Lockhart senior scores uplifting touchdown
With one second left in Friday night’s varsity football game, Lockhart Lions Head Coach Todd Moebes had time for one more play. As the team broke from the huddle, senior Desmond Pulliam, who has autism, took the spot in the backfield.
At the snap, quarterback Jackie Edwards Jr. handed the ball off and Pulliam broke down the sideline for a huge 60-yard run. When he crossed the goal line, the Lions crowd erupted in cheers. The cowbells clanged, the band played, and Pulliam’s teammates sprinted towards the end zone to congratulate him.
On Senior Night, that was the ending this team needed. It wasn’t the elusive game-winning touchdown the Lion’s have been searching for all season. But it was a joyous moment in what has been a trying year.
“Desmond is a great member of our football team,” Moebes said after the game. “He did a tremendous job, and showed a lot of speed.”
Pulliam scored earlier this season during a scrimmage with Bastrop. This was the senior’s first touchdown during the regular season.
“As I told him at the post-game speech,” Moebes said, “I think he’s gotten a little faster. Real proud of him.”
Pulliam’s 60-yard prance down the Lockhart sideline gave the Lion’s their second touchdown of the night. Unfortunately it wasn’t enough to beat a tough Alamo Heights Mules team, sending the Lions to their eighth straight loss 37-18.
The Mules came out firing, scoring on three plays to open the game 7-0. On their ensuing offensive drive, the Lions quickly went three-and-out leading them to punt from near their own goal line.
The snap sailed over punter Alfredo Jaimes-Jaimes’ head resulting in a safety. The play quickly left Lockhart in a 9-0 hole, and a Mules touchdown on their next drive had them up 15-0 by the middle of the first quarter.
Despite the hardship, the Lions didn’t give up, continuing to show fight on both sides of the ball. The defense put up a huge three-and-out defensive stop with 5:17 remaining the first quarter, but it was a costly one.
Junior Jesael Batres injured his lower leg on the play and had to be taken off the field. Batres raised his fist up as he left the field as his teammates and the crowd cheered him on.
The Lions offense responded with a long drive resulting in a field goal with 1:52 remaining in the first quarter.
The defense continued to hold Alamo Heights and the Lion’s offense put together another impressive drive resulting in a Jordan Garcia touchdown. He finished the night with 13 carries for 68 yards.
Alamo Heights went in with a 22-9 lead at halftime and never looked back. Their potent offense put up another 15 points in the second half sending them to an easy 37-18 victory over the Lions. The Mules are now undefeated in district play, and in first place in the standings.
Following the game, the 16 senior members of the varsity football team, along with the senior band, cheerleaders, and drill team members, participated in The Last Walk. The Lockhart tradition gives the senior class one final walk from end zone to end zone of Lions Stadium.
This year’s line stretched sideline to sideline. As the seniors walked, some laughed, some cried. Pulliam twirled the game ball in his hands. This Friday evening hadn’t been victorious, but the team had something to be proud of.
“I’m proud of them. Life is tough right now. But the thing is, we have great players like Desmond, who has done twice this year. Our senior class, there’s not many of them. They are 16 strong. And I say strong with the utmost respect for them,” Coach Moebes said. “It’s certainly not the way that we planned it, not the way we envisioned it. But certainly respect for these [seniors] and what they’ve been able to do. What they are doing for the Lockhart community is going to pay dividends over the next couple of years.”