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Lions’ rally against Medina Valley falls short

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The Lockhart Lions lost a close one to Medina Valley Friday night at Lions Stadium, falling 21-20 to the Panthers.

The Lions (2-6, 0-3) remain without a win in District 15-5A Division 2, and their next contest takes them on the road to face first-place Alamo Heights, which won a nailbiter against second-place Boerne Champion.

Despite trailing 14 points at one point in the second half, the Lions had a chance to steal the game late against the Panthers, which got their first district win of the season, leaving Lockhart alone in last place with just two games to play.

The second half rally began with a Sean McKinney touchdown run late in the third quarter that made the score 21-14, the Lions got a fourth down stop and got the ball back with good field position and about seven minutes to play. They managed to bleed nearly six minutes off the clock and appeared to have reversed their fortunes when running back Traveon Hopkins plunged into the end zone on a goal-line run for his first touchdown of the season.

An extra point would tie the game and potentially send it to overtime, but a bad snap led to a missed kick by Joseph Suarez, and the Panthers maintained a slim lead.

The Lions had three timeouts remaining and managed to force a punt, recovering the ball with 12 seconds to play.

But deep in his own territory, Lions QB Ashton Dickens threw two straight incompletions to Tay Andrews, with his final throw fluttering out of bounds as the clock struck zero.

After a scoreless first quarter, the Panthers got on the board first when Nick Rash fired a 20-yard touchdown pass to Tristian Hill on fourth down with 9:26 to play in the second quarter.

A Tay Andrews fumble near the Panthers’ goal line on Lockhart’s next possession gave Medina Valley the football, but a few plays later, the Lions returned the favor and forced a fumble.

Dickens began the ensuing drive with a 34-yard drive and finished it with a quarterback sneak for a touchdown to tie the game with just more than three minutes to play in the half, but the Panthers scored on their next drive to go to the locker room with a 14-7 lead that they would extend to 21-7 on a 64-yard pass from Rash to Hill in the third quarter.

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