Lehman running back Jacob Torres (21) set a school record Friday night with 228 yards as the Lobos ran their record to 4-0 with a 42-24 win against Lanier at Bob Shelton Stadium. Photo by Andy Sevilla.
By BILL PETERSON
KYLE — With every passing week, the Lehman Lobos look more and more like a football team. It’s in the way they block and the way they tackle, but it’s especially in the way they walk.
The Lobos took another step through their short history in high school football Friday night, notching an easy 42-24 win against Lanier at Bob Shelton and bringing their record to 4-0. With four wins, the Lobos have set their single-season record in four years of varsity competition.
A skeptic, or a realist, would argue that the Lobos haven’t beaten anyone. Their four opponents are a combined 2-11, with both of those wins coming from Class 1A Riesel. But the skeptic and realist will start to bicker when they get into the details.
The Lobos aren’t far removed from being the team that lost to losers. Now, they’re not merely defeating the losers, but beating them soundly. By accounts, the players are excited enough about their achievements to take their practices seriously. And even head coach Steve Davis, who sees victories for what they are, looks and acts as if there could be something going on here.
“The community is excited,” Davis said. “You can feel it in the community and the school … We’re sitting here 4-0, and we realize that the games get harder. We know we have to get better.”
Now, listen to Jacob Torres, a senior who stands about 5-foot-5 and now is in his third varsity season. With a win next Friday at home against Gonzales, the Lobos would win as many games this year as in Torres’ first two years combined.
Torres ran for 228 yards Friday night, a new school record. As the season began, no one thought Torres would be the man. They thought about Richard Porche or, after the first game, John Martell. But Porche is ailing and Martell was ejected in an unsportsmanlike conduct call on the first play of Friday night’s game. So, Torres ended up taking the ball, and he ran not just fast, but hard.
“It’s all about the win,” Torres said. “We’re more together than ever. Each week is a new week. We’ve got three days to get ready (referring to the Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday practices).”
Davis thought about his coaches, especially defensive coordinator Toby Spivey, offensive coordinator Michael Lamey and special teams coach Brian Hemphill. All three have stuck around since coming on board for the 2007 season. It’s fair to say they’ve taken a few lumps together. Now, they’re starting to see results. Starting to.
The road is still long for Lehman, which is 0-19 in district games since starting varsity football in 2006. But the road signs say they’re going in the right direction. The defense is faster and deeper. The Lobos have competition at all the skill positions. Options. If one guy can’t get it done, someone else might.
Take quarterback, for example. It’s said, in the higher levels of football, that when you have two No. 1 quarterbacks, you have two No. 2 quarterbacks. That might even be true in high school. But that doesn’t matter as much as which guy can move the team at the moment.
The Lobos started with junior Harvest Trammell, who drove the Lobos to touchdowns on their first two possessions so they could take a 14-6 lead in the first quarter. But the offense bogged down after that, throwing two interceptions and punting twice.
So, after halftime, Davis inserted sophomore Matt Anguiano, and the ball club moved again. On the second play of the second half, Torres ran 56 yards for a touchdown, increasing the Lehman lead to 21-6. On their next possession, the Lobos started at the own 10, and Anguiano moved them to the Lanier 36 before holding penalties killed the drive and Lehman punted.
But the Lehman defense came up as it often has this season, with Efrem Johnson making his third fumble recovery of the night at the Lanier 29. And Torres made it count, running 29 yards on the next play to make the Lehman lead 28-6.
Then, Lehman scored touchdowns on its next two possessions. Anguiano’s five-yard touchdown pass to Charles Williams made it 35-12 early in the fourth quarter. Williams ran 24 yards for another touchdown to make it 42-18.
The Lobos finished the night with 515 total yards, 395 of them on the ground. For the season now, the Lobos average 398 yards per game of offense and 251.5 yards per game on defense.
True enough, it’s easy to find computer ratings that claim Lehman’s schedule to be among the very weakest in Class 4A across the state of Texas. But the Lobos are having fun, practicing well, improving on the field and making it work in a big way on the scoreboard.
And they’re not resting on their laurels because, even at 4-0, they don’t have a lot of laurels on which to rest. But they’ve got some possibilities. If they can win a couple games in the district, they chalk up a winning record for the year and, as likely as not, make the playoffs.
The other five District 17-4A teams are a combined 7-13 through Friday night. Which isn’t to say it’s going to be easy.
Hays is 0-4, but with three losses to Class 5A teams. Manor is 0-4 with two straight 41-0 losses, but those came against quality Class 3A programs Liberty Hill and Burnet. Elgin is 1-3, beating Lanier only 28-22 and losing 49-7 Friday night at Pflugerville Hendrickson.
Then, it gets tougher. Lockhart is 3-1 with wins against comparable Class 4A operations like Crockett and Travis. Del Valle is having the best non-district season of any team in the league, 3-1 with wins of 68-12 against Lanier and 36-7 against Hendrickson.
All that is a couple weeks away, which is still pretty quick. The key games shape up as the Oct. 9 meeting at Manor to start the district season, then a home game against Elgin on Oct. 16.
“District is a whole different ball game,” Davis said.
But the way the Lobos are going, they might be about ready to play it.Email | Print