Varsity Lions triumph over Austin Travis, 41 – 35
By Alonzo Garza
With a warm, evening breeze blowing gently across the stands and the setting sun preparing its dimming rays for their last hoorah of the day, the fans waited eagerly for their teams to appear.
The Lockhart Lions and the Austin Travis Rebels charged onto the shimmering artificial turf at the Tony Burger Stadium, confident about
the task at hand. Neither team was prepared to lose, but by the end of the night it was the Lions who prevailed. The Lions defeated the Rebels 41-35 in a game that could have gone either way.
“I am very excited for this bunch of young men,” Head Football Coach Troy Moses said. “They have worked harder than any group of athletes that I have ever been around.”
Despite his elation, Moses was careful not to get too comfortable with the win. He expressed concern about the numerous mistakes that were made throughout the game and was conscious of the improvement that needed to be made.
“A win is a win,” Moses said at the end of the game. “But, through three games we still have a lot of room for improvement. We are still making the little mistakes that prevent us from dominating our opponents. The good thing is that we have not played our best and we are still winning football games.”
The Lions won the game against the Rebels by one touchdown, and it was the first touchdown in the first quarter that got them their win. The Lions made seven points in the first while keeping the Rebels away from the end zone for the entire quarter.
Both teams scored 21 points in the second quarter and seven points in the third. The Lions missed a field goal in the fourth for six points while the Rebels scored seven.
“The potential for this team is there,” Moses said. “We as a coaching staff must continue to push these young men and demand greatness from them.”
“We were very pleased with our defensive effort in this game,” Defensive Coordinator Ernie Bustamante said. “Our number one goal this week was to contain their running game. This has been a big part of their offense. We were able to hold them to only 154 total yards rushing with most of it coming on a 46-yard touchdown run.”
Bustamante was also careful not to get carried away with the Lions’ current 3-0 record. He recognized the work that needed to be done and the improvements that needed to come to pass.
“Our secondary continues to improve each week,” Bustamante said. “They were able to hold the Rebels to only 108 yards passing. Credit goes to the defensive line for applying great pressure on the quarterback. We have our work cut out for us this week. Crockett features a potent running game. They have one of the fastest and quickest backs in the area. It will be a chore to contain him. We are looking forward to the challenge.”
The Lions built a 14-0 lead against the Rebels with a first quarter 15-yard run from Dominique Hardaway and a second quarter 4-yard run from Kory Robbins. Michael Pittman kicked both extra points successfully.
The Rebels responded with a second quarter 3-yard touchdown run by Travis quarterback Drew McGarrahan and a kick by Saul Perez. McGarrahan could not have made his touchdown without the 79-yard kickoff return by Anthony Brown. Travis tied the score at 14-14 with 70-yard fumble return by DeGregory Thomas and a kick by Alan Gaytan.
Scoring for the Lions in the second continued with Robbins breaking away for a 54-yard run touchdown followed by a Pittman kick for a 21-14 game. Travis, insisting on staying in the game, scored with C.J. Herrera’s 46-yard touchdown run and a kick by Perez.
The Lions took the lead for the remainder of the game with a 48-yard touchdown run by Xavier Moore and a Pittman kick for a 28-21 score at the end of the first half.
The third quarter began with a 10-yard touchdown run by Zachary Leija and a Pittman kick for a score of 35-21. The Rebels scored in the last three minutes of the third with a 2-yard touchdown run by McGarrahan and a Perez kick for a 35-28 score.
With six minutes left in the fourth quarter, Robbins made the last Lion touchdown of the night with a 2-yard run. Pittman’s kick failed. The Rebels fought back with a 20-yard pass touchdown and 7 seconds left in the game. Perez’s kick is good for a final score of 41-35.
Robbins made three touchdowns with five carries adding 73 yards in the game. Hardaway rushed for 124 yards while Leija rushed for 168. Moore rushed for 48 yards. The Lions rushed for a team total of 457 yards against Travis.
According to the Austin American-Statesman’s Central Texas High School Football Statistics, Hardaway is ranked number one in Class 4A for rushing 461 yards with 58 carries and Leija is ranked fifth rushing 373 yards with 39 carries.
“This week we have the Crockett Cougars, who are a big physical team,” Moses said. “They are coming off a one point victory over South San. This is going to be our biggest challenge to date. We will need to eliminate the mistakes and start playing error free football.”
The Lions travel back to Austin where they will face the Crockett Cougars at Burger Stadium on Friday, Sept. 19 at 7:30 p.m. Burger Stadium is located at 3200 Jones Rd.
See you at the game.