Lions run into Vets Memorial juggernaut￼
By Kyle Mooty
CONVERSE — For the second time in three games Lockhart ran into an offensive juggernaut as Veterans Memorial knocked off the Lions, 49–42, in a shootout at D.W. Rutledge Stadium Friday night.
Junior running back James Peoples had 366 yards rushing with five touchdowns as the Patriots rolled up 607 yards of offense.
Lockhart also had an offensive explosion itself with 573 yards. However, the Lions turned the ball over three times, including twice on kickoffs. The turnovers allowed Veterans Memorial two more possessions and six more plays from scrimmage than Lockhart.
LHS dropped to 4-2 overall and 1-1 in District 13. Veterans Memorial improved to 4-1 and 2-0. The Patriots had the week off leading up to hosting Lockhart, which now has the week off before hosting District powerhouse Liberty Hill (5–1) at Lions Stadium on Oct. 14.
There was a total of 1,180 yards of offense, but recoveries of an onsides kick and a pop-up kickoff by the Patriots were the keys in turning the momentum in the wrong direction for visiting Lockhart, which held a fourth-quarter lead against the Patriots but were unable to close it out.
Junior quarterback Ashton Dickens rushed for 213 yards (two scores) and passed for 139, while senior running back Sean McKinney added another 141 and three TDS on the ground. Diante Jackson had a 76-yard touchdown run on his only attempt in the first quarter. Omar Ocampo was true all six PATs for the Lions.
“We’re playing some good offensive football teams,” Lockhart Head Coach Todd Moebes said. “I’m sure their coach would have the same evaluation of our offense.”
The Patriots scored on five possessions of five plays or less. They also scored following an onsides-kick recovery in the first quarter, a fake punt in the third quarter, and the “pooch kickoff” in the fourth period.
The wild and woolly scoring in the first quarter began with each team turning the ball over within five seconds of each other, first an interception by the Patriots, then a fumble recovery by Lockhart’s Trey Brown following a wide receiver-pass by Veterans Memorial. Two plays later, Diante Jackson took a handoff on a wide receiver sweep and sprinted 76 yards for the touchdown. Ocampo kicked the PAT and with 19:10 left in the first period, Lockhart led 7-0.
Veterans Memorial answered with a four-play, 75-yard drive, capped off by Peoples’ 11-yard TD run with 9:37 left in the opening frame. Rafael Nunez booted the PAT to knot the score at 7-7.
Dickens sprinted 58 yards on Lockhart’s next play from scrimmage, and McKinney handled matters from there with a 12-yard TD run. Ocampo’s kick made it 14-7 LHS with 8:55 left in the first quarter.
Veterans Memorial scored three plays later to tie the game at 14-14 when quarterback Christopher Irving ran it in from 10 yards out with 8:05 left in the period. The Patriots chose to onsides-kick and they recovered at the Lockhart 48. Three plays later they were back in the end zone and leading for the first time at 21-14 with 7:28 left in the first when Irving connected with Raki Brazile on a 27-yard pass. Nunez was again true on the PAT.
Within 2:42 of play, five touchdowns had been scored in the game.
However, the scoring was not over in the first as Lockhart tied the game at 21-21 with 1:54 left in the first. Dickens sprinted 76 yards to the VMHS three, and McKinney scored on the next play from there. Ocampo’s kick was true.
LHS regained the lead on a six-play drive that ended when McKinney followed the blocking of Brady Stephenson across the goal line with 10:14 left in the second period. Ocampo booted the PAT for a 28-21 lead and with 10:14 left in the half, that would be all the scoring until the second half.
Veterans Memorial didn’t score for more than 30 minutes of playing time but pulled within 28-27 following a 38-yard jaunt up the middle by Peoples with 1:03 left in the third quarter. Nunez’s PAT failed.
However, another kicking game miscue by Lockhart, this time failing to recover a “pooch” kickoff, left the Patriots the ball at the LHS 21. Peoples scored from two yards out on fourth-and-2 with 11:24 left in the game. Irving ran in the two-pointer for a 35-28 VMHS lead.
“(The Patriots) just had too many possessions,” Moebes said. “We’ve got to be more aware on kickoffs. We can’t turn the ball over as many times as we did.”
