Lions start strong, win season opener 29-14
By Alonzo Garza
With the first game of the season behind them, the Varsity Lions are ready to move on to game number two after a big win at Leopard Field. Lockhart defeated the La Grange Leopards with a solid 29-14 score on Friday, Aug. 29.
Despite a few missed opportunities the Lions kept plugging away without turning back. They kept compo
sed and focused until the very end.
“We really came through tonight,” Head Coach Troy Moses said after the game. “We made some mistakes but we never hung our heads down. We kept focused, we kept fighting and that’s what got us this win.”
The first quarter began with a Lion fumble, recovered by the Leopards on the 1-yard line with 8:33 remaining. The Leopards took over and attempted to punt, only to have it blocked by the Lions and taken in for a safety by Kenny Brite.
With a 2-0 lead, the Lions pressed on until a 22-yard pass from Tyler Tolley to Randy Castillo was good for the first touchdown of the night. The extra point kick by Michael Pittman was good, ending first quarter scoring at 9-0.
The Leopards scored their first touchdown in the second quarter with a 4-yard pass from Josh Schneider to Brandon Wilkerson. John Sprindler’s kick was good for a 9-7 score.
Although the Lions did not score any points in the second, many gave strong performances. John Alvarez made an interception early in the quarter and three crucial stops when it seemed the Leopards were headed for a touchdown.
The third quarter started with the Leopards completing a pass and then fumbling it at the top of the quarter for a Lion first-and-ten on the 12-yard line.
By 8:55, Lockhart got penalized, with a bad call, for blocking below the knees when it looked like it was La Grange hitting Dominique Hardaway low enough to flip him in the air. At 4:53 Lockhart received yet another penalty, a sideline infraction.
Hardaway came back with a touchdown around the left side for an additional six points. The kick was no good. Octavio “TJ” Terrazas made an interception at 1:50 for a first-and-ten at the 40-yard line. Lockhart received an illegal procedure penalty for a 5-yard loss before the quarter ended 15-7.
The fourth quarter started with an official’s timeout at 11:31 for a Leopard down on the field. After resuming the game, Adam Renteria recovered a Leopard fumble for a Lockhart first-and-ten on the 21-yard line. Two minutes later Zachary Leija scored the third Lion touchdown of the night with a 9-yard run. Flags flew prior to the extra point kick for illegal substitution and a penalty against La Grange. The kick was good for a 22-7 score.
The Leopards scored a touchdown with 3:11 remaining in the game. Schneider caught a 14-yard pass from Wilkerson. The kick was good for a 22-14 score.
The final touchdown of the night came from Hardaway. He made an 8-yard run TD with 1:05 remaining. Pittman’s extra point attempt was good for a final score of 29-14. The action was far from over though, Stacey Bell made an interception with 48 seconds left in the game allowing the Lion’s to take a knee on two downs, running out the clock.
Hardaway rushed for 150 yards in the game. Leija rushed for 146.
“This was a great start for Lockhart Football,” Moses said. “We won at all three levels against a quality program. The freshmen won 20-0, JV won 14-6 and the Varsity won 29-14 on Friday. In my short time here in Lockhart, I don’t think we had won at all levels. Defensively we created turnovers and played well together. On the offensive side of the ball, we were able to control the game and make plays when we needed to.”
“We were very pleased with the way our defense rose to the challenge on Friday night,” Defensive Coordinator Ernie Bustamante said. “Spread teams like La Grange are very difficult to prepare for and then hard to contain on game nights. Our young men did a tremendous job of executing our game plan. Our goal was to keep them less than 20 points for the evening and we were able to do that. We are confident that our offense will score over 20 every game. If defense holds the opponents under 20, we like our chances of winning the contest.”
There was plenty of celebrating after the game. Coaches, players, parents, teachers, friends and fans were elated after the win.
“It was a total team effort versus La Grange,” Bustamante said. “We have put great emphasis on “creating turnovers.”
Two of the turnovers stopped scoring opportunities for the Leopards”
The Lions made three interceptions and two fumble recoveries during the game.
“We’re getting better,” Moses said Friday. “What I liked about tonight is that we had some adversity and we overcame it. There were several times we could have folded, but our kids rose to the challenge and answered every time La Grange threatened to get back in the game. We got to see what we did wrong to correct it and get better. We’re getting there.”
Lockhart plays Gonzales at Lion Field at 7:30 p.m. after a brief Senior Parents’ Night presentation on Friday, Sept. 5.
See you at the game.