Lions put on offensive showcase in season finale
The Lockhart Lions ended their 2018 campaign on a winning note, defeating Uvalde 65-20 last Friday night at Honey Bowl Stadium in Uvalde.
The Lions (5-5, 3-4 District 14-5A-Division II) had their third straight offensive onslaught with 650 total yards. Lockhart has scored a total of 176 points in its last three games.
“I’m so proud of the kids for finishing as strong as they did,” said Lockhart coach Brian Herman. “We’re averaged 58 points per game in the last three games. When we lost to Medina Valley, we knew it was going to be an uphill battle to make the playoffs.
“With the strong finish we had, we can use that in the offseason.”
The Ellison brothers – Daequan and Daetron – combined for 449 rushing yards and five of the Lions’ nine touchdowns. Deatron had 23 carries for 355 yards with three rushing scores while younger brother Daequan had 94 yards on four carries with two touchdowns.
“I don’t want to take anything away from Daequan, he did an excellent job, but the guys up front blocked for him and he couldn’t have done that without them,” Herman said. “Our offensive line is a positive going into the offseason. We will have three starters back next season.”
Lockhart set the tone early Friday recovering on onside kick on the opening kickoff. The Lions marched downfield when Jackie Edwards found Courtland Zambrano for a 18-yard touchdown pass on the opening drive.
After a defensive stop, the Lions put together a 13-play drive that ended with a 2-yard run by Daequan Ellison to give Lockhart a 14-0 lead after an Alfredo Jaimes kick.
The Lions recovered a botched punt attempt late in the first quarter on the Uvalde 22-yard-line. Three plays later, Jesus Aldana scored on a 2-yard run to put Lockhart up 21-0 at the end of the first quarter.
The Coyotes (2-8, 2-5) found themselves in a 24-0 hole after a 30-yard field goal by Jaimes but did put together a scoring drive on their next possession.
Lockhart, however, added two more scores before halftime to take a 37-7 lead at halftime. Edwards completed a 24-yard pass to Daequan Ellison on fourth down and he had a 46-yard rushing touchdown with 14 seconds left in the quarter.
Herman said he wanted “a resounding win” this week after giving up a 43-38 lead last week in the Lions’ loss to Kerville Tivy.
“We didn’t always put a full 48 mins together,” Herman said. “I’m proud that they put it all together (Friday). You know, the game didn’t mean. There were no playoff implications. It was all about personal pride and they delivered.
“We had some games early where we put together a good half here, and a good half there but we couldn’t put four quarters together.”
Herman didn’t need to worry about that this week. Daequan Ellison scored three plays into the second half on a 57-yard touchdown run to put the Lions up 44-7. Daetrain Ellison found the endzone on Lockhart’s next possession with a 16-yard scoring run to cap a seven-play drive to give the Lions a comfortable 51-7 lead going into the final quarter.
Daequan Ellison scored on Lockhart’s first offensive play in the fourth quarter to answer a 19-yard touchdown pass by Uvalde to open the final period.
After that, Herman allowed his younger players to get some experience. Noah Garcia scored on a 1-yard touchdown run and Donovan Amaya returned a kickoff late in the quarter for 90-yards to round out Lockhart’s scoring.
“We improved everywhere in the last three weeks,” Herman said. “We’re going to use the offseason to work on the little things. We were five points away from being 7-3 and achiving our goal of making the playoffs. We can take this and show them that when you put the emphasis on the little things, they add up.”
Lockhart will lose 1,000-yard running back Daequan Ellison, who has rushed for 776 yards in Lockhart’s final two games of the season. But, they will return younger brother Daetrain Ellison and Jordan Garcia in the backfield, along with sophomore quarterback Jackie Edwards. With three offensive lineman returning as well, the only question for the Lions’ offense may be at the wide receiver position. But in a run-heavy offense, Lockhart’s youth at wide receiver may go unnoticed.
The Lions may take the biggest hit by graduation on the defensive side of the football. If Lockhart’s offense can keep going in the early season next year like it did the past three games, Herman and his assistant coaches may be able to get the defense situation figured out before district play begins.
Lockhart will open the season against Travis in Austin and will play its home opener in week two against Taylor.