Lockhart’s offense did its part again, driving 68 yards in just six plays to tie the game. Dickens scored on a three-yard keeper, and Ocampo kicked the PAT and with 8:32 remaining to tie things at 35-35.
It took all of one play for the Patriots to find the end zone again and reclaim the lead as Peoples sprinted off right guard 67 yards to paydirt. Nunez’s kick made it 42-35 with 8:15 remaining.
After another 67-yard run by Peoples was called back due to holding, Veterans Memorial took a 49-35 lead with 1:56 left when Peoples scored his fifth TD on a 19-yard run. Nunez added the PAT.
Lockhart got its final TD with 38 seconds remaining on Dickens’ one-yard run. Ocampo’s PAT made it 49-42, but the Lions were unable to recover an onsides kick attempt and the Patriots managed to run out the remaining time.
“I thought we played better as a whole,” Moebes said. “They were just a great offensive football team.”
Liberty Hill is 5-1 and 2-0 after crushing Cedar Creek, 70-10, Friday night. The Panthers beat Kerrville Tivy in their first District game, 63-6.
“We had a couple of days off from school and we are using that to our advantage,” Moebes said. “We’ve been going strong since Aug. 1, so this is a good time for us for this to come.
“Liberty Hill is the elite of the district and possibly the state. They have one of the highest scoring offenses in the state of Texas.”
Veterans Memorial gets to travel to Liberty Hill this week.
The Lions are still evaluating standout defensive lineman Derik Rivas, who missed the game vs. Veterans Memorial after suffering a lower back injury the previous week at home against Cedar Creek.
* * *
5A-2, Region IV District 13
Liberty Hill 2-0 5-1
Veterans Memorial 1-0 4-1
Pieper 1-0 1-4
Lockhart 1-1 4-2
Bastrop 1-1 1-5
Tivy 0-2 2-4
Cedar Creek 0-2 0-6
Sept. 23 games
Veterans Memorial 49, Lockhart 42
Liberty Hill 70, Cedar Creek 10
Bastrop 30, Tivy 27
Pieper was open
Oct. 7 schedule
Veterans Memorial at Liberty Hill
Cedar Creek at Bastrop
Tivy at Pieper
Lockhart is open
Score by Quarters
Lockhart 21 7 0 14 — 42
Veterans Memorial 21 0 6 22 — 49
TEAM STATS Lockhart Vets Mem.
First Downs 19 24
Rushes-Yards 44-434 47-410
Passing 8-20-1 13-23-0
Passing Yards 139 197
Total Yards 573 607
Punts-Avg. 3-30.0 4-32.5
Penalties-Yards 6-51 9-90
Fumbles-Lost 2-2 2-1
Time of Possession 24:44 23:16
LOCKHART — Dickens 19-213, McKinney 23-141, Jackson 1-76, Garcia 1-4. VETERANS MEMORIAL — Peoples 34-366, Irving 10-43, Drake 1-7, Dixon 2-(-6).
LOCKHART — Dickens 8-20-1-139. VETERANS MEMORIAL — Irving 12-22-0-160, Dixon 1-1-0-37.
LOCKHART — Garcia 2-69, Herzog 2-37, McKinney 4-21. VETERANS MEMORIAL — Brazile 6-97, Drake 3-49, Roberts 2-27, Dixon 1-6.
* * *
LOCKHART — Jackson 76 run (Ocampo kick), 10:10. VETERANS MEMORIAL — Peoples 11 run (Nunez kick), 9:37
LOCKHART — McKinney 12 run (Ocampo kick), 8:55
VETERANS MEMORIAL — Irving 10 run (Nunez kick), 8:05
VETERANS MEMORIAL — Brazile 27 pass from Irving (Nunez kick)
LOCKHART — McKinney 3 run (Ocampo kick), 1:54
LOCKHART — McKinney 8 run (Ocampo kick), 10:14
VETERANS MEMORIAL — Peoples 38 run (kick fail), 1:03
VETERANS MEMORIAL — Peoples 2 run (Irving run), 11:24
LOCKHART — Dickens 3 run (Ocampo kick), 8:32
VETERANS MEMORIAL — Peoples 67 run (Nunez kick), 8:15
VETERANS MEMORIAL — Peoples 19 run (Nunez kick), 1:56
LOCKHART — Dickens 1 run (Ocampo kick), :38