Lions win final home game 35-20
Under the Friday night lights and swarms of attacking mosquitoes, Lockhart Lion fans had the chance to witness a great running-game match up that allowed the Lions to finish their last home game of the year with a 35-20 victory over the Hendrickson Hawks.
In the first quarter, Lockhart had a pair of good, long drives interrupted by some Hendrickson defensive fireworks
From the 45-yard line, the Lions struck first on a quarterback sneak up the middle and jumped to an early 7-0 lead. On Lockhart”s second possession, Hendrickson intercepted the ball and ran 45 yards for a touchdown, tying the game at 7-7.
The Lions” offense quickly responded with a solid 58-yard drive. Lockhart”s offensive line allowed quarterback Jacob Alvarez to walk into the end zone, making the score 14-7 at the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter brought an exciting fourth-and-one for Hendrickson on Lockhart”s 30-yard line. Hawk running back Joseph Reese was hit by a Lion defender just after the handoff. The talented running back shook off the would-be tackle and bounced his run to the outside. There, the defense converged on him, stopping him short of the first down and turning the ball over to Lockhart.
On the next set of downs, Lockhart used all of their running backs yet couldn”t make the first down.
Hendrickson struck quickly after the punt. On the first carry, Reese broke open on a 36 yard run down to the Lions” 48-yard line. On the next carry, he was equally impressive on a 32-yard touchdown run, tying the game at 14 with just under six minutes left in the first half.
On another good solid drive by the Lions” offense, TC Collins and Willie Hill switched off, taking the ball down to the 19-yard line. Hill carried the ball for the 5-yard touchdown run, which finished an important scoring drive and putting the Lions on top 21-14 with only 1:18 left in the half.
The halftime show was superb, beginning with a Lionettes” rendition of a “50s dance, performed with their fathers. The fathers” twirling their daughters around in their poodle skirts was a great crowd pleaser, and the senior band members performed wonderfully for their last home-game performance. At the end of the halftime show, the Lockhart Lions 1954 bi-district football champs were recognized and in the air, football tradition was at its finest.
On the second half kickoff, Hendrickson took the ball out of the end zone and made a gain out to mid-field. On third down, the Hawks once again put the ball in the hands of their star running back. The Lions defense made the stop when Carlos Padilla and Mark Shelton combined on the tackle, forcing a punt and not allowing Hendrickson to gain momentum coming out of the locker room.
The Lions made the first down on a pair of carries by Hill, but the Hawks picked up a sack on quarterback Joey Uker, putting Lockhart at third-and-15. Daniel Zapata ran a long fade route, but the throw was incomplete and the Lions were set up to punt. The punt was a fake and the ball carrier tried to make it to the outside, but was tackled just short of the first down.
On the Hawks” next possession, Clay Ohlendorf tackled Reese for a loss on a counter-play. On third-and-14, the Lions sent a good rush and broke up the pass, forcing the Hawks to punt again.
Lockhart started the next drive on their own 30-yard line with 5:31 left in the quarter. On the first play, Collins picked up the first down on a good run. After a quarterback keeper, Collins made another first, pushing the ball up the field behind his offensive line. Ball-carriers Hill and Zapata made more headway, creating a third-and-1. A haunting false-start penalty pushed the Lions back and gave Hendrickson five more yards. Lockhart sent Zapata into the end zone, but he could not come up with the reception. The Lions then missed a 44-yard field goal attempt.
The Hawks could not capitalize on their possession. Ohlendorf made a good tackle on the ball carrier when Hendrickson tried the reverse, which sent the Hawks three-and-out.
On the next possession, penned deep in their own territory, Lockhart began their longest drive of the night. Hendrickson, after having good luck getting Lockhart”s offense to jump, was hopped into the neutral zone and lured a false start. This brought a first-and-15, and began a debate between referees and coaches. The situation encouraged the Lions” offense to concentrate more on the snap count and got them back into a rhythm that allowed their running backs to do what they do best, make first downs.
Hill made three good carries and a first down into Hendrickson territory. Then it was Collins” turn. If Hill”s runs can be categorized by strength, Collins” runs give Lockhart a new look at speed.
The first play was fast, and created a first down before the Hawks knew what hit them. On his second carry of the drive, Collins burst loose on a 36-yard touchdown, leaving the Hawks in the dust. The extra point was good and increased Lockhart”s lead to 27-14.
The drive lasted four minutes, but earned Lockhart 95 yards in nine plays.
On the next kickoff, David Powers caused a fumble, which resulted in Lockhart recovering the ball inside the Hendrickson 41-yard line. On the next play, the Lions made a first down and got the ball down to the 14-yard line. The Hawks held their ground and kept Hill to short-yard carries up the middle. The Lions” offense was too strong for Hendrickson, and on a third down and 2, Hill found the end zone. On the two-point conversion, Alvarez faked the handoff to Hill and, on the “naked bootleg,” sprinted into the end zone untouched and widened the gap to 35-14.
On Hendrickson”s first play from scrimmage after the touchdown, Reese got another chance to show why he is one of the better running backs in the district. He took the pitch and on the sweep, sped past the Lockhart secondary and into the end zone taking ten seconds off the clock. This was Reese”s longest run of the night, and also the last time Hendrickson would find the end zone. The extra point was no good and less than two minutes later, Lockhart won the game 35-20.
The victory sealed the Lions” bid to the district playoffs. They will finish their district season on Friday night, when they face the Del Valle Cardinals in a bid to tie the 5-1 district win record set by the Lions in 1971.