Heavy-hearted Lions fall to powerhouse Unicorns
By Alonzo Garza
New Braunfels Unicorns were eager to get their game against the Lockhart Lions over with as soon as possible on Friday, Nov. 2. They arrived at Lions Stadium two hours early to take in the space, and by the end of the night the Unicorns went home with a 35-14 victory and their perfect 9-0 record intact.
“Our kids played reall
y well tonight,” Head Coach Troy Moses said after the game. “The effort was there. It was a tough week. A very tough week for them to get through, you know…emotional. I was emotionally drained. I”m just proud of the effort they gave us tonight. They could have, at any time, stopped trying, but they kept pushing every play.”
The Lions did make a tremendous effort to score. They played as well as they could have considering the team they were up against and the incredible tragedy that struck only two days before.
Colt”s (John Colton Miranda) untimely passing affected everyone at the Lockhart High School, the district and the community-at-large. A heart-felt acknowledgment of the tragic event was mentioned briefly at the start of the game and moment of silence was specifically dedicated to his memory. The stadium fell completely silent for what seemed like the longest minute ever, a fitting tribute to a Lockhart Lion athlete.
After the opening ceremony procedures were complete, the game was on.
The Unicorns charged on to the field and began their domination of the game within the first few seconds of the first quarter. The game began with the Lions kicking to the Unicorns who took the ball and scored with a 6-yard touchdown by quarterback Ryan Perez and extra point kick by Aaron Hayduk. With 11:25 left on the clock in the first quarter, the score was New Braunfels-7, Lockhart-0.
The Lions answered with a touchdown of their own with only eight seconds remaining in the first. A 5-yard touchdown pass by Lion quarterback Michael Oliva to Gerald Cuellar was followed by an extra point kick by Cuellar for a score of 7-7 at the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter was scoreless for the Lions while the Unicorns scored two additional touchdowns and kicks for a score of 21-7 at the end of the first half. Lion Adam Renteria did an outstanding job of keeping the pressure on the Unicorn quarterback and even sacking him for the first time in the game at 8:20 in the second quarter. The Unicorn quarterback got sacked numerous times during the rest of the game.
The third quarter also belonged to the Unicorns, who scored their fourth touchdown of the night and followed it with a good kick for a score of 28-7. A long pass by Oliva to Leija at 5:28 in the third was a thing of beauty and an interception by Dominique Hardaway at 3:15 was also a significant highlight in the third.
Both teams scored one touchdown and an extra point during the fourth quarter. The most apparent thing in the fourth was how tired both teams were. Both teams kept making mistakes and earning penalties. The Lions were able to continually sack the Unicorn quarterback towards the end. The Unicorns scored their last touchdown and kick at 4:48 for a score of 35-7. The Lions scored the last touchdown of the game at 2:34 for a final score of 35-14.
All in all, the Lions played incredibly well. They gained 11 first downs in the game, completed four out of 11 passes for a total of 102 yards, gained 174 yards in 45 attempts, lost one fumble and recovered another and, most importantly, never let up. The Lions continued to fight until the very end just like they have for the entire season.
“New Braunfels is a good team,” Moses said. “They are going to make a good playoff run and they are going to be… they are going to make a shot at the State Championship this year, I think. We played well. It”s just… New Braunfels is a tough physical team.”
The Lockhart Lions will play their last game of the season on the road. They face the Del Valle Cardinals on Friday, Nov. 9.
See you at the game.