Lions fall 28-13 to Gregory-Portland Wildcats
By Alonzo Garza
The Gregory-Portland Wildcats came to Lockhart to win on Friday, Sept. 26. They handed the Lions their first loss of the season on home turf, defeating the Lions 28-13 in four hard-fought quarters.
“Last February, when I scheduled the game with Gregory-Portland, I had a good idea what type of team we would be facing,” He
ad Coach Troy Moses said. “They were a tough, physical, play-off caliber team. I think our kids will take a lot from this game that is going to help us down the road.”
No game had been so anticipated by the Lion coaches or players this season, and the excitement was palpable. The stadium was decorated maroon and white with flags flapping in the breeze across the stands and Lion banners were fastened to the fence around the field. Maroon and white balloons and streamers accented the rails in the stands, but the most impressive decoration of the night was the spirited Lion fans that packed the stands.
“The atmosphere around the stadium Friday night was great,” Moses said. “That is what Texas high school football is supposed to feel like. I had not felt that much anticipation before a game in quite time. There is no reason each and every Friday night can”t be like that… What a great feeling that was!”
The Wildcats controlled most of the game, with exception of the first quarter when the Lions exploded onto Lion Field with fire in their bellies.
The Lions scored early in the first with a 68-yard touchdown run by Dominique Hardaway. The extra point kick by Michael Pittman was good for a score of 7-0.
The Wildcats answered with a 72-yard touchdown run and a good kick of their own to end the first with a tie at 7.
Second quarter scoring began after Wildcat sophomore quarterback, Kyle Fishbeck, made a 1-yard touchdown run with 6:05 remaining. The extra point kick was good for a score of 7-14. After a couple of 5-yard penalties and with less than two minutes in the quarter, the Wildcats punted. The punt was long and went deep into Lion territory. Attempts to gain yards by Zachary Leija and Hardaway were pushed back by the Wildcats, ending the first half at 7-14.
“Going into this ball game we knew Gregory-Portland would be a great test for us,” Coach Ernie Bustamante said. “We knew they could be explosive and that they would be the most physical team we have played this year. Still, we were extremely pleased with the effort of our young men.”
The third quarter seemed to go by in a flash. Both teams played hard and kept each other from scoring until the last minute. The most excitement came when the Wildcats scored with a 21-yard touchdown pass followed by a good kick ending the third at 7-21.
The fourth quarter began with the Lions scoring at 8:18. Kory Robbins made a touchdown with a 2-yard run. Pittman”s kick failed for a score of 13-21. The Wildcats scored their fourth touchdown of the night at 4:23 remaining in the game. The extra point kick was good for a final score of 13-28.
“We are continuing to show improvement in all phases of our defense,” Bustamante said. “As the confidence of our players grows, we have been able to scheme opponents better. Linebackers Kory Robbins, Stacey Bell and Adam Renteria each had an outstanding night for us.”
Gregory-Portland had seven penalties in the game costing them a total of 40 yards while Lockhart had only one penalty for a loss of 10 yards. Hardaway rushed for 120 yards in the game. Leija rushed for 52 yards and Robbins for 31.
“We anxiously anticipate opening district play next week,” Bustamante said. “Without a doubt, we feel we have as good a chance as any other team of winning the district title. It should be a fun and exciting race to finish.”
The Lions will not play on Friday, Oct. 3, but they will continue to prepare for their district opener. The Lions will host the Del Valle Cardinals at Lion Field on Friday. Oct. 10 at 7:30 p.m.
See you at the game.