Lions mauled 36-14 by undefeated Cougars
By Alonzo Garza
With a full moon rising over Lion Stadium on Friday Oct. 6, the contest between the Canyon Cougars (5-0) and the Lockhart Lions (2-3) began with a huge play – and the plays kept coming until the end of the first half when the scoring stopped. It wasn”t until the last quarter that the Cougars rushed in for their fifth and final touc
hdown of the night ending with their triumphant victory and a devastating 36-14 loss for the Lions.
“I”m proud of my young men,” said Head Coach Les Goad after the game. “They tried hard. It wasn”t any one person that lost this game. It was all of us together as a team. We just made too many mistakes.
The Lions made some impressive plays, despite their loss.
Richard Ybarra rushed for 89 yards with 16 carries. Terrance Waldon rushed for 70 yards with 16 carries as well, while Demetrius Joseph rushed for 16 yards with six carries, Alex Joseph rushed for 15 yards with two carries and Dustin Garza rushed for seven yards with four carries.
Lion quarterback Dustin Garza completed four out of ten passes for a total of 103 yards. Although he threw two interceptions, he also made one successful touchdown pass.
On the receiving end of the ball, Lockhart had Calvin Johnson with one reception good for 61 yards and a touchdown, Josh Massey with one reception for 17 yards and Terrance Waldon with two receptions for 25 yards. David Moore had four punts and two kicks for a total of 149 yards.
The huge play that got the game going happened in the blink of an eye and it was a beautiful play to witness. Only 18 seconds into the game, Canyon broke through to a touchdown on a 101-yard return by Cougar Dallas Figol. With 11:42 to go in the first quarter and the score at 7-0, the Lions chose to try to run the ball instead of calling it at the 20-yard line. They had to start their first and ten at the 12-yard line. Dustin Garza started the game as quarterback with Alex Joseph as receiver along with Calvin Johnson. Garza took the snap, hesitated a bit, then fired a beautiful pass to a skillful Johnson, whose seemingly effortless catch tied the game at 7-7. The catch was a first for Johnson.
The game continued with streaks of brilliance from both teams.
Canyon”s Sean Santrelli was able to hang on to a side arm pass from Gutierrez. A good save that made a 34-yard field goal possible for Canyon who got to lead 10-7 with 3:57 left in the first quarter.
After a nice kick return from Joseph, the Lions gave away the first turnover of the game when Garza overthrew a pass, which was intercepted by Cougar Kyle Peace with 1:06 left to play. Lockhart called a time out with Canyon at the Lion 16-yard line. It was clear sailing into the end zone for Canyon quarterback Bernie Gutierrez, who made the score 16-7. The field goal attempt went wide left, ending first quarter scoring with Canyon ahead 16-7.
The excitement returned during the second quarter when, with 4:35 left on the clock, Canyon”s Robert Clay rushed for a 41-yard carry to earn the Cougar”s third touchdown. Once again, the extra point kick was no good, and the Lions took possession, trailing 22-7 with 4:16 left in the half. A Lockhart fumble was recovered by Cougar Tyler Krug in the end zone, and after a solid kick for the extra point, the Lions found themselves trailing 29-7.
The Cougars had stepped up their defense and were shutting down the Lions at every turn. Still, with 50 seconds left in the half, the Lions pulled together for an impressive drive that earned them their second and final touchdown of the game, closing scoring at 29-14 at the half.
After an uneventful third quarter and a penalty-laden fourth, the Cougars caught a break and found themselves in a great field position. With 4:47 left in the game, Gutierrez rushed for six yards, earning the Cougars their final touchdown of the night and closing scoring at 36-14.
Still, despite being outgunned by the Cougars, the Lions showed their strength. Ybarra had an outstanding night dragging tacklers on his back, just to gain yardage, while Waldon and Joseph played their hearts out and Garza remained determined.
“They deserve to be 5-0,” Goad said. “Canyon is a strong team, offensively and defensively. They have great coaches. They have a great program… and we just made too many mistakes.”
The Lions, now 0-2 in district play, will travel to Schertz on Friday night to face the Steele Knights. The Knights are also 0-2 in district, having fallen to the Canyon Cougars (34-0) and the Clemens Buffaloes (28-3).