LIVINGSTON - Cody Petro scored two touchdowns and Cannon County forced three turnovers in a setback against highly-ranked Livingston Academy that may have helped signal a sign of better times ahead.
The Lions (0-7, 0-4) suffered a 40-13 setback against the No. 5-ranked Wildcats (6-0, 4-0) but they had their highest offensive output and had their most takeaways.
Petro scored on consecutives drives with 14 seconds in the fourth quarter. The first score, a 23-yard score, helped Cannon County avoid the shutout.
The Lions recovered a fumble on the ensuring kickoff and Petro scored from 23 yards out to provide the second score and convert a turnover into points.
“It was good to get in the end zone and finish the game on a strong note,” said Petro, who ran for more than 50 yards against the strong Livingston defense. “We started to move the ball and have some success in the second half. We showed signs of fighting back and not laying down. We need to carry that momentum into next week’s game.”
The Lions will face Meigs County on Homecoming at Schwartz Field Friday. Kickoff is 7 p.m.
Cannon County faces a good opportunity to end its 16-game losing streak against a Meigs County team that is also winless in six games.
“We played much better in the second half,” Cannon County Head Coach Brent Bush said. “Livingston Academy is a very good football team and they had put in some reserves in the second half but at this point is is more about us and what we are doing regardless of which players the opposition may have in the game. We executed things better and the defense was flying around and making plays, forcing turnovers, playing with energy.”
After falling behind 40-0 at halftime the Lions didn’t allow a point in the second half. A.J. Daniel had an interception that was nullified by a penalty. Jonathan Smith continued his strong season with eight tackles, and two sacks. B.J. Daniel also had another active defensive outing with 14 total tackles.
Ethan Smith and Ryan McLaurine also had five-plus tackles for a Lions defense that was on the field a majority of the first half as the Lions had seven straight 3-and-out possessions.
Livingston Academy scored on six of its first seven possessions to put the game out of reach by halftime.