By Mike Alzamora/KTBB Sports
It was wet and it was sloppy, but the John Tyler Lions managed to do just enough to pull out at 20-10 victory over the Tigres of the Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon Saturday evening at Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium. For the sixth time in their history, the Lions played a team from outside the State of Texas. But it was the first time ever that they took on a team from a different country. The Nuevo Leon Tigres came all the way from Monterrey, Mexico as they played their fifth and final game of their 2012 pre-season tour of the U.S.
The driving rain was a factor the entire way as the wet field and wet football made it a tough go for both offenses. JT managed to jump out to a 10-0 lead thanks to a 35-yard Porfirio Benitez field goal and a 66-yard Greg Ward to Darion Flowers touchdown pass. However, the Lions could not muster much else for the rest of the first half. Halfway through the second quarter, they gave up a safety when senior punter Noe Diaz mishandled a poor snap in the end zone and was forced to fall on it to prevent a Nuevo Leon touchdown. But early in the third quarter, the Lions fumbled again and Tigres Linebacker Antonio Ovalle picked up the loose ball and returned it 25 yards for a UANL touchdown. The two-point conversion that followed tied the game at 10 and gave the visitors a world of confidence. Fortunately, CUJO’s defense came to the rescue. Late in the third quarter, senior defensive end Tyus Bowser scooped up a Nuevo Leon fumble of his own and took it back 37 yards to the house giving the lead back to John Tyler at 17-10 heading into the final period. The Lions defense came up with another two Tigres turnovers in the second half and Benitez added his second field goal of the game from 22 yards away with just over a minute to play to seal the win for JT.
While both offenses combined for a mere 355 yards of total offense, John Tyler failed to reach the century mark on the ground for the second week in a row. The Lions managed only 57 rushing yards led by senior running back DeQuante Woods who had 52 of them.
JT improves to 4-1 on the season and closes out the non-district portion of its schedule. The Lions will now have a week before traveling to Corsicana to open Distict 16-4A play on October 12. The Tigres of Nuevo Leon finished their U.S. tour 1-4. They had back to Mexico to defend their 4 consecutive youth division National Crowns.