Two fumbles and an interception held Lone Tree back in a 44-32 loss to Midland on Friday night.
The Lions got out to a fast start in their season opener, with Tim Mills sacking the Midland quarterback and Lone Tree forcing a punt two plays later. Lone Tree’s first play from scrimmage, a shovel pass touchdown to Moses Martinez, gave the Lions an early lead and momentum.
That was one of two touchdowns thrown by quarterback Harmon Miller, who finished 11-21 for 194 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.
Two minutes before halftime, Midland took a chance at an onside kick and recovered it. The gamble paid off and they marched down the field for a touchdown and a two-point lead.
“As a team, you are never going to be at your best the first game of the season, so we just got to make sure we are building every single week,” Lone Tree coach Aaron Bohr said.
Midland quarterback Britan Martens settled into his role, going 12-19 for 139 yards and two touchdowns and rushing 31 times for 122 yards. His favorite target was Jensen Dodge, who had 118 receiving yards on eight catches.
The Lions spread their receiving yards around, with four players making at least two catches. Alex Viner led the way with 97 yards receiving on four receptions including one touchdown.
Down two scores later in the game, Lone Tree looked like they may have a chance at a comeback. Miller forced and recovered a fumble to get the Lone Tree offense back on the field. On the next play Lone Tree ran a pass play that was intercepted and sealed the game for Midland.
The Lions (0-1) have a long bus trip this week on the way to Easton Valley (1-0). The Riverhawks put up 63 points in a win over Dunkerton in Week 1.
“We’ve got Easton Valley, a team that is almost the antithesis of Midland. They don’t want to put you in a phone booth,” Bohr said. “They want to spread you out all over the field and throw the ball to some of their fast players.”