A sharp first quarter made the difference for the Chester Cyclones in a penalty-riddled 34-8 win over the Lewisville Lions.
The Cyclones struck the first blow at the 9:04 mark when fullback Jalyn Reid found a hole up the middle for a 23-yard touchdown. They scored again five minutes later on a 36-yard pass from senior quarterback Tommy Sanders to junior wide receiver Marquavious Halsey.
Lewisville’s two first quarter drives lasted one play each, the first ending with an interception on quarterback Trey Keels’ first pass, and the second a lost fumble on running back Christian Laws’ first carry.
In fact Lewisville’s most productive play of the first quarter was a 47-yard punt that was downed on Chester’s 3-yard line. Unfortunately for the Lions the play culminated in a 97-yard drive that concluded a minute and a half into the second quarter with a 30-yard touchdown pass from Sanders to tight end Quaterrious Thompson.
Lewisville owned the time of possession in the second quarter, embarking on a 10-minute drive that featured 14 plays and three penalties and gave the Lions their only touchdown of the night. But even that small victory was nearly squelched as the Cyclones marched down to the Lions’ three-yard line during the remaining 20 seconds, before running out of time at the half.
Essentially the game was over in the first half, as the second half was mostly a contest to see which team could be least efficient.
Ironically, Chester won that contest as well, racking up the majority of its 117 penalty yards in the second half. The ineptitude of the Cyclones was most visible when, early in the fourth quarter, Sanders, who is also the punter, had to punt four times on a single down that ended up being fourth and 55 after four straight Chester penalties.
Offensive coordinator Chris Powell commented on the Cyclones play after the game, saying they played sloppy and ruined great offensive drives with penalties. “It definitely wasn’t a satisfying win,” he said.
Powell also spoke on the team’s focus level, an issue that head coach Anthony Sterling sought to improve in the offseason. “I think we can work on (our focus),” he said. “We have a lot of young guys offensively, we holy have one senior on the offensive line, so we have to keep working an keep getting better each week.”
Sanders passed for 259 yards and three touchdowns and rushed 16 times for 34 total yards. Back Javarious Green and Jalyn Reid combined for 11 carries and 86 yards.