October 26, 2021

Lions fall big again in 40-6 loss to Tigers

DRYDEN — It’s been a rough start to the season for the Dryden Lions, to say the least.

After dropping their season opener to Groton 42-6 on March 19, the Lions gave up another 40 to the Tioga Tigers in a 40-6 loss Saturday afternoon at Dryden High.

The Tigers were led by Emmett Wood (170 rushing yards, two touchdowns and a defensive fumble recovery); Ethan Agan (68 passing yards, two passing touchdowns); and Gavin Godfrey (64 all-purpose yards, three touchdowns and a two-point conversion).

After forcing the first of three Lions turnovers on downs, the Tigers wasted no time scoring as Agan found Godfrey out of the backfield for a 35-yard touchdown pass.

A holding call prevented them from getting the two-point conversion, but less than two minutes into the first quarter, it was already 6-0 Tioga.

The Lions were determined to answer immediately and marched 50 yards on 13 plays on the ensuing drive, but it fell 6 yards short of paydirt as Brady Rose was tackled on fourth and goal to give the ball back to the Tigers.

The Lions forced a punt and got the ball back, but both teams’ offenses would hit a wall between the first and second quarters.

Tioga did manage to score before halftime when Wood punctuated an eight-play, 75-yard drive with a 6-yard touchdown rush to put the Tigers up 14-0.

All things considered, the Lions defense looked much sharper than it did against Groton, and they were still within striking distance.

Then the second half started.

Tioga would score on each of their three possessions in the third quarter. It started when they received the second half kickoff and needed just 1:05 to go 58 yards for a touchdown, 49 of which came on the legs of Wood. A 1-yard plunge by Godfrey and a 2-point conversion made it 22-0.

The Lions got the ball back and were stuck in neutral for the first three plays of their drive, then a high snap on a punt gave Tioga the ball at the Dryden 34.

An eight-yard touchdown pass from Agan to Godfrey and a three-yard touchdown rush by Wood later, and the Tigers had the game pretty much wrapped up at 38-0 after three quarters.

“I give credit to their entire offensive line and having backs that just refused to get tackled,” Dryden coach Justin Wood said. “We’ve really been hammered with quarantines and everything, so we have not had the same 27 kids at practice every day yet. As of right now we’re generally healthy with a few exceptions, and it’s all unknown in terms of when a quarantine is going to happen, but we plan on having everybody ready to go on Monday.”

The Tigers wrapped up their scoring on the first play of the fourth quarter when another high Dryden snap resulted in a 48-yard loss and a safety.

Dryden’s lone touchdown came halfway through the fourth quarter, when a 54-yard scamper by Noble Cator-Szymanski set up a 1-yard plunge for Owen Humphrey.

Any adjustments the Lions will be able to make will have to bade quickly, as they visit Cortland at 6 p.m. Wednesday.

“We haven’t been able to convert some of those third-and-short situations and we’re having trouble punting the ball, little things we need to work on,” Wood said. “We’re just working on fixing mistakes.We can work on snap count, we can work on ball security and fix our snaps and hope to put a better team out on the field Wednesday.”