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Ropes
10 a.m. Sat.
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Wellman-Union
7:30 p.m.
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Follett
Sat. 4 p.m.

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Trinity Christian
New Mexico Military
Canceled
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New Deal holds off Slaton for 38-37 victory

Posted: October 5, 2012 - 11:07pm  |  Updated: October 6, 2012 - 12:48am
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New Deal's LaDareon Hunter is pulled down by Slaton's Toby Perez during their game at New Deal Friday.
New Deal's LaDareon Hunter is pulled down by Slaton's Toby Perez during their game at New Deal Friday.
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NEW DEAL — Maybe the most important offensive drive of the season for New Deal ended in no points.

And that was by design.

The Lions hung on to a 38-37 victory over Slaton by running out the last 10-plus minutes of the game, driving from their own 13 to the Tigers 4 and taking a pair of kneel-downs to end the game, a point stressed in a time out by New Deal head coach Ron Mayo so as to not give the ball back to Slaton’s quick-strike offense.

“That was the worst thing we could do right there,” Mayo said of scoring. “I think they were going to let us score on that one, so we took a knee.”

It capped a night where the Lions’ offense countered the Tigers’ quick hits with sustained drives, the game ultimately resting on who could make two-point conversions.

“That’s something crazy,” New Deal running back Hunter Harper said of the final drive. “It’s just football. It’s great to be able to do that. We did something wrong, but we mostly did everything right, and we came through. We got the win, and we’re really excited about it.”

After struggling through the non-district schedule, the Lions now enter District 3-1A play with a 3-3 mark as winners of two straight and three of their last four. And it was that final drive that got the job done.

Slaton pulled to within 38-37 with 10:03 left in the game on the fifth touchdown catch of the game by junior Trevone Richardson. His 64-yard catch and sprint made it a one-point game, but the Tigers’ (3-2) inability to convert the point-after try — a theme throughout the game — kept them from tying the contest.

Slaton missed two PAT kicks and three other two-point tries. New Deal, meanwhile, was successful on three of five two-point conversions.

“We’ve been going for two a bunch this year and (New Deal) did a good job of defending it,” Slaton coach Chad Terry said. “It was just one of those deals where we didn’t execute, and that comes back on me without a doubt. I’ve got to do a better job of planning in practices to get some special teams work in. We’ve got to do a better job as coaches of getting it done.”

Richardson certainly got it done for the Tigers. In addition to the 64-yarder, he had scoring grabs of 27, 45 and 59 yards from quarterback Bryce Whaley and a 29-yarder from backup quarterback Quaylon McDaniel early in the game.

In all, Richardson finished with seven catches for 236 yards and five touchdowns. The rest of the Tigers combined for 88 total yards of offense.

“He’s pretty special,” Terry said. “And (Whaley) did a good job throwing it and those are things we know we can do. I feel like we’ve got things going in the right direction, and we just have to learn to bounce back and go.”

Bouncing back is what the Lions have done all season, and they had to do it in this game before stepping on the field.

New Deal lost its leading rusher, VJ Gamez, to a torn knee ligament in last week’s win over Sudan. Gamez had rushed for more than 800 yards and 13 touchdowns, and his production had to be distributed among several players.

Four running backs and quarterback Kyler Bean combined Friday to rush for 183 yards on 55 carries, helped several times by excellent starting field position. Four of the Lions’ five scoring drives started in Slaton territory thanks to either big kickoff returns, bad punts or turnovers.

“VJ’s a special back but I think our backs responded,” Mayo said. “We did running back by committee, so we’re back to that mode. We’ve got to keep making a push and keep getting better. This team can be a pretty good football team. We’re not there yet, but we’re getting closer.”

Harper scored on a pair of 1-yard touchdown runs in the second quarter to help give New Deal a 22-19 halftime lead, and Bean ran for one touchdown and threw for another on a 24-yard strike to Braxton Agnew in the third quarter.

Still, Slaton would come back with quick strikes. Four of the Tigers’ six touchdowns were scored on drives of two plays or fewer, mostly on deep passes to Richardson.

But the tide turned for good when the Lions defense sacked Whaley twice, the second time in the end zone with 4:42 left in the third quarter. New Deal took the ball after the free kick and drove for the game-clinching touchdown on a 3-yard run by Aaron Mares with 1:48 left in the third quarter.

After trading punts, the Tigers got the 64-yarder to Richardson to pull to within one, but a bad snap on the PAT left the Lions in the lead and they sealed it with the final drive.

“It’s definitely a confidence booster,” said Harper, who will open district play with the rest of his teammates Friday at Tahoka. “Everyone is so pumped right now. We had a bad start (to the season), but now we’re getting back to the New Deal football that everyone knows and loves.”

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NEW DEAL 38, SLATON 37

Slaton 6 13 12 6 — 37

New Deal 0 22 16 0 — 38

First Quarter

SLA — Trevone Richardson 29 pass from Quaylon McDaniel (run failed); 4:47

Second Quarter

ND — Hunter Harper 1 run (Alex Rodriguez pass from Kyler Bean); 11:14

SLA — Terrence McDaniel 67 run (run failed); 10:19

ND — Bean 5 run (Aaron Mares run); 6:19

ND — Harper 1 run (run failed); 3:46

SLA — Richardson 27 pass from Bryce Whaley (Jorge Simental kick); 1:15

Third Quarter

SLA — Richardson 45 pass from Whaley (kick failed); 11:23

ND — Braxton Agnew 24 pass from Bean (Aaron Mares pass from Bean); 7:38

SLA — Richardson 59 pass from Whaley (pass failed); 7:24

ND — Safety, Whaley sacked in end zone; 4:42

ND — Mares 3 run (run failed); 1:48

Fourth Quarter

SLA — Richardson 64 pass from Whaley (kick failed); 10:10

TEAM STATISTICS

SLA ND

First downs 12 18

Rushes-yards 17-34 55-183

Passing yards 290 121

Comp.-att.-int. 9-12-0 8-14-0

Punts-avg. 2-27.0 4-31.2

Fumbles-lost 2-1 1-0

Penalties-yards 7-55 7-60

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING: Slaton, Terrence McDaniel 2-63, Quaylon McDaniel 1-(-1), Freddie Robinson 5-(-3), Bryce Whaley 9-(-25); New Deal, Demetrius Jackson 19-65, Hunter Harper 14-52, LaDareon Hunter 8-35, Kyler Bean 12-24, Aaron Mares 2-7.

PASSING: Slaton, Whaley 8-11-0—261, Q. McDaniel 1-1-0—29; New Deal, Bean 7-13-0—89, Mares 1-1-0—32.

RECEIVING: Slaton, Trevone Richardson 7-236, T. McDaniel 1-30, Robinson 1-24; New Deal, Mares 4-42, Braxton Agnew 2-38, Xavier Hernandez 1-32, Dylan Massey 1-18.

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