Lions lead District after Floresville win
By LPR Staff
In a District where every point matters and there is no such thing as an easy win, the Lions proved on Friday night that they have the fortitude to keep moving forward, even when everything that can go wrong does.
“There was a strange vibe from pre-game all the way through the end of the game,”
said Head Coach Brian Herman of what some Lion fans called a “lackluster” performance on Friday. “The fans were great, but everything else just seemed ‘off.’”
Still, great teams will still put together wins when everything seems “off,” and that’s just what the Lions did when they gutted out a 21-10 victory over the Floresville Tigers.
Performing before a capacity crowd in their Homecoming Game, the Tigers seemed ready for the two-pronged “Slash and Smash” attack of offensive leaders DJ Ellison and Stephon Houston, who combined for a mere 238 yards on the night. The Tigers held the Lions, who continue to average upwards of 45 points per game on the season, to a season-low 21 points.
After a slow offensive start and a fierce defensive battle, Ellison put the first points on the board halfway through the first quarter, when he found the end zone on an 11-yard scramble. Juan Ocampo split the uprights to put the Lions up, 7-0.
The remainder of the first and much of the second quarter continued to be a defensive battle, while the Lions and Tigers traded blows, but no one managed to find the end zone until JJ Caranza snagged a bobbled punt, and returned it for a Lion touchdown with three minutes left in the half.
“Offensively, we did not play up to our expectations,” Herman said. “Floresville had a plan, but we really just didn’t execute very well.”
Herman said those fundamentals and details that hurt the Lions on the field Friday night will be the main focus for this week’s practice before the Lions take the field with Kerrville Tivy on Friday night to establish the District’s leader in Week 5.
As the second half opened, the Lion offense continued to struggle while the defense locked down and kept the Tigers out of the red.
However, in the third, the Tigers were able to gain sufficient field position to finally make it on the board with a 29-yard field goal to move the score to 14-3.
The Lions answered with a long, slow drive capped by an Austin Garcia touchdown to open the Lions’ lead to 21-3.
As the Tigers’ offense opened up in the fourth quarter, sophomore Logan Brown saved the day with an end-zone interception that kept the Tigers from scoring. However, the Tiger defense continued their assault, and kept the Lions from finding the goal line again.
Late in the fourth, the Tigers scored again on a short pass, closing scoring on the night at 21-10, after the Lions took a knee with 54 seconds on the clock.
“Our practice structure has allowed us to be much more efficient in all phases of the game,” Herman said. “Everyone is getting much more attention, and we are much more prepared this year.”
That preparation will be necessary in a District where six wins may be required to secure a playoff spot, and the Lions’ biggest challenges are yet to come.
“I would expect that the excitement of Homecoming and facing Tivy this week will bring our energy level up this week,” Herman said.
The game will be key, as the Lions and the Antlers remain the only two teams in the District who have not yet suffered a loss. The Antlers (5-0, [3-0]) defeated the Boerne-Champion Chargers 65-49 last Friday night, and have defeated the Lions in the last three outings. This season, the Antlers are averaging 57.4 points per game, and allowing only 19. The Lions average 46 points per game, and allow 20. Having already had their Bye Week, the Antlers are in a slightly dominant position in District 27-5A, but are currently tied with the Lions on the District leaderboard.
Elsewhere in District 27-5A last week, the Alamo Heights Mules took down the San Marcos Rattlers, 63-53 in a battle that remained undecided until the final three minutes of the game. The Seguin Matadors made short work of the Memorial Minutemen, 48-20.
The Lions and the Antlers will square off for the District’s top honors on Friday night, at Lion Stadium with kickoff at 7:30 p.m. Prior to the game, on Thursday evening, the Lions will host their annual Homecoming Pep Rally on the Square at 7:15 p.m. at 111 S. Main St., in downtown Lockhart.