Lions Roar into District
By LPR Staff
It was a big night in for the Lions on Friday night, as they opened District 27-5A play with a bruising defeat of the Seguin Matadors, 41-13.
In addition to being almost powerless to stop the Lions’ slot-T offense, the Lion defense proved a force to be reckoned with, consistently coming through in the clutch
to keep the Matadors out of the end zone.
In what is fast becoming a fact of Lion Football, the Lions struck fast and early, with DJ Ellison padding his stats with a 54-yard carry on the first play of the game, setting the Lions up for their first points on the board, which Ellison scored on a 1-yard push with 9:30 on the clock.
The Matadors answered back almost immediately, as Seguin’s Avion Dora broke free from the Lions’ line for a touchdown. However, the Matadors’ attempt to convert failed, leaving the Lions on the high end of the 7-6 score.
After that, there was little the Matadors could do to stop the one-two rushing punch of Ellison and Stephon Houston, 318 yards, and five of the Lions’ six touchdowns on the night.
“One factor of our team strategy is that our Offense is meant to eat up clock and keep our defense on the sidelines,” Head Coach Brian Herman said. “However, we have been scoring quickly and putting our defense on the field more than in the past.”
That use of the defense, clearly, was more than the Matadors could handle. Despite putting together several nearly-successful drives, Seguin was only able to score once more, late in the first half.
In addition to forcing several turnovers on downs, the Lion Defense came out strong when it mattered, including a shining moment when Greg Rivera snagged an interception at the 1-yard line, keeping the Matadors from a tying touchdown.
“It was huge that our kids rose to the challenge and turning the Matadors away on multiple fourth-down situations, many that kept points off the board,” Herman said.
Meanwhile, the Lion offense gave their teammates only brief periods of rest, marching up and down the field on a mission – the very successful mission of making a strong start in District play.
That they did, with 21 points in the first half, and another 20 in the second, thanks to the efforts of Ellison, Houston, Nick Sanchez, and the strong kicking foot of Juan Ocampo, who punted twice for 76 yards, and made 5-6 point-after attempts.
The win brings the Lions to 3-0 on the season and 1-0 after the first week of District play, which has brought a new excitement to the locker room.
“Everything is really finally clicking,” Houston said after the game. “We’re all doing our jobs, and when we all do our jobs, this is what happens.”
Next up, the Lions will travel to San Antonio to face the Memorial Minutemen on Friday night. Though many see Memorial as one of the weaker teams in the District, averaging only 14 points per game, and giving up more than 60, Herman takes nothing for granted.
“The coaches are going to be tougher on the kids each week,” he said. “Success can put blinders on you if you let it. We are hammering the ‘small’ stuff and focusing on every little detail. We must get better every week. If you are not getting better you are getting worse!”
Week 2 will present what could be a preview of what the season will offer across District 27-5A. During Week 1, the Boerne-Champion Chargers dusted Memorial, 64-14. Alamo Heights bested Kennedy 63-7, and the Kerrville Tivy Antlers rolled Floresville, 67-12.
Week 2, however, has the potential to change how the District shakes out, as the Alamo Heights Mules take on Champion, and Seguin hosts the San Marcos Rattlers in their first District appearance. The Floresville Tigers will take on San Antonio Kennedy, and the Antlers have the bye.
“Our preparation will remain consistent regardless of other teams performances,” Herman said. “Our goal is to play deep into the playoffs. In order to do that constant improvement must be made. Great teams build week to week and reach their peak during the playoffs.”
He also noted he belives that defenses will be more “stingy” going forward, having seen what the Lions are capable of thus far.
“Nobody is taking us lightly anymore,” he said.
The Lions will take on Memorial at the San Antonio Edgewood ISD field at Kennedy High School, 1922 S. General McMullen Dr., San Antonio. The field is located inside Loop 410, in Southwest San Antonio. Kickoff is slated at 7:30 p.m. If you can’t make the game, follow the Post-Register on Facebook and on Twitter @LktPostRegister for constant updates.