Utilizing its strong ground game and excellent clock management, Mount Ida advanced to the Class 2A state championship game for the second consecutive season Friday, defeating Camden Harmony Grove, 27-14.
Junior running back and 42 Sports Award recipient Jonathan Lagrange (pictured right) paced the Lions with 37 carries for 138 yards and three touchdowns in the win.
Mount Ida senior running back Cade Helms and junior running back Cade Jackson turned 19 carries each into 104 and 112 yards, respectively. Senior back Luke Forga added two carries for 54 yards and a score.
The Lions took the opening drive downfield for a Lagrange touchdown run, chewing up the majority of the first quarter along the way. With 9:40 remaining in the first half, Camden Harmony Grove tied the game, 7-7, on a long touchdown run and extra point. Midway through the second quarter, Lagrange punched in a three-yard touchdown run, regaining the lead for the Lions, 14-7. Late in the quarter, Forga added a 41-yard running score to extend the Lions' lead to 21-7 at halftime.
In the third quarter, Hornets junior quarterback Gannon Bearden connected with junior wide receiver Kentrell Hill for a 60-yard touchdown pass, pulling Camden Harmony Grove within seven, 21-14. After trading possessions, Mount Ida returned to dominating the clock, securing victory with Lagrange's third touchdown run of the game.
The win marks the 22nd-consecutive victory for the Lions (14-0 in 2017), who will meet Class 7-2A conference rival Foreman at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock, Friday, Dec. 15 for the Class 2A championship, The Lions defeated the Gators, decidedly, in Week Seven, 36-7.
"We're going to make an attempt to get another state championship," head coach Michael White said. "The whole community of Mount Ida is excited to take on the Foreman Gators in a rematch in Little Rock."
XZero Sports would like to thank 42 Sports for their assistance with this story.
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