By WES FERGUSON
SAN ANTONIO — The second snap of Friday’s football game against Alamo Heights pretty well captures the promise and the continued struggle of the Lehman Lobos’ young offense this season.
Running back Paul Brown took the handoff and tore through a gash in the line of scrimmage, dodging tacklers and sprinting 48 yards up the middle of the field. The big run would have set up a first down deep inside Mules territory, but the quick strike was negated when Brown was stripped from behind and the Mules fell on the football at the 19-yard-line.
Lehman (1-5, 0-3 in District 27-4A) never recovered en route to a 35-0 thrashing at Orem Stadium in San Antonio.
“When we go out and have a good play and that happens to us, it gives the kids the feeling that we’re snakebit,” head coach Todd Raymond said. “It’s the little things like that. It is frustrating for the kids, and we’ve got to do a better job of getting them ready to play.”
The Mules (5-1, 3-0) immediately capitalized on the fumble recovery. On Alamo Heights’ first time to touch the ball, the Mules gave it to star running back Byron Proctor, who darted around the left end, then cut right and sprinted back across the field to the visitors’ sideline. He rumbled 56 yards before the Lobos could tackle him at the 24-yard line.
Two plays later, quarterback Kalen Brockwell took the snap from the shotgun formation, found a seam behind his left guard, and punched in a 10-yard touchdown run less than three minutes into the game.
Alamo Heights scored twice more in the second quarter, when Proctor broke loose again for a 77-yard scoring run with 8:56 to go, and again when Brockwell tossed a 25-yard touchdown pass to Cole Bailey seven minutes later.
The second half was quieter for the Mules’ offense, with Proctor resting after gaining all but 10 of his game-leading 158 yards in the first and second quarters. Midway through the third frame, Brockwell added a 2-yard touchdown run, and backup quarterback Scott Uhl completed a 12-yard touchdown pass to Jake Osborne with 8:52 to go in the fourth.
Brown, playing one day after having surgery on a broken nose, led the Lobos’ offensive attack with 135 yards on 24 carries. Quarterback Paul Matthews got the starting nod and played almost the entire game, completing 6 of 14 passes for 50 yards and one interception, including a 33-yard pass to Kelton Powell. Matthews added 40 rushing yards on 16 carries.
Raymond blamed himself and his coaching staff for the team’s poor performance.
“We came out flat tonight,” he said. “It’s not really about who we play, it’s about us correcting those errors and keep trying to work hard and get those things fixed.”
The Mule offense beat the Lobos almost entirely on the ground, rushing for 287 yards while throwing for just 40. With the Lobos bringing frequent pressure to quarterback Brockwell, defensive tackle Kris Hernandez sacked him twice.
Linebackers Ben Mitchell and Nick Tamez said the defense had too many blown assignments, allowing Proctor and other Mules rushers beat them to the outside.
“This hurts,” linebacker Nick Tamez said. “This can’t happen again.”
“We work way too hard to let this happen,” Mitchell added. “We have to go back to work, forget about it, not even think about it.”
Lehman travels to Seguin on Oct. 19. Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. Center Cruz Banda said the Lobos would bounce back and be ready for the Matadors.
“We made a lot of small mistakes tonight,” he said. “We’ve got to take care of that in practice and position ourselves to do a lot better.
“We’re trying to stay together and not fall apart.”