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Lions soccer player links with Howard Payne

Kaela-Marberry

Livingston Lion soccer standout Kaela Marberry signed to attend school and play for Howard Payne University Wednesday at DeWalt Fieldhouse in a ceremony that included friends, coaches and family.

The Livingston defender said her initial interest in the school came when browsing through recruiting websites.

“(The school) had (re)searched me, so I was kind of interested in them. I went to a soccer game and it just felt like it was right for me to play with them. I toured the school and it went really good. They made it feel like home, so I applied and here I am.”

Marberry said Brownwood, where she will make her home for the next four years, seemed much like Livingston.

“It's kind of a small town, but I like it. It's nice. I like the campus and the overall feel.”

Howard Payne coach Brandon Badgeley joined the Howard Payne athletic department as the head women's coach in the spring of 2016.

Before HPU, the 2009 Howard Payne grad spent two seasons as head girls coach at Cedar Hill High School, increasing the team’s win total by seven games and achieving the first double-digit win season for the school in the last four years. He and the team will look to improve upon a 5-11-1 record from 2016.

“He's very nice and he made me feel like a part of the team even before I was accepted,” Marberry said of her new coach.

Though she was unaware before making her decision the Yellow Jacket signee and Livingston athletic director Brian Broussard now have a connection through the university.

“I actually did not find out that he was an alumni until after, so I thought that was really neat,” Marberry said.

In addition to soccer, Marberry is a varsity cheerleading co-captain, athletic trainer, and part of the student council. The daughter of John and Tamara Marberry plans to major in athletic training at Howard Payne with future aspirations of a doctorate in physical therapy.

Kaela-MarberryPictured Left to right: Mike Field, Head Athletic Trainer, Nikki Oldham, Assistant Athletic Trainer, Head Soccer Coach - Don Ledesma, Tamara Marberry, Suzanne Witherspoon, (seated) Kaela Marberry, John Marberry, Nida Marberry, Dietrich Heyer, Asst. Soccer Coach, Coach Brian Broussard, LISD Athletic Director.

Livingston lineman signs with Kansas JUCO

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The opportunity to play at the college level is rare, with only six percent participating in football after high school.

When Livingston’s Kedar Gordon received the chance, he signed to play ball for the next two years at Independence Community College. Family, coaches and teammates attended a signing ceremony in support of the Lion lineman Wednesday morning.

Independence coaches have told Gordon they envision him slotting in at left guard on the Pirate offensive line. Gordon, who played on both sides of the line for the Lions, said it does not matter to him where he lines up and just wants the chance to play.

Though he has yet to visit the school, he plans to visit as soon as he possible.

Gordon said he has a good relationship with the coaches and speaks daily with his new offensive line coach.

“Anytime you have someone go play at the next level, it is great for them individually, but as a program as well,” Livingston football coach and athletic director Brian Broussard said. “We had a little part in it, but mom and dad play the biggest part of all. We can't coach 6’3” or 6’4”, but we were fortunate to be able to coach him.

“One thing about Kedar is he always has a smile on his face and when somebody else is in a bad mood, he picks them up. He's got a good sense of humor, he is a great athlete for a big guy, and he was almost up to (weighing) 270 before he lost some weight playing basketball. He has good feet, good hands, is strong, and has the ability to continue to do a lot of good things at the next level.”

Coaches of Independence have told Gordon they would like to see him come to Kansas at a weight of around 285. They have sent a weight program that he will begin once basketball season concludes.

With players advancing to the next level for two consecutive years from the Livingston football program and another strong possibility for next year, Broussard said college coaches will know the way to Livingston, helping to exposure for others.

Established in 1925, Independence Community College plays its games in the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference. The Pirates are one of eight schools that participate in football, along with Butler, Coffeyville, Dodge City, Fort Scott, Garden City, Hutchinson and Highland.

Former football stars from the conference include 1972 NFL MVP Larry Brown of the Washington Redskins, and New York Giants stars Brandon Jacobs and Jason Pierre-Paul.

Independence, Kansas is located about 80 miles north of Tulsa and just over 100 miles east of Wichita. The Pirates were 5-4 in 2016, winning their final four contests.

