MELISSA — Andre Washington scored on runs of 51 and 37 yards as Argyle Liberty Christian never trailed during a 21-14 victory over Melissa in both teams’ season-opener on Friday.
Quarterback Brendon Lewis ran for a score, threw for another and totaled 251 offensive yards for Melissa, which cut the deficit to the final score during the last minute.
With 43 seconds left, Tate Whittington fought his way into the end zone for a six-yard touchdown reception from Lewis. Grayson Hurst hit the extra point as the Cardinals trailed 21-14.
It capped a 90-yard, 20-play drive that covered four minutes and barely got going since it started with consecutive incomplete passes and a five-yard penalty.
Lewis sparked the drive with his legs and arm, starting with a 14-yard run on the initial third down and gaining a first with an ensuing yard on fourth. He then completed seven passes to five different receivers, including two to Cole McCraw for 19 combined yards and a pair to Whittington for 11. Kennedy Lewis’ nine-yard catch on a third down and Whittington’s first one on a fourth moved the chains.
Brendon Lewis followed with runs of 10 and 13 yards to set up Whittington’s second-and-goal score.
Liberty Christian kneeled out the victory after capitalizing on a muffed punt return just inside Melissa’s territory earlier in the fourth for the eventual game-winning points. Two plays after the miscue, Washington ran 37 yards for a touchdown with 9:21 left for a 21-7 lead.
Collin Gamble caught a 22-yard touchdown to help Liberty Christian take a 14-7 lead at halftime. He also made an interception in the end zone in the third as the Warriors forced two turnovers in the quarter to keep Melissa scoreless.
The Cardinals tied it at seven with 1:01 left in the first quarter on Brendon Lewis’ nine-yard keeper and Hurst’s extra point It completed a run-dominated, 13-play 80-yard drive during which Breelyn Armstrong had 15 via three-consecutive carries, Ja’Bray Young gained 15 on one carry and Brendon Lewis covered the final 16 on three rushes. McCraw also had a 13-yard reception.
Washington capped Liberty Christian’s first possession with his 51-yard touchdown run.