DeRidder falls to Tioga, 14-3
TIOGA - In a game where defense was at a maximum, it would be a turnover in the second period which would prove to be the difference.
As the DeRidder Dragons (2-2, 2-1) were driving down the field for a potential touchdown, the Tioga Indians defense stripped the ball away, setting up the go-ahead score in a 14-3 victory Friday night in a District 3-4A contest.
Tioga, which plays Bolton next week, improved to 6-1 on the season, 3-0 in district, locking up a first-round home playoff game.
The Dragons took the initial lead of the game thanks to a 43-yard field goal from placekicker Jose Mijares in the first quarter.
With time waning in the first half, it appeared as if the Dragons were poised to take a 10-0 lead when an unfortunate fumble near the Tioga endzone proved to be critical.
After DeRidder coughed the ball up, the Indians recovered the fumble and raced in the other direction, nearly scoring on the play.
The turnover set up the first Tioga score of the game, a 3-yard TD run by Demetric Payne. Ben Doughty tacked on the PAT for a 7-3 Indian lead, which held at halftime.
After a scoreless third quarter, the Indians sealed the deal in the fourth when standout quarterback Blake McGehee connected on a 6-yard scoring toss to Ethan Christman. Doughty's extra point was true, capping Tioga's 14-3 triumph.
McGehee was 11-of-23 passing for only 118 yards and a touchdown on the evening. Jomarion Lilly had four catches for 64 yards to lead the Indians, while Christman had three catches for 30 yards and a touchdown.
Payne rushed for 92 yards and a touchdown for the Indians, leading their ground attack.
Dragon running back Isaiah Roberson logged 18 carries for 149 yards, while K.J. Gooden had 61 yards rushing and 65 yards passing. Ashton Broussard reeled in five receptions for 53 yards.
The Dragons finish the regular season next week against Cecilia.