine had 17 carries for 79 yards and Carter Martin had three carries for six yards. Receiving, Warren had six catches for 155 yards and one touchdown, Dante Reed had two catches for 34 yards, Martin had three catches for 19 yards, Lewis had two catches for 44 yards and two touchdowns, and Johnson had one catch for two yards.

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