Season ends for Lions in 29-7 play-off loss
By Reggie Brown
In simplistic terms, it would be fair to say that Knight quarterback Ben McMahan, along with his big offensive line, scored the points in McCallum”s 29-7 victory over Lockhart Friday night. And although it would be unfair to say Lockhart”s follies completely lied in turnovers and bad tackling, the Lions did give the district champs
a tough challenge that the scoreboard didn”t reflect.
Lockhart”s turnover problems began in the first quarter when McCallum linebacker Bryan Garcia recovered a Lockhart fumble on Lockhart”s own 28-yard line. Two plays later Jerald Cooper scored on the 23-yard touchdown run. The extra point sailed wide left and McCallum was up 6-0.
With 4:35 left in the first quarter the Lions defense played well. As Knights” quarterback threw a lateral towards the sidelines, defensive back Nick Jones reacted quickly by converging on the receiver and making a sure open field tackle. That created fourth down and a failed field goal attempt by McCallum. Several more times in the game, Lockhart”s defense outplayed their much larger opponent.
The special teams game hurt Lockhart. Joey Uker”s punt was deflected and McCallum recovered, which left only three yards for McMahan to do a quarterback sneak into the end zone. On the two-point conversion, Mark Shelton made a hard hit and helped keep McCallum”s runningback from scoring the two-point conversion.
Lockhart”s offense then put a good drive together. On a first down, Willie Hill found twelve yards to the outside and another first down. On the next play, the ball was snapped and McCallum”s huge defensive line destroyed any chance of hope up the middle. Jacob Alvarez saw the read and faked the handoff to the dive-back up the middle. He pulled the ball out and made a run for the outside. As he ran to the outside, two McCallum tacklers hit him hard. But right before they hit him, Alvarez pitched the ball to Thomas Collins, as his speed turned him up the sidelines for a well executed play in a long drive. Lockhart pushed the ball down the field until they got to the land of too far for a field goal, too close to punt. On a fourth-and-seven, Alvarez faked the handoff and rolled out to the outside, firing a pass to the sidelines. The pass was just off the hands of the receiver and out of bonds. Lockhart turned the ball over to McCallum.
The turnover would result in points. In a whirling display of moves, McCallum quarterback Ben McMahan had one of the best runs in the best night of his high school career. He would sporadically scamper in between spins and jukes, which left many Lion defenders with empty tackles. McMahan left a discouraged Lion defense in his path on a 45-yard touchdown run and put the score at 19-0 McCallum.
Lockhart”s next drive was good, but again they narrowly came up short. Joey Uker made a good firstdown run and took a smart, well-managed control of his offense. After not much happening up the middle, Uker drew the defensive line offsides on fourth down, for a first down. When the third down came up, Zapata received the handoff on an end-around play from the wide receiver position. He narrowly made the first down and on the next play, a roll out pass was made to Travis Grogan for an 8-yard catch. Lockhart was threatening to score, but the next snap was fumbled and Uker was sacked back to McCallum”s thirty yard line. On a third-and-ten, Uker lined up in the shotgun with no running backs in the backfield, executed a well-timed quarterback draw, which again narrowly made the first down inside the twenty. On a second-and-ten, with 35 seconds left in the half, Uker threw a pass to Thomas Collins in the end zone, which came up incomplete. On the next play Lockhart would suffer a false start penalty, which would make David Moore”s field goal a 41-yard attempt instead of a 31-yard attempt. The kick was just short, with 16.3 seconds left in the first half.
Lockhart”s defense came out strong in the second half. They stopped McCallum on two straight plays, then again on a third-and-one, forcing a punt. The next set of downs for Lockhart brought a good firstdown run by Willie Hill, and a third down completion to wide receiver Michael Spears. However the completion was three yards short and forced a Uker punt. In the true form of “iron-man” football, Uker stepped back from the quarterback position, kicked a beautiful forty-yard punt and prepared to play defense. The Lions had more players playing both sides of the field than McCallum.
Later, Lockhart started another good drive, but once again did not score. Lockhart”s interception gave the ball back to McCallum. On a 64-yard run, McMahan scored his third touchdown of the night. Later a 37-yard field goal would increase McCallum”s lead 29-0 midway through the fourth quarter.
Lockhart never gave up. With no chance of winning, the Lions made one last drive for the sake of the game. Willie Hill ran eleven yards for the last touchdown of the game.
Congratulations to the Lockhart Lion”s football team for a well-played season and for being the second team in thirty-three years to make the playoffs. Coach Monsen would also like to thank all the Lockhart fans for traveling to the games and supporting the team.