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Tigers take Lions to task, win 28-26

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By Alonzo Garza
POST-REGISTER

The Varsity Lockhart Lions went up against the Floresville Tigers at Lion Stadium on Friday, Sept. 14. Although the Lions fought valiantly they came up short with a heartbreaking 28-26 loss. They played hard, took some hits and gave some back. They made some mistakes, but stayed in the game competitively until the end. As in the gam

e against Gonzales, the Lions simply ran out of time.
“The main thing is that we got a lot better this week,” said Head Football Coach Troy Moses. “We played a team that was a lot better than last week’s team. They are 3A. I’ll give them credit for that. They were good.”
Friday’s game started with the Lions kicking to the Tigers. By 8:28 in the first quarter, the Tigers had scored the first touchdown of the game for a 7-0 lead over the Lions. Kody Zimmerhanzel returned the ball for the Lions and Casey Butler got the first down with a 30-yard rush.
The 30-yard gain was followed by a false start against the Lions and a loss of 15 yards. Unfazed, Butler carried the ball for a couple of first-and-tens until he got the ball to the Tiger 7-yard line for a first-and-goal.
The push forward was tough. Butler’s two additional carries were stopped short of the goal. Zachary Leija carried the ball on a third down to inside the 1-yard line. Butler finally succeeded in carrying the ball across the goal line for a 7-7 tie with 5:09 left in the quarter.
The Lions held the Tigers back for most of the final minutes of the quarter. With 57 seconds left on the clock the Tigers attempted a field goal. It was no good. Flags on the play were for off sides against the Lions. After a time out the Tigers decided to go for a touchdown. The Tiger quarterback swept right and flipped over the Lions for another touchdown and a 13-7 lead to end the quarter.
The second quarter began with an intentional grounding penalty against the Tigers at 10:42. The most excitement in the quarter came at 9:11 when Leija made a touchdown to tie the score at 13-13. The Lions extra point attempt was good for a 14-13 score that would remain throughout the quarter.
After halftime the Tigers rushed to the field with their claws sharpened, seemingly ready to inflict some pain. The Lions appeared equally determined to keep their lead at any cost. With both teams ready to fight the third quarter was exciting to watch.
At 7:35 in the quarter the Tigers scored a touchdown and a two-point conversion for a 14-21 lead. The Lions, not wanting to stay behind, scored a touchdown at 5:14. The Lions’ extra point kick was no good, so the quarter ended with the Tigers still in the lead 20-21.
The fourth quarter had both teams moving the ball back and forth until the Tigers scored with 7:24 left in the game. The Tiger quarterback ran to the left and found his man. He threw to the left corner and connected. The extra point was good for a score of 28-20.
With less than five minutes left in the game and a fourth down, Leija carried for a first-and-goal. At 3:55 Leija’s and Butler’s carries were being stopped in their tracks. A pass to Zimmerhanzel was dropped at 2:37. When a pass by Christian Estrada made contact with Randy Castillo for a touchdown, the game got going for the Lions.
With a score of 28-26 and 2:29 left on the clock the Lions believed they had a shot at winning the game. They were tired and hurt but willing to fight. Butler, who was stopped in his tracks a number of times, walked off the field holding his hip and grimacing after a hard hit from the Tiger defense.
The game wound down with tired players on both teams trying to make plays in the last couple of minutes. At 1:38 the Tigers opted to punt on a fourth-and-two. The Lions took over on the 60-yard line for a first-and-10.
When the game resumed after a delay from the officials, the Lions tried to do something with the 29 seconds left in the game, but nothing connected until a long pass by Oliva was intercepted by a Tiger and taken all the way to 36 yard line with 14 seconds to spare. The game ended with a 28-26 loss for the Lions, bringing the team’s overall record to 0-2-0.
Despite their first two losses and a cancelled game the Lions have been doing well. Currently, individual standouts are Butler with 367 rushing yards, Oliva with 68 passing yards and Castillo with 30 receiving yards. Estrada has made seven tackles, Jacob Frey has one sack to his credit and Adam Renteria has an interception to be proud of. Butler rushed for 224 yards against Floresville and according to the Central Texas High School Football Standings in the Austin American Statesman, he is ranked second in rushing in the entire 4A class.
“We played well,” Moses said. “We just need to get better. It’s still early in the season. We’re going to get better. We are going to surprise some people. You’ll see.”
The next game for the Lions will be at Lion Stadium against the Hays Rebels on Friday, Sept. 28.
See you at the game.
agarza@post-register.com

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