Lions rumble Reagan, 60-33

Lions rumble Reagan, 60-33

By Kathi Bliss

Editor/POST-REGISTER

 

Despite a first half filled with mishaps and missed opportunities, the Lions came charging out of the gate on Friday night when they opened their season on the road against the Reagan Raiders.

For the bulk
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of the first half, the sheer speed and power of Reagan’s senior running back Mulbah Car left the Lions reeling. Carr, who recently committed to play for the University of Houston next fall, rushed for 107 yards on nine attempts on the night, in a series of big, flashy runs, at least one of which cost the Raiders an unsportsmanlike conduct call.

However, during the second, the Lions were able to contain Car, and capitalize on several mistakes and turnovers, courtesy of Reagan’s rattled offense.

Reagan opened up scoring in the first quarter, when Amado Aguilera, another fearsome runner, found the end zone from near mid-field.

The Lions answered back with a calm, controlled, five-minute, 63-yard drive until senior running back DJ Ellison found his way into the end zone.

In his first performance behind the tee, Juan Ocampo attempted the extra point, but the Raiders blocked the kick, and ran the length of the field in a touchdown attempt. The play was called back because the defense lined up off sides, and Ocampo’s second attempt split the uprights.

As the second quarter began, Car stepped up again, evading the Lions’ altogether on a 67-yard touchdown run. During their next possession, the Lions put together a strong drive, but allowed the Raiders to capitalize on a fumble deep in Reagan territory, which resulted in the Raiders jumping out to a 20-7 lead, with just over seven minutes left in the half.

“Our priorities for this week are communication on the field for the defense, and live repetitions in practice for our special teams,” Head Coach Brian Herman said on Monday.

On the ensuing possession, junior Stephon Houston scampered free for a 65-yard touchdown run, but a block in the back called the play back to the 23-yard line. Redoubling their efforts, the Lions pushed the ball back to the end zone, and Houston pulled in his first touchdown of the season. Ocampo’s kick was on target, and closed the gap to 20-14.

Then, the Lions caught fire.

Sophomore Logan Schnautz snagged an onside kick at the Raiders’ 47, giving the Lions another shot at an offensive drive. Ellison and Houston teamed up to move the ball, and Houston found the end zone again, putting Ocampo in position to tie the score at 20 going into the halftime break.

During the break, the defense made adjustments to neutralize the threats posed by Car and Aguilera, allowing the offense plenty of opportunities to score points in the second half.

Ellison started it off by capping a 67-yard drive with a hop over the defensive line for the Lions’ first touchdown of the half, putting the Lions on top for the first time in the game.

The Lions never looked back.

Ellison and Houston teamed up for more big gains, putting Houston back in the end zone for a 33-20 Lockhart lead.

Car answered back on a 53-yard run for a touchdown, and despite one final gasp from the Raiders on a kickoff return, the Lions were able to hold the Raiders to 13 points on the half.

The Lion offense, on the other hand, quickly became unstoppable.

Forced fumbles and recoveries gave the Raider defense very little time to rest, as the Lions made the most of every opportunity, and stacked up a total of 40 points in the second half.

Austin Garcia rushed for 87 yards in the second half, stacking up two touchdowns in the process. John Voigt established himself as a receiver, snagging Nick Sanchez’s 31-yard pass in the endzone, and Ocampo, quickly getting comfortable in his position, split the uprights on a 48-yard field-goal attempt.

Fresh from the victory, the Lions will play their home opener on Friday night against the Crockett Cougars. The Cougars come to Lockhart stinging from a 42-6 loss to Austin Akins last week. Herman said confidence in the locker room is running high.

“Knowing that we have won close games over Crockett the last two years will give us confidence if it is a close game again that we can pull it off,” he said. “We are on pace in terms of preparation for district play.  We expect to see improvements week to week and we feel that we are a couple steps ahead of last year already.”

Elsewhere in District 27-5A, last year’s ranking District Champions, the Boerne-Champion Chargers, suffered a brutal 35-3 defeat at the hands of the Hays Rebels. The Kerrville Tivy Antlers handily defeated Big Spring, 62-6. Alamo Heights walloped New Braunfels, 55-14, and San Marcos edged East Central, 45-44. The Memorial Minutemen put one in the win column, 14-7 over Carrizo Springs, and the remaining District teams fell in their first non-District games.

The first week of District play is Sept. 11, 2015.

kathibliss@post-register.com

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