By Alonzo Garza
After bouncing back from a tough scrimmage loss to the Cuero Gobblers with a solid scrimmage win against the Luling Eagles on Aug. 20, the Varsity Lions fell 16-6 against the Leopards in the first game of the season at La Grange on Friday, Aug. 27.
“Our football team is very disappointed in the result of Friday’s game,” Head Coach Robin Rapp said on Saturday after meeting with the Lion coaches. “We went over to La Grange with the intentions of winning the game. We fell short… that’s the bottom line.“
The game began with both Lions and Leopards taking turns at attempting to score during the first half. Neither team was successful.
The Lions received the first kickoff, but failed to gain yardage during the first couple of minutes of the game. La Grange took control of the ball at 9:55 and also failed to make progress.
Penalty flags kept both teams from moving forward during the first and second quarters and except for a few flashes of potential gridiron brilliance and a couple of fumbles, the first half was uneventful. The first half of play ended with no score on the board.
The third quarter was completely different. Determined to score, the Leopards came back from the locker room with a vengeance. They put the first points on the board with a touchdown pass to the right. The two-point conversion attempt failed, for a score of 6-0 at 10:27.
With less than a minute left in the third, the Leopards scored again with a field goal for a score of 9-0. A final touchdown by La Grange came after an interception with four seconds remaining. The extra point kick was good for a score of 16-0 at the end of the third.
“Our guys fought hard every second of the game against a La Grange team that won 12 games last year,” Rapp said. “Our defense played with tremendous courage and intensity all night. Offensively, we made some big plays but made some mistakes at pivotal moments of the game.”
The fourth quarter began with another interception against the Lions. La Grange took the ball at the 33-yard line at 11:54. Lion Brandon Miller sacked the La Grange quarterback for a fourth and 13 before a Leopard timeout.
Penalty flags for holding and unsportsmanlike conduct for spiking the ball were issued to the Leopards during the fourth. The Lions recovered a fumble and an official’s time out was called for an injured Leopard after Lion Aurelio Garcia made a tackle.
The most excitement the Lion fans experienced was when quarterback Vonte Hedspeth rushed down the right side of the field and into the end zone for a touchdown with 4:27 remaining in the game.
The Leopards eventually ran out the clock by kneeling the ball ending the game at 16-6.
“We will learn from our mistakes and become a better team,” Rapp said. “I am extremely
encouraged with the heart and courage our players exhibited during the game. We can build on that.”
The Lions travel to Bellville to take on the Brahmas on Friday, Sept. 3 at 7:30 p.m.
See you at the game.