Varsity Lions fall 21-20 to rival Hays Rebels
By Alonzo Garza
The Varsity Lions fell 21-20 in a heartbreaking loss to the Hays Rebels who earned their 300th game win for Rebel Coach Bob Shelton, at the Bob Shelton Stadium on Friday, Oct. 17.
“I am very proud of our boys,” Head Coach Troy Moses said. “We played some of the best football we have played all year long. I felt we came
out the second half and played some really great football. I want to say congratulations to Coach Shelton and his staff on their 300th win.”
The Lions started the game on the 24-yard line with Tyler Tolley as quarterback. The first quarter began with a couple of sacks against Tolley.
“We really came out flat defensively Friday night,” Coach Ernie Bustamante said. “You can’t do anything against a quality program like Hays if you’re flat. We spotted them 14 points before we realized that ‘the lights were on’ and it was ‘Friday night.’”
At 7:16, the Rebels took over at the 40-yard line. By 5:58, Hays had a first-and-10 on the Lion’s 33-yard line and called a time out. At 5:19, the Rebels scored the first touchdown of the night with a 19-yard touchdown run by Torrance Smith for a 6-0 score. The kick failed. There was no further scoring in the first.
“After the first quarter we were able to pick up our game and compete,” Bustamante said. “With a few adjustments, we were able to shut down Hays until the last drive of the contest. That is the one phase of our game that we have to improve if we are going to make the playoffs. We have to step up as a unit and meet challenges. After viewing game film the last three weeks, our young men realize that we are four to six plays away from being at least 6-1 an 2-0 in District 17-4A.”
Hays came out swinging in the second quarter, scoring a 51-yard touchdown run at 11:17 when Trey Berry took the ball and fled from the Lions. A two-point conversion attempt with a Ryan Slaughter pass from Berry was good for a score of
After having a hard time penetrating the Hays defense, the Lions answered with 9-yard touchdown run by Kory Robbins at 5:57. Michael Pittman’s kick was good for a 14-7 score. The Lions drove the ball 59 yards in 10 plays to earn the touchdown.
At 1:54, Richard Ybarra broke away for a 39-yard run to the Hays 25-yard line. After a pass to Randy Castillo was ruled as “caught” at the 1-yard line by a line official and dropped by a field official, the Lion fans roared in disagreement. The Lions pressed on only to have a Tolley pass intercepted and returned for 49 yards by a Rebel with 25 seconds to go in the first half.
Dominique Hardaway thwarted the Hays attempt at another touchdown with an interception with three seconds on the clock. The first half ends at 14-7 with Hays in the lead.
The second half began slowly with both teams trying to remain composed. At 6:28, Ybarra scored a 32-yard touchdown run to tie the score at 14 after Pittman’s kick led scoring in the third. The Lions moved the ball 52 yards in seven plays for the touchdown.
At 3:52 Ybarra broke through again. This time he was stopped by Rebels at the 3-yard line after a 67-yard run. At a first-and-goal, the Lions used Hardaway to make the touchdown. Pittman’s kick failed for a score of 14-20 and the Lions in the lead. It took the Lions a three-play scoring drive to cover 72 yards.
The fourth quarter began with the Lions pumped up and ready to finish the game. Unfortunately, the Rebels had different plans, and they followed through. A 60-yard touchdown run by Trace Grandy with 2:42 remaining tied the score at 20. A successful extra point kick by Alex Perez and an interception by the Rebels on a Tolley pass sealed the win for Hays. The game ended at 21-20.
“Our backs are against the wall,” Bustamante said. “The game against Elgin on Friday night is critical. Our young men have to mentally prepare themselves to play the game of their young lives. It should be another nail-biter!”
“We are getting better every week and we are starting to play our best at the right time,” Moses said. “I am very excited about the next few weeks. We have an opportunity to do some great things and we still have a long season in front of us.”
Hardaway is currently ranked number one in the Austin American Statesman’s Central Texas High School Football Statistics for rushing a total of 1130 yards in 166 carries.
The Lions hosted Elgin at Lion Field for a “Junior High Night” game on Friday, Oct. 24 at 7:30 p.m.
Check next week”s Post-Register for highlights and details.