Kedar-Gordon-046Pictured left to right: Coach Brian Broussard - LISD Athletic Director, Mark Hooper, Felix Gordon, Kedar Gordon (seated), Telisa Gordon, Coach Jacob Rae and Coach Brian Coffman.

Corrigan secures third in District 10-3A

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Corrigan-Camden survived a dog fight with Garrison, 48-45, as the two teams entered Friday’s season finale battling for third place in the District 10-3A race.

The victory gives Corrigan (5-5, 3-2) a Class 3A bi-district matchup against District 9-3A runner-up Arp (8-2, 5-1) Thursday in Center. Garrison (6-4, 2-3) will play district champion Elysian Fields (10-0, 5-0) in their first-round playoff game.

“It made the difference in us playing a district champion or a second-place, but either way you’re going to play a good football team,” Bulldog coach Seven Armstrong said following Friday’s slugfest with Garrison.

The game featured strong running attacks, with each team having a back to go over the 200-yard rushing mark. For Corrigan-Camden, senior Jaylon Williams accumulated 242 yards on 35 carries and three touchdowns. Garrison’s Jakelen Tutt was equally impressive with 283 yards on 34 carries (3 TDs).

With a lot on the line, the contest was a hard-fought 48-minute battle. Corrigan quarterback Ty Love (11 carries, 105 yards) capped drives of 58 and 91 yards with 14 and one-yard touchdown runs to put the hometown Bulldogs up 13-0 by the 3:38 mark of the opening quarter.

The Corrigan defense halted Garrison on their opening drive, but could not contain Tutt on the second series. The senior speedster rambled for a 35-yard touchdown with 2:19 left in the first to make it a 13-7 ballgame.

Corrigan continued to motor up and down the field and would extend their lead to 21-7 with nine minutes to go in the half. DeMetre Howard (62 yards on 12 carries, 1 TD) took a short Garrison kickoff eight yards to the visiting Bulldogs’ 46-yard line to begin a quick four-play march. It was all Williams on the drive, who had carries of 11, 33, -1, and three yards. The hard-running Williams also scored the two-point conversion to give the Bulldogs a 21-7 lead.

Garrison failed to convert on fourth down on the next series and Corrigan had to punt from their own 33 with just over two minutes left in the half.

Garrison was not done, as Keondric Collins returned the Bulldog kickoff 18 yards out to midfield to start a five-play touchdown drive. Quarterback Drew Wise (5-9, 117 yards, 1 TD) connected a 21-yard pass on the drive, and Tutt had four carries, including a two-yard touchdown with 37 seconds on the clock. The point after by Connor Moore was blocked by Howard and Alex Vance for a 21-13 margin at the break.

The second half was a scoring frenzy, as the two teams combined for nine touchdowns.

The half got started with the two teams scoring on their opening drives. Garrison went 60 yards in seven plays and scored on a one-yard run by Tutt with 9:46 on the clock. Corrigan answered with a nine-play, 55-yard touchdown drive, capped with a seven-yard run by Howard and point after by Zack Ivie to hold a 28-19 advantage with 5:13 left in the third.

Things got a little shaky on Corrigan’s next two series, as the Bulldogs fumbled on a fake punt and later had to punt from their own 40-yard line.

Garrison would garner their first lead of the game by scoring on back-to-back drives of 60 and 48 yards, respectively. A 44-yard strike from Wise to Jakobie Hodge pulled the Bulldogs to within 28-25 at the 3:42 mark of the third.

After the Corrigan fumble, Garrison needed just one play, as Tutt side-stepped a couple of defenders on his longest run of the game (48 yards) to give his team their first lead at 32-28 with 1:27 left in the third.

“They lined up a little different in the second half and got us off track just a little bit,” Armstrong said of their sluggish third quarter.

“They made some changes at halftime and kind of took away what our game plan was against them. We had to adjust and we finally did, and that was good to see. We’ve just got to be able to do it a bit sooner, but we continued to fight all night long.

“Defensively, we played decent in spurts and then we’d miss a tackle here or there and with their good back, he was gone.

“We also let some passes get away from us tonight that were major defensive player mistakes and that we can’t allow. It’s just a deal where we still have plenty to work on. It’s not like we’re not going to have anything to work on in practice on Monday,” said Armstrong.

