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Lorena romps to 41-14 win over McGregor

Lorena romps to 41-14 win over McGregor


LORENA — After watching McGregor hang 58 points last week, Lorena knew it had to put together a complete performance Friday night.

With Reed Michna rushing for 137 yards and four touchdowns and the defense dominating the Bulldogs, the Leopards romped to a 41-14 win.

The Leopards sacked McGregor dual-threat quarterback Veandre McDaniel five times while Colton Dale got an interception.

Under pressure all night, McDaniel hit 11 of 29 passes for 162 yards and didn’t throw a touchdown pass. It was much different than last week when the Bulldogs (4-4, 2-2) scored at will in a 58-57 win over Troy.

“Defensively, we knew we were going to have our hands full,” said Lorena coach Ray Biles. “They’ve got good athletes and have been hanging a lot of points on people. Our defense felt we had something to prove and they played well.”

McGregor Lorena

McGregor quarterback Veandre McDaniel runs in for a score against Lorena in the first half.

McGregor Lorena

McGregor quarterback Veandre McDaniel is pressured by Lorena's Jourdan Jackson (left) in the first half.

With starting quarterback Ben Smedshammer missing the game with a shoulder injury, Ryne Abel stepped in and hit six of 12 passes for 106 yards, including a 62-yard touchdown pass to Jadon Porter of the Leopards’ first offensive play.

“That’s his first start on varsity after he was out earlier with a knee injury,” Biles said. “He’s going to be fine.”

But it was Lorena’s punt returns that gave the Leopards (4-2, 2-1) the separation they needed.

McGregor Lorena

Lorena quarterback Ryne Abel (center) get past McGregor's Frank Cruz (left) in the first half.

With the game tied at 14-14 late in the second quarter, Andrew Brittain returned McGregor’s punt 42 yards to the Bulldogs’ 23.

On the next play, Michna took a pitch from Abel and broke into the clear down the left sideline for a 23-yard touchdown to give the Leopards a 21-14 lead with 2:14 left in the second quarter.

The Leopards forced another punt which Browder grabbed along the left sideline. Dodging McGregor tacklers, Browder tightroped down the sideline and busted loose for a 64-yard touchdown to push Lorena’s lead to 28-14 with 48 seconds left in the second quarter.

“Browder made a great play,” Biles said. “We told those guys they have to be fearless. Hats off to those kids. You flip the field in a hurry and all of a sudden you don’t have to go 75 yards for a touchdown.”

McGregor Lorena

Lorena's Daylan Browder scores a touchdown on a punt return in the first half against McGregor.

McGregor Lorena

Lorena's Daylan Browder (right) celebrates after a punt-return touchdown against McGregor in the first half.

In the third quarter, Browder’s 43-yard punt return set up Michna’s two-yard touchdown run. Michna scored his fourth touchdown on a two-yard run to start the fourth quarter.

Until Lorena’s two big punt returns, McGregor traded touchdowns with the Leopards.

Taking the opening kickoff, the Bulldogs marched for a touchdown behind Chad Lorenz, who finished off the drive with a four-yard run.

It didn’t take Lorena long to respond as Abel went deep to Porter for a 62-yard touchdown for a 7-7 tie with 6:07 left in the first quarter.

Dale’s interception gave the Leopards the ball at their own 49. They capitalized on the field position as Michna took a pitch from Abel down the right sideline for a 32-yard touchdown to give the Leopards a 14-7 lead with 8:10 left in the second quarter.

McGregor responded with an 85-yard drive that featured McDaniel’s 25-yard pass to Deondre Parker to Lorena’s 37-yard line. McDaniel scrambled for a 25-yard touchdown to give the Bulldogs a 14-14 tie with 3:33 left in the second quarter.

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