Leading 10-3 at the start of the second half, Lithia Springs (0-5 overall, 0-5 in Region 5-AAAAA) recovered a fumble on the opening kickoff and appeared ready to continue its dominance. Two plays later, the Lions fumbled the ball at the Lithia 43.
Midway through the third quarter, Hiram (3-2, 3-2) took over at their own 20. Behind the legs of Julian Dickens and Jamal Hinds, the Hornets marched 80 yards on eight plays and three LSHS penalties. Dickens had impressive runs of seven and 18 yards while Hinds added a 37-yard scamper for most of the damage. Neither found paydirt as quarterback Roderick Harrison went off the right tackle on third-and-goal for the game-tying touchdown. The point after evened the score at 10-10 with 2:55 left in the third quarter.
A quick three-and-out by Lithia was followed by Hiram’s first lead of the game. The Hornets needed five plays to go 48 yards, including Chris Miller’s nine-yard run up the middle for the score. With 10:53 to play in the game, Hiram led 17-10.
Lithia Springs fumbled the ball on its next possession and Hiram scored less than three minutes later. A two-yard plunge by Dickens pushed the Hiram lead to 24-10 with 7:02 left in the fourth quarter.
On fourth-and-one at the LSHS 36, the Lions fumbled the ball and Hiram’s Kevin Mitchell scooped the loose ball up at the 26 and ran in untouched for the final score of the game.
The Lions surprised the fans in attendance by dominating the first quarter. Taking advantage of a personal foul penalty against Hiram, the hosts marched down the field on the opening drive to the Hiram 19. The drive stalled and the 31-yard field goal attempt sailed wide right with 5:23 remaining in the first quarter. Lithia’s Avonte Boyd was the workhorse, carrying the ball on most of the 12 plays.
After a quick three-and-out, the Lions struck for the first score of the game. On third-and-nine from the HHS 31, quarterback Sammy Cornelius scrambled around the rushing defensive line to his left before he found Ramon Ogando for the touchdown strike. Jack Dobbs’ kick put the Lions ahead 7-0 with 1:50 left in the first period.
The two teams traded punts before the Hornets put their first points on the board. Starting at its own 11, Hiram marched 71 yards on 10 plays but an incomplete pass on third-and-six stalled the drive. The 35-yard field goal attempt by Trevor Wylie cut the deficit to 7-3 with 5:23 left before halftime.
A 45-yard kickoff return by Travon Powell helped the Lions push their lead back to seven. An 11-yard pass from Cornelius to Kamari Williams and a 14-yard scramble by Cornelius did most of the damage on the drive. A five-yard pass from Cornelius to Orgando was not enough to convert on third down, setting up Dobbs’ 42-yard field goal.
As the teams went into the break, Lithia Springs led 10-3.
The Lions hit the road next week for a battle with Villa Rica while the Hornets host state-ranked East Paulding.