With the lead, Garrison halted Corrigan’s third possession of the second half, forcing Ivie to punt. However, five plays into the Garrison drive, Williams intercepted a Wise pass and returned the miscue 28 yards to the Garrison 12-yard line.

On the second play from scrimmage, Williams lost yardage and the Bulldogs faced third and 15. Love came through with a 17-yard scoring strike to Howard and Ivie split the uprights to give Corrigan a 35-32 lead with 7:49 left in the game.

In the final minutes remaining, the two teams would score twice more. It took Garrison just 15 seconds to score, as Collins returned the Corrigan kickoff 82 yards to put his team up 38-35 with 7:34 on the clock.

Following a 16-yard kickoff return by Ivie, Corrigan answered with an extra-effort run by Williams who scooted across 28 yards of turf to score at the 5:44 mark. An Ivie PAT gave the home team a 42-38 lead.

Garrison scored with 2:22 left in the game, capping a nine-play, 64-yard scoring drive with a one yard plunge by Tutt. Moore split the uprights for a 45-42 lead.

A good-hands squib kick was recovered by Dylan Purvis to give the Bulldogs good field position at the Garrison 49 to set up what would be the winning score of the game.

Love got it rolling with a 25-yard pass to Robert McAdams. Despite a penalty, the Bulldogs still had a first down at the Garrison 34. Love gained 14 yards on a keeper around the right side, down to the 21. Williams had two carries for yardage to the 16. Love then added a 13 yard run to the three for first and goal. Williams finished the drive at the 1:11 mark to put the home team back on top, 48-45.

Garrison threatened on the final drive, advancing from their own 33 to the Corrigan 22. With time not on their side, they elected to attempt a 39-yard field goal. The kick by Connor sailed just left of the cross bar as time expired on the clock, securing a Corrigan victory.

DSC 5647DeMetre Howard eludes a tackle during Friday’s District 10-3A season finale versus the Garrison Bulldogs.

DSC 5744Jaylon Williams was a leading tackler for Corrigan in a 48-45 win over Garrison.

Livingston wins a thriller against Panthers

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The Livingston Lions were many things, both good and needing improvement in the 2016 football season. The one thing they weren’t was boring.

With just 18 seconds to go in the game, the Lions’ Raul Fernandez booted a 44-yard field goal to capture a 41-40 win over the visiting Beaumont Ozen Panthers Friday.

Fans in Lion Stadium saw the home team accumulate a 4-1 record in Livingston in a year that was not lacking tense moments. Friday was no different.

Finding themselves down by five late in the third quarter, the Lions (5-5, 4-4) marched for nearly five minutes on 10 plays and 80 yards, culminating in a new shot of adrenaline — running back Brodie Smith.

Smith entered the game, generating a 1-2 punch in the Lion backfield, along with quarterback Hunter Bland (72 rushing yards, 250 passing yards and 4 TDs). It gave the Panthers reason to respect the running game.

Before, the Lions had become one-dimensional. Ozen safeties were waiting on passes with double and triple teams on receivers. Smith’s one-yard plunge was preceded by four runs for 26 yards.

An Ozen (1-7, 1-9) fumble on their next offensive play set Livingston up at the Panther 22. After stalling in six plays, Fernandez came on to put his Lions up five at 38-33 on a 28-yard field goal.

“We thought we needed to take the points (instead of going for the touchdown),” Livingston coach Brian Broussard said. “We knew that they would have to score a touchdown, but you never know if they may try (a field goal) and make it. We thought we had better get the points to where they do have to score the touchdown.”

It took only four plays for Ozen to work the ball down to the Lion 11. Sterling Winzer (146 total yards, 2 total TDs) snatched the handoff and twisted inside the five-yard line, where it looked as if he would go down. However, an offensive lineman caught him and pulled Winzer over the goal line to put the Panthers up, 40-38 with only 2:34 to play.

Bland and Christian Mitchell (182 total yards, 3 TDs), as they have all year, came through for the offense when it mattered most. Starting on their own 13, the Lions began a drive of seven plays. Mitchell hauled in a 30-yard pass, while Bland ran for 25 yards more that included him hurdling a would-be tackler.

