Lions win big at home, defeat Apaches 34-26
By Alonzo Garza
Lockhart’s win over Gonzales was big. The Lions took care of business at Lion Field, defeating the Apaches 34-26 on Friday, Sept. 5.
“Tonight we played a good Gonzales football team,” Head Coach Troy Moses said after the game. “Gonzales is always a very physical team that plays extremely hard. Our defense played well t
onight and our offense took some time getting started.”
“We faced a stiff challenge tonight,” Defensive Coordinator Ernie Bustamante said. “They featured a great running back and one of the best receivers in the area. Except for the last five minutes of the contest, our defense played extremely well, probably the best we have played this season.”
The game started with Gonzales scoring the first touchdown of the night at 6:54 in the first quarter. The extra point kick was no good for a 6-0 score. There was no further scoring in the first.
The Lions exploded onto the field in the second quarter, scoring their first touchdown of the game with a 57-yard run by Dominique Hardaway after breaking through the Apaches’ line within the first 10 seconds of the quarter.
With Zachary Leija holding the ball, Michael Pittman’s extra point kick was good for a 7-6 game.
After a delay of game penalty and an incomplete pass on a third-and-14, Gonzales scored their second touchdown with a long pass to the right of the field with 4:21 on the clock. A bad snap preceded a bad extra point kick for a five-point lead for Gonzales, ending the half at 12-7.
“The first half we just didn’t execute the way I would like,” Moses said. “We came out the second half and cut down on our mistakes and played with a lot more intensity. We made a couple of personnel changes and one or two adjustments on the line and our kids did a great job handling those adjustments.”
The third quarter took some time to get going, but with four minutes remaining, Lockhart made it to the goal line. At 3:16, Richard Ybarra scored a touchdown for the Lions. After a two-point conversion by Christian Estrada brought the score to 15-12, the lions held the lead for the rest of the quarter.
The Lions, once again roared into the quarter in the fourth scoring a touchdown with 11:54 left to play in the game. Leija’s touchdown and Pittman’s good kick made the score 22-12.
After a personal foul for illegal use of headgear against Lockhart and a Gonzales fumble, the Lions landed on a first-and-ten on the 23-yard line with 9:58 on the clock. By 7:43, the Lions are back on a first-and-ten at the 44-yard line and by 5:25 John Alvarez makes a 25-yard run for another Lion touchdown. Pittman’s kick is no good for a 28-12 score.
Gonzales answered with a 57-yard run touchdown at 5:10. The Apache two-point conversion attempt was thwarted by the Lion defense.
Showing the Lions were determined to keep a comfortable lead, Kory Robins scored the last Lion touchdown of the night at 3:40. The extra point kick was no good for a score of 34-18.
With the game slipping away from Gonzales and the clock winding down, the Apaches made one last-ditch effort to score and did with 1:33 remaining in the game. The two-point conversion attempt was successful for a final game score of 34-26.
“We’re on our way!” Moses exclaimed to his Lions after the game. “We got two down. Next week we go to Travis. We know we have potential and with discipline… everything goes better. We need to stay focused. We need to stay strong. You know every program in high school is unbeaten? When was the last time that happened? Congratulations and keep working hard.”
The Lions closed the post-game chat with a cheer and rushed into the locker room with the unbridled enthusiasm of million dollar lottery winners.
“With every week of play we have shown improvement at every position,” Bustamante said. “Our defensive front six did an outstanding job against the run allowing just 108 yards and only 12 first downs. We knew this would be key in beating Gonzales. The secondary has been a pleasant surprise as well. They defended the pass extremely well and come together as a unit. We are pleased with the relentless attack our defense has shown. Our level of physical play continues to rise with each snap of the ball.”
“Overall, it was a good week for Lockhart football,” Moses said. “The Freshmen team won 14-12 and the JV won 29-14. Our junior high kicks off their season on Sept. 16 and Coach Raymond Talamantes and his staff have been doing a great job getting those kids ready.”