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Lions fall in crushing playoff final

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By LPR Staff

Editor/POST-REGISTER

 

Like most of District 27-5A, the Lions took a beating on Friday night at the hands of a fearsome squad of Vista Ridge Rangers. Despite coming into the game evenly favored by some polls statewide, the Lions lost their footing early, and were not able to recover before logging a gut-wrenching 14-56 loss

to close an otherwise record-breaking season.

The Rangers came out of the locker room on fire, running only 84 seconds off the clock before their first touchdown of the night, a 41-yard sprint by speedy running back Isaiah Vilaire, whose speed and savvy plagued the Lion defense all night.

On their first offensive drive, it became clear the Lions had their work cut out for them, as the Rangers’ defense held the Lions to a meager 15 yards before forcing the punt.

The Rangers made good once again, capitalizing on the strong passing arm of quarterback Matt Snow, and Vilaire’s speed, putting the Rangers ahead 14-0 with 3:07 left in the quarter.

The first half continued in much the same vein, with the Lion offense being overpowered by the Ranger defense, and the defensive line being out-maneuvered by Snow, Vilaire and company.

By the halftime break, despite the Lions’ best efforts, Lockhart trailed 0-35.

The half was not without its bright spots, however, as the Lions were able to make key plays when it mattered, including a quarterback sack from Belar Sneed and a big tackle from Logan Schnautz, late in the second quarter, that were instrumental in keeping the Rangers from widening the gap before the break.

Despite making adjustments during the halftime break, the Lions were unable to overcome the 35-point deficit in the second half of play. They were equally powerless to dampen the momentum gained by the Rangers in the first.

The Lion offense could not find the holes in the Vista Ridge defense, and the Rangers were able to capitalize on every opportunity that came their way, resulting in the Lions trailing 49-0 by the end of the third.

The light began to shine on the Lions finally in the fourth quarter, as Austin Garcia found his way into the end zone with 8:59 left on the clock. Plagued by penalites, the Lions were unable to put together the conversion, and trailed 49-6.

As the clock wound down, the Rangers continued to force turnovers while stacking up another touchdown, with 3:48 on the clock.

With time for one final press, the Lions put together a strong drive to end the game, as Stephon Houston finally picked up his first touchdown of the night, and Logan Clinger received for the conversion to close the night’s scoring at 14-56.

The crushing loss ended a season that saw the history-making 2015 Lions earn their second consecutive Bi-District Championship.

The Lions, however, fared no better than their contemporaries in District 27-5A, however. In their first Area Playoffs in recent history, the San Marcos Rattlers were fleeced 63-14 by Vandegrift.

The fearsome Kerrville Tivy Antlers fell equally hard, crushed 49-14 by the Cedar Park Timberwolves, ranked ninth in the state.

Like Vista Ridge, both Vandergrift and Cedar Park hail from the powerful District 25-5A. Only the Boerne-Champion Chargers were able to defeat their 25-5A opponent, the Georgetown Eagles, with a narrow 70-66 loss.

As long as the Chargers remain in the playoff hunt, District 27-5A will not be able to release the names of the All-District First Team, All-District Second Team and All-District Honorable Mention recipients. Look in future editions of the Post-Register for those details as they become available.

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