Without time outs and the ball resting on the Ozen 27, Broussard was forced to send in the special teams unit and give his junior kicker a chance from 44 yards out. The kick sailed just over outreached Panther hands and had the distance to be good from at least 50 yards out, something the coach said he had done in practice.

“In practice he has hit 50 (yards) multiple times. It was on the left hash, which was great. I was nervous that he might have a little too much adrenaline, and over-kick it and shank it, but he nailed it.

"I didn’t see it; I wasn’t looking,” Broussard said with a nervous look. “I just heard everybody.”
The kicker had a big smile after the game — with plenty of reason.

“I’m pretty sure everyone was nervous,” Fernandez said. “With my team, I was confident. But my nerves, the farther I am, the more nervous I get.”

The Lions had taken the slightest of leads, at 41-40, but the game was not over. With 10 seconds remaining, Charleston Evans (3 receptions, 128 yards, 2 TDs) returned the kickoff to the Lion 38. A 15-yard penalty moved the ball to the Lion 23, creating a much easier opportunity for a score with one second left. Quarterback Dominique Morris dropped to pass, but could not connect with Evans one final time.

“I think this is a true microcosm of the season,” Broussard said. “It was up and down, we had the lead, good plays, bad plays, but the kids kept battling. That’s just kind of how the season went. I can’t say enough about the seniors. Those guys did a tremendous job and they kept us in this thing all night. I can’t put into words what it means for the program and what I think it means for the community. We’ve won five games and we won as many games this year as we did the previous three years combined. To me that’s huge. I hate that we didn’t make the playoffs. One thing happened (Nederland losing) but the other didn’t (Central winning) that we needed to happen.”

The excitement began on the opening kickoff, as a Lion onside kick was recovered by green jerseys. It would set up a hook-and-lateral that went from Bland to Cameron Merchant for seven yards. Instead of turning upfield, Merchant pitched to a streaking Mitchell, who would take it the remaining 41 yards for the score.

“It looks like we had worked that play 10 times each game,” Broussard said. “I looked at the coaches and said it looked like one of our best plays. It never worked that way when we ran it three or four times during practice every day. It was just like back in ’14 (versus Bryan Rudder) when we ran that halfback pass. It never looked like that in practice, either, the way that it worked in the game.

“We took out all the stops. We had (gadget plays) last week, but we just didn’t have them at the right time. We threw one out there on the first play last week, but that was the plan coming in here. Whatever we needed, we were going to do to win the game.”

After a punt on the following Lion possession, the home team would punch in the next three drives, each through the air. Mitchell caught two and Cade Campbell hauled in the third.

The Panthers kept the score close and even held the lead off of an interception, a punt return, and big scoring plays of 35, 51, 20 and 11 yards.

Defensive standouts for the Lions included Aaron Stanley, Brodie Smith and Terry Carter, all playing their final game in Lion Stadium.

IMG 9907Raul Fernandez kicks the game-winning field goal with 10 seconds remaining.

IMG 9854Hunter Bland rushed for 72 yards and passed for four touchdowns and 250 yards.

Bulldogs thunder past Lions

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KOUNTZE -- After being bogged down with penalties and an early fumble in the opening frame, the Corrigan-Camden Bulldogs uncorked 48 points in the second quarter to blister the Kountze Lions 69-32 for their first win of the season.

It took awhile for the Bulldogs to get going, coming up empty with a turnover and punt on their first two possessions. After the early stall, it was smooth sailing, as they scored on six of the next seven possessions to take a commanding 48-18 lead at halftime.

Although head coach Seven Armstrong was proud of the win, managing the hot, muggy conditions, was equally important. “It was muggy out here and it sure checked our shape. We had a little cramping, but for the most part we held up OK, so that was good to see.

“I think we’re getting better. We’re still going to make some changes to do some things to hopefully make us even better on defense,” Armstrong said.

Defensively, the Bulldogs gave up 18 points in the second and 14 in the third, but overall won the turnover battle with four fumble recoveries and an interception.

“Offensively tonight we were able to do what we wanted to do and that was good to see. We took advantage of some things that they did and just went with it.

"It was good to have a plan, execute a plan, and roll with it, but we still have to take care of the football better.”

