Lions bounce back to beat Lehman 21-14 as season winds down
By Alonzo Garza
After three consecutive losses, the Lions bounced back and defeated the Lehman 21-14 in a game that started much like the last three, but ended in a come-from-behind victory with the return of a much healthier Dominique Hardaway.
Hardaway played a significant role in the success of the Lion’s second half comeback. He rushed
for a total of 146 yards with 29 carries.
“I was so proud of our total team effort and sense of urgency in the second half,” Lion Head Football Coach Robin Rapp said. “Our defense played with tremendous intensity and came up with big plays when we really needed them all night long.”
The game began with the Lions kicking off to the Lobos for a Lehman first-and-ten at the 27-yard line. The Lobos punted after reaching the 36-yard line and the Lions took over at their own 25-yard line at 9:48.
At 7:05 the Lions punted from the 44-yard line on a fourth down and the Lobos took a first-and-ten at their own 17-yard line. By 6:14 Lehman was still at the 17 when their quarterback was sacked, causing a fumble. The Lobos recovered their own fumble and punted on a fourth-and-16.
The Lions moved the ball slowly down the field until a Lobo intercepted a Tyler Tolley pass and held on to it for a 27-yard return with 2:30 remaining in the first quarter.
The Lobos took a first-and-10 at the 37-yard line at 2:22 and quickly turned the opportunity to a first-and-goal at the nine-yard line after a 54-yard carry by Lobo Charles Williams at 2:08. The Lobos scored the first touchdown of the night with a 63-yard drive on three plays. The extra point kick was good and the first quarter ended at 7-0.
The second quarter began with the Lobos at the 36-yard line. Three minutes later they were at the 50-yard line and moved the ball further down the field with completed passes, including a 19-yard reception good for a first-and-ten at the 28.
It wasn’t until an interception at 6:43 that the Lions took possession of the ball. Lion Jacob Alvarez returned an interception 43-yards for a Lion first-and-ten at the 33.
Tolley was sacked for a third-and-28 at the 25-yard line before the Lions punted on a fourth down at 5:28.
The Lobos fumbled the kickoff return and recovered it on the 37-yard line. After a couple of incomplete passes and quarterback sacks the Lobos punted.
The Lions took the ball at the 39-yard line at 4:50. Tolley was sacked and the Lobos were given a 15-yard penalty for facemask infraction. At 3:21 the Lions were given a penalty for holding. The flags kept flying before a Lobo intercepted a Tolley pass with two minutes remaining in the first half. The half ended at 7-0.
“Our running game took control of the game in the third quarter,” Rapp said. “The punt in the last two minutes of the game, pinning Lehman inside the five-yard line was huge.”
The third quarter began with a Lion first-and-ten at the 40-yard line and a Lion touchdown by 9:15. Tolley rushed in from the right side for six points and a 15-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct was handed to the Lions and was assessed on the kickoff. Brooks Pittman’s extra point kick was no good for a score of 7-6.
The Lobos kept possession from 9:07 to 6:38. The Lions took over at the 34-yard line. By 4:17 the Lions scored with a big, 47-yard touchdown run by Hardaway. A two-point conversion changed the score to 14-7. The Lions scored the second touchdown with a 66-yard drive on five plays.
The remaining minutes in the third were riddled with penalties, a fumble and an interception. Facemask penalty against the Lions and holding against he Lobos cancelled each other out. The Lobos recovered their own fumble and Lion Ryan Houston intercepted a Lobo pass with less than a minute to go in the quarter. The third ended with the Lions leading 14-7.
The fourth quarter showcased a remarkable comeback by Hardaway, who hauled as many as three Lobo defenders on his back as he fought for extra yards on nearly every play.
The Lions scored their third and final touchdown of the night with 10:22 remaining in the game. Pittman’s extra point kick was good for a score of 21-7.
The Lobos scored a second touchdown at 8:45. The kick was good for a score of 21-14.
Hardaway continued to rush for the Lions throughout the remainder of the night. Fumbles, flags and interceptions plagued the fourth quarter up until the final seconds when Dylan Messerly intercepted a Lobo pass with 46 seconds remaining in the game.
The Lions took a final first-and-ten at the Lobo nine-yard line and ran out the last 34 seconds on the clock before declaring a 21-14 victory.
“Our team played at our best in the second half and at a very critical juncture of our season,” Rapp said. “I am very proud of our entire team and the courage they displayed. To come back and win against a very capable Lehman team was just tremendous.”
The Lions had 12 first downs to Lehman’s 11 in the game. Lockhart rushed for 220 yards with 37 carries, and had five completions on 11 attempts for 36 yards with two interceptions, while Lehman rushed 116 yards on 25 carries and had eight completions with 25 attempts for 66 yards and three interceptions.
Hardaway rushed for 149 yards with 29 carries. In addition to his passing stats, Tolley rushed for 74 yards with eight carries.
Receiving for the Lions were Brian Martinez and Kendall Till. Martinez made four receptions good for 29 yards. Till made one reception for seven.
Standouts on defense were three Lions who covered their man and the field well throughout the night. Intercepting for the Lions against the Lobos were Jacob Alvarez, Dylan Messerly and Ryan Houston.
The Lions will host the Manor Mustangs on Friday, Nov. 6.
See you at the game.