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FRISCO – One more score could’ve put the game away for Frisco Memorial, but hanging around was enough for Frisco Lebanon Trail.
That and a game-changing interception by Lebanon Trail’s Chinonso Arinze in the fourth quarter, which led to a furious rally and a 34-33 win over Memorial at the Ford Center at The Star on Friday night.
Gregory Hatley scored the winning touchdown on a 2-yard run with 42 seconds left, and he also caught a 16-yard touchdown pass from Drew Martin with 8:25 remaining.
Memorial’s defense was stout for three quarters, recovering two fumbles and forcing a safety. Lebanon Trail was down by at least two possessions for most of the game, but its 13-point fourth quarter erased Memorial’s prior work.
“(Arinze) kept fighting tonight and gave us some big plays,” Lebanon Trail coach Sadd Jackson said. “Their quarterbacks made some big throws tonight, but for him to hang in there when they were going for the dagger and turned the momentum around for us.”
Lebanon Trail (3-0) went down 14 points in the first quarter and trailed 28-15 at the half due to two fumbles recovered by Memorial (1-2).
Memorial didn’t have to storm down the field often to find the end zone in the first half, though quarterback Charlie Flowers did complete a 41-yard strike to Zion Steptoe in the second quarter.
“We just kept shooting ourselves in the foot in the first half,” Jackson said. “Unforced penalties hurt us and it’s hard to win a game like that, but this says a lot about our kids and their fight.”
Flowers split snaps with Memorial’s go-to passer, Ethan Lollar, after Lollar threw an interception. Lollar tossed two touchdowns in the first quarter, one of which came after the first of two fumble recoveries by the Memorial defense.
Martin came up big on the game-winning drive, with back-to-back runs of 7 and 12 yards that moved the ball to the 2 and set up Hatley’s winning touchdown. Martin threw for 155 yards and three touchdowns.
Arinze, who got a 74-yard interception return off Flowers that resulted in a touchdown drive, ignited Lebanon Trail’s fourth-quarter rally.
“It was the difference in the ballgame,” Memorial coach Derick Roberson said.
Lebanon Trail will host Lake Dallas on Oct. 16 while Memorial will look to regroup against Frisco Liberty.
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