The Bulldogs picked up one first down on their opening drive before it was halted with the first of two fumbles on the evening.

Kountze started their first drive and advanced deep in Bulldog territory, but would have to settle for a 30-yard field goal attempt. Senior Tyreke Foreman slashed through the line and blocked the kick with 4:30 left in the opening frame. Later, with 21 seconds left in the quarter, Foreman recovered a Lion fumble to set up the first of many Bulldog touchdowns.

Corrigan’s initial score covered 61 yards in seven plays and was capped with a 23-yard run by Fre’Darion Johnson with 10:14 on the second quarter clock. Johnson finished with a bookend to the scoring frenzy in the second quarter, scoring on a 21-yard run with just seven seconds in the half.

In between Johnson’s two scores, teammates Jaylon Williams and DeMetre Howard accounted for five touchdowns.

Following an interception by Latrail Bailey, Howard raced 40 yards for a score. A fumble recovery by Alex Cuevas set up another quick touchdown for the ‘Dogs. Ty Love hit Johnson on a 35-yard pass and Williams followed with a five-yard run to the end zone for a 20-0 lead.

Kountze cut the lead 20-6 on a 75-yard, three-play drive with 7:05 left in the half. Corrigan was nowhere near finished, however, as Howard scored on the ensuing kickoff, taking the pigskin 65 yards to the Kountze end zone.

Williams added to the tally by scoring on back-to-back possessions with runs of 34 and 17 yards, increasing the Bulldog lead to 42-6 with 2:58 remaining before halftime.

The offensive slugfest continued, as Kountze scored twice before the bands performed at the break. Keyshawn Adams escaped on an 84-yard run and quarterback Dallion Edwards scampered 17 yards to reduce the deficit to 42-18 with 33 seconds left.

A 17-yard kickoff return by Howard set the ‘Dogs in motion for a quick three-play drive to end the second quarter scoring frenzie. Johnson had the honors, scoring with seven ticks left to stretch the lead to 48-18.

Corrigan outscored the Lions 21-14 in the second half, as Williams scored on runs of one and 14 yards. Sophomore Zack Ivie did a good job on extra points, connecting five-of-eight throughout the game.

The most interesting touchdown was the game’s final one. The ‘Dogs started the drive from their own 25 following a touchback. Howard bolted up the middle on the first handoff and was headed to the goal line when the ball was stripped.

The Lion ball carrier was just about to be brought down by the Bulldog defense when he attempted a lateral, which was picked off by Thomas Casper who took the ball in for a touchdown with 9:31 left in the game. Terrell Cook ran for two points and the final margin, 69-32.

DSC 1863DeMetre Howard (8 in top photo) carries the ball for the Bulldogs. Hector Castro and Ashton Jones (64 and 42 in bottom photo) combine to stop Keyshawn Adams.

DSC 1725Alex Vance tackles Jeremiah Barker (11) with help from Hector Castro (64) and Hugo Sanchez (52) during non-district gridiron action Friday night in Kountze. The Bulldogs defeated the Lions 69-32.

Playing all four quarters

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It always means a little more when it is your old school.

Brian Broussard guided his Livingston Lions (2-2, 1-1) to victory in a 32-28 thriller Friday night over the Raiders of Lumberton (1-3, 0-2). A fourth quarter full of momentum shifts kept the game’s fate in question until the final three seconds.

Broussard, a Lumberton grad, had a visible look of relief after the contest.

“The most impressive thing for me tonight was that our kids battled,” the head coach said. “There was some adversity and the old Livingston would have given up after that. They didn’t. They fought and they played for four quarters. We turned a corner there and we made huge strides because of that.”

In the fourth quarter, the Lions held a 25-14 advantage with just under 10 minutes to play. Livingston held possession after an interception by Adam Belknap. An interception and two consecutive three-and-outs were filled with passes that stopped the clock and kept Lumberton hopeful.

“We weren’t able to run the ball,” Broussard said. “When we were trying to run, we were losing two or three yards a pop. We thought if we could hit them and they were open, it would be a different ballgame. Yeah, we wanted to run the clock, but we got into a couple of penalties and it forced us to throw the ball. We had a lot of silly penalties here at the end and we made some mistakes. We need to clean that up. We didn’t necessarily want to (throw), we wanted to run the ball — definitely.”

