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Lions earn Clemens Buffaloes praise, respect

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By Alonzo Garza
POST-REGISTER

The Lockhart Lions went into their clash with Clemens without concern for their overall record of 0-5. The Clemens Buffaloes went into the contest with a 3-3 overall record. Both teams had a district record of 0-3 at the beginning of the game on Friday, Oct. 19.
The game and the night ultimately went to the Buffaloes, who won

34-19. The Lions played well, fought hard and did not quit until the game was over.
“I told the kids that this was the best game we’ve played all year,” Head Football Coach Troy Moses said after addressing the team at the end of the game. “They made a few plays that… defensively we played good. Take 14 points off the board, we had a blocked field goal on the return, they took the ball and returned it for a touchdown. We keep improving.”
The 19 points the Lions scored against the defending district champions were considerable, since four previous teams scored lower than the Lions during past games against the Buffaloes.
Clemens beat Roosevelt 27-10, Wagner 14-3 and Boerne 20-10. All three teams scored ten points or fewer in the games. Of the teams they lost to, one scored only 16 points. Clemens lost to New Braunfels 27-21, Steele 16-0 and Del Valle 29-28.
Since four out of six teams in the district scored less than 19 points against the Buffaloes, it is clear the Lions did well in their match-up. It is important to look at all the different variables to see just how well the Lions are doing, despite their losses.
Last week against Steele, it was the defense that made a dent in the game and the difference in the final score. This week, it was the Lions’ offense that made the difference in the score. The Lions are improving with every game.
The contest against Clemens got underway with a Buffalo touchdown in the first quarter. The extra point kick was good for a 7-0 score at 9:39. The Buffaloes took a penalty for being off sides ten minutes later. The Lions drove the ball all the way to the Buffalo 8-yard line for a third-and-6 at 4:50, only to fumble a minute later. Clemens recovered Lockhart’s fumble and ran it all the way back to the Lion’s 15-yard line. Clemens made their second touchdown on a first-and-10. The extra point kick was good for a score of 14-0 with 3:30 remaining in the quarter. The first quarter ended at 14-0.
The second quarter began with the Lions making a tremendous effort to drive the ball forward. At fourth-and-1, with 9:10 on the clock, the Lions were at the 7-yard line, roaring to get across. At 8:24 the officials called a time out for measurement only to confirm a first-and-6 for the Lions. By 7:41 the Lions crossed the end zone for their first touchdown. The extra point kick was good for a score of 14-7. The Buffaloes took the ball and moved it forward for the next five minutes, earning a delay of game penalty with 4:00 remaining in the quarter. The Lions did not take control of the ball until the final minute. The second quarter ended at 14-7.
The third quarter began with the Lions’ offense pushing onward with a great drive, deep into the Buffaloes’ territory at the 29-yard line. Zachary Leija and Casey Butler did most of the carrying for the Lions. Unfortunately, Butler fumbled on a second-and-3, with 7:50 remaining in the quarter and the Buffaloes took full advantage of the turnover. Clemens returned the fumble recovery all the way to the other end for another touchdown. The extra point kick was no good and the score changed to 20-7 with 7:26 left to play in the third.
Gerald Cuellar returned the kick, and the Lions took over at their own 41-yard line. The Lions had a second-and-1 and a third-and-1 at the 50-yard line from 6:50 to 6:27. The Lions made it the Buffaloes 26-yard line with a first-and-10 and 4:10 left. By 3:05 the Lions were at the Clemens 17-yard line with a third-and-1. At 2:52, Lion Demetrious Joseph rushed in through the right side for a touchdown. The extra point kick was no good, for a score of 20-13 at the end of the third.
The Buffaloes stampeded into the fourth quarter scoring another touchdown and extra point for a score of 27-13 with 10:45 remaining in the game. The Lions held on to the ball briefly before a Leija fumble returned the ball to Clemens. The Buffaloes scored once again at 4:05 with a touchdown and extra point for a score of 34-13. The Lions roared back with a touchdown by Leija, who caught a pass just inside the end zone at 3:03. A two-point conversion failed for a score of 34-19. Clemens ran out the clock and the game ended at 34-19.
By far, the most impressive display of sportsmanship came after the game was over. Clemens Buffaloes’ Head Football Coach Greg Ferrara, filled with the spirit of compassion, walked over to the defeated Lions, asked Moses if he could address his kneeling Lions and then praised them for their extraordinary effort and determination.
Ferrara offered comforting words of appreciation for a great challenging game. He gave the young Lions words of hope for the future of the team and commended them on their playing so well in such a tough district. Ferrara made a positive, lasting impression on the lives of the team and their coaches in just a couple of minutes. A lifetime of comfort was delivered unselfishly with a single gracious gesture.
When asked what had prompted him to share such a wonderful gift with the Lions, Ferrara simply replied, “I’ve been there.”
After Ferrara’s spontaneous spirit lifting, Moses asked his team to rise and designated a Lion to lead the team in their “Inside of me…” chant. The Lions then made their way into the locker room with their heads held high.
“You know, we just keep improving every week,” Moses said. “Like I told the kids, this is the best game we’ve played all year. The kids keep fighting and I’m very proud of our boys.”
The Lions play against the Lehman Lobos at Hays on Friday, Oct. 26.
See you at the game.
agarza@post-register.com

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