Saturday, October 30, 1999

Mason 24, Lebanon 21

Lyon kicks, Comets win

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        A 24-yard field goal by Jeff Lyon with 2:57 remaining lifted Mason to a thrilling 24-21 victory over Lebanon before an overflow crowd of 7,000 Friday at Mason.

        The victory should earn Mason a berth in the Division I playoffs. The Comets have qualified two of the past three years in Division II.

        “No I wasn't nervous,” said Lyon, a senior, of his kick. “My teammates kept encouraging me and I tried to remember what I was taught. I knew when it left my foot, it was good.”

        Lyon was recruited by Mason assistant coach Justin Collier out of study hall last year, and the 6-foot-2, 165-pounder ended up winning the starting position.

        “We didn't have a kicker so I recruited six kids to try out,” Collier said. “Jeff was kicking the most accurate and longest, and that's why I kept him. He has such a strong foot he may kick in college.”

        Lyon wasn't the only star Friday.

        There was Chris McNeeley, a defensive end who recovered a Lebanon fumble with 1:52 remaining to preserve the victory.

        “One of my teammates hit the ball carrier (Nick Singleton) hard and I knocked it loose,” McNeeley said. “I saw the ball on the turf and jumped on it.”

        Senior quarterback Adam Livingston also played a major role.

        He not only engineered the 17-play drive that led to the winning field goal, but also threw three touchdown first-half passes, two to Matt Davis.

        “On the final drive, I kept telling the guys we could do it,” Livingston said. “We started moving the ball and Dan did a great job picking up yards.”

        Livingston was referring to tailback Dan Little, who sat out the first five games this season with a knee injury. Little carried the ball eight times on the final drive, picking up 32 yards.

        Davis caught two of his game-high nine passes during the final drive, one on a crucial third-down play and the other on fourth down.

        “Our kids could have given up after Lebanon came back and tied the score,” Mason coach Tim Lichtenberg said. “But they came back and Adam did a great job on the final drive.”

        The victory didn't come easy although Mason led 21-9 at halftime.

        After the second-half kickoff, Livingston's soft throw was knocked into the air by Lebanon defensive end Matt McCutchan. He grabbed the ball and went in for the score, cutting the deficit to 21-15.

        The Comets' defense forced Mason to punt on its next series.

        The Warriors tied the game minutes later on a 1-yard run by quarterback Casey Abrams with 6:07 remaining in the third quarter.

        Until the final drive, neither team threatened until Mason returned a Lebanon punt to the 22 with 11:13 remaining. This was the start of the Comets' game-winning drive.

        The Comets rushed for 165 yards and picked up 164 through the air while Lebanon was held to 42 yards passing and 245 on the ground.

        Lebanon ....... 3   6  12  0—21

        Mason ....... 7  14   0  3—24

        M—Swanson 13 pass from Livingston (Lyon kick)

        L—Eldridge 27 field goal

        M—Davis 29 pass from Livingston (Lyon kick)

        L—Singleton 4 run (pass failed)

        M—Davis 7 pass from Livingston (Lyon kick)

        L—McCutchan 16 pass interception return (kick wide)

        L—Abrams 1 run (kick blocked)

        M—Lyon 24 field goal

        Records: Mason 8-2, Lebanon 8-2


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How ranked teams fared
Batavia 35, Western Brown 0
Beechwood 48, Newport CC 0
Bellevue 20, Dayton 0
Bethel-Tate 45, Clermont NE 6
Boone County 62, Simon Kenton 6
CCD 9, Reading 0
CHCA 32, Finneytown 27
Col. Watterson 35, Lakota East 21
Deer Park 43, North College Hill 13
Dixie Heights 41, Covington Catholic 7
Edgewood 49, Middletown Fenwick 7
Elder 16, Oak Hills 15
Fairfield 35, Winton Woods 14
Goshen 27, Little Miami 21
Grant Co. 33, Frankfort Western Hills 20
Hamilton 45, Badin 13
Highlands 47, Conner 10
Holmes 30, Scott 9
Hughes 16, Aiken 7
Indian Hill 28, Glen Este 10
Kings 28, Turpin 13
La Salle 24, Colerain 14
Lakota West 48, Harrison 21
Loveland 49, Wilmington 29
Ludlow 21, Holy Cross 6
Madeira 42, Lockland 12
Mariemont 45, Summit CD 13
- Mason 24, Lebanon 21
McNicholas 34, Taylor 15
Miami Trace 52, Hillsboro 32
Milford 55, Amelia 14
Moeller 34, Princeton 24
Monroe 41, Talawanda 34
New Richmond 28, Williamsburg 27, OT
Newport 28, Russell 10
Northwest 16, Roger Bacon 14
Ross 42, Norwood 18
Ryle 28, Campbell County 12
Springboro 47, West Carrollton 12
St. Xavier 34, Anderson 6
Sycamore 49, Withrow 7
Western Hills 26, Walnut Hills 18
Worthington Christian 34, New Miami 20
Wyoming 13, Blanchester 6