Kain Dear (10 carries, 93 yards, TD), a Raider weapon that had been silent most of the night, took a quarterback keeper 50 yards downfield on fourth down, setting up first and goal at the Lion six. Two plays later, he crossed the goal line from two yards out. A missed two-point conversion kept the Lions up, 25-20.

On the next Lumberton drive, fourth down was again costly. Tailback Keaton Upshaw (13 carries, 116 yards, TD) took a direct snap 45 yards down the sideline to put the Raiders in front. A two-point conversion made it a field goal difference at 28-25, with just 1:49 remaining.

Two touchdowns had taken the air out of the Lion sidelines. Setting up at the 33-yard line after kickoff, quarterback Cameron Merchant (12-26, 240 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs) could not find an open receiver and collected four yards on the ground. On second down, Christian Mitchell — as he has on many occasions this year — outran his coverage. The rainbow toss fell into Mitchell’s (6 catches, 163 yards, 2 TDs) hands, as Lion Stadium erupted. The speedster would not be caught. Tacking on the extra point, the 63-yard pass placed Livingston in front 32-28.

“We thought we were going to have to throw the ball on them because of what they do (loading the box), Broussard said. “We were able to run the ball effectively early, which opened the passing game up. Christian got open a few times and I thought the offensive line played the best game they’ve played all year. They kept (Merchant) pretty clean for the most part and I was extremely excited about that. The defense played lights out; I thought they played phenomenal.”

There was still a matter of stopping the Lumberton offense, however.

A good return put the Raiders at their own 43. Penalties and the sudden emergence of Dear had Lumberton threatening deep in Livingston territory in just three plays. A defensive stand from the Lion 18 with just 15 seconds left saw a pass tipped and nearly intercepted on third down. On fourth, Remington Boykin took the snap, but threw incomplete to seal the home victory.

“I thought this was maybe our best work week of the year in practice,” Broussard said. “We prepared the way we always do, but it was just a more focused film session throughout the week. We knew what they were capable of doing and what they have done. I’m very proud of our guys and the way they performed.”

A defensive struggle quickly turned near the end of the first quarter, as the Raiders were first on the board. Driving 71 yards on eight plays, the snap went to tailback Josh Ward for a four-yard plunge.
Two possessions later, the Lions broke the zero after recovering a fumble on the Raider 16. In just one play, Hunter Bland (18 carries, 80 yards, 3 TDs) took a counter 16 yards to the pylon. A missed extra point had Livingston down one with 8:00 showing on the second-quarter clock.

Lumberton would extend the advantage, as quarterback Brett Marcentel (13 carries, 121 yards) was responsible for the majority of a 65-yard possession. He was able to cap the journey by taking a snap in for the final five yards, putting the Raiders up, 14-6.

A fumble would again set up the Lions, who again struck on one play. This time, the Lions would air it out from 72 yards away, as Mitchell got behind the secondary to haul in a Merchant bomb. The defense, playing man defense without a high safety, could not recover after losing the speedy wide out. Merchant failed to cross the plane on the two-point conversion, giving the teams a safety difference at the break for bands.

The Livingston defense held Lumberton to eight plays with two turnovers on downs. Meanwhile, the Livingston offense went to work. A 13-play, 76-yard drive ended in a Bland score from one yard out. It would eat over four minutes of game clock and set up the next opportunity.

Putting together strong consecutive possessions, the Lions would go 57 yards in eight plays to finish out the third quarter. They would score five seconds into the fourth, with Bland again getting in from one yard, this time on fourth down.

“I told them (after the game) that I was proud of them and to enjoy it. It is nothing but positive,” Broussard said. “We have Port Neches-Groves next week in Port Neches. They are going to be tough, but I told our kids last week when Lumberton played them, that (Lumberton) lost, 34-14. There was six minutes left in the game when they were down by seven. If our kids fight like this, I think we can compete with anybody in our district.”

teamceleLivingston coach Brian Broussard (visor) looks on as his team celebrates Friday’s win.

IMG 1760Cameron Merchant kept the Lions in the game with both his arm and feet. In addition to two touchdown throws, he ran for 55 yards.