BLANCHARD — Despite turning the ball over four times, the Blanchard Lions had a shot.
Hosting the Clinton Red Tornadoes in the Class 4A semifinals Friday, Blanchard had opportunities to take the lead in its 10-7 loss. Trailing by three, the Lions entered Clinton territory in the fourth quarter but could not score.
The Lions were to looking to advance to their first state title game since the Class 3A title game in 2013.
Blanchard's only touchdown of the game came on the opening series of the second half. Trailing 10-0, the Lions put together an 84-yard scoring drive to get on the board in the third quarter.
Quarterback Colby Langford found Quade Coyle a couple of times on the drive to help propel the offense. Langford finished the drive with a 34-yard touchdown pass to Whit Carpenter. Carpenter was able to catch the pass and avoid being tackled on his way to the end zone.
But outside of that touchdown drive, the Clinton defense bent without breaking.
Led by Langford's ability to run the ball, the Lions marched their way down the field on their first offensive series of the game. Deep in Clinton territory, the Lions lost yards, and Clinton came up with an interception on fourth down.
All four Blanchard turnovers came in the first half, but the Lions held the Red Tornadoes to just 10 points off of those turnovers. Blanchard turned the ball over twice in its own territory, but the defense allowed just three points off of those two turnovers.
After a scoreless first quarter, Clinton got on the board and scored all 10 of its points in the second quarter. After Clinton came up with its second interception of the game, the Red Tornadoes used a trick play to score a touchdown on the following drive.
Blanchard's third turnover of the game came in its own territory. The Red Tornadoes went to the air a few plays after the turnover, and Blanchard's Lincoln Smith came away with an interception in the end zone.
Blanchard turned the ball over on the following drive, and Clinton once again took over in Blanchard territory. Blanchard's defense held Clinton to a field goal, and the Lions ended up going to halftime with a 10-0 deficit.
After Blanchard's scoring drive in the third quarter, the offense did not see the ball again until the fourth quarter. The team's final offensive series entered Clinton territory, but the Lions were unable to gain enough yards on a fake punt to keep the drive alive.
The loss to Clinton dropped Blanchard to 10-3.