By WES FERGUSON
SEGUIN — The Seguin Matadors and their 260-pound running back, P.J. Hall, rumbled to a 40-21 win over the Lehman Lobos on Friday at Matador Stadium.
Four touchdowns in the first half for the Matadors proved insurmountable for the 1-6 Lobos, who fall to 0-4 in District 27-4A. Despite the lopsided loss, the Lobos’ usually anemic offense put together a second-half effort that saw them posting their highest point total so far this season.
“I challenged our kids at halftime to come out, play hard, and come out and fix the way they felt about the way they played in the first half,” Lehman head coach Todd Raymond said. “I thought we battled hard. We just can’t come out and dig ourselves in a hole like we did.”
It took hardly no time for the Lobos to dig themselves in that hole. The Matadors (4-3, 3-1) came out firing deep passes to start the game, scoring two quick touchdowns in the first quarter. First, receiver Ty Miles hauled in a 58-yard scoring bomb from Walker Franz three minutes into the game, then P.J. Hall crashed into the end zone from eight yards out four minutes later.
Down 12-0 in the first quarter, the Lobos responded by posting one of their longest drives of the season. Starting at their own 18-yard line, the Lobos were going nowhere fast when quarterback Paul Matthews fumbled a shotgun snap on third down and was immediately mobbed by the Matadors. But when a Seguin pass rusher decided to throw Matthews down by his facemask, the ensuing penalty gave the Lobos a 15-yard gift, a fresh set of downs and a burst of confidence.
On the next play, Lobo running back J.R. Torres fielded a short pass from Matthews and extended it 16 yards around the left end for another first down, and Matthews rattled off four runs to bring the Lobos to their own 25-yard line, where rusher Paul Brown chipped in with his own 15-yard gain through a gap behind the right guard, before being tripped up and diving to the 8-yard line.
The drive seemed to give the young Lobos some momentum that had been lacking in previous games. In the third quarter, safety Tyler Hyss stuffed the 6-foot-2 Hall for a two-yard gain at the 30-yard line, and defensive back Kyron Morrissette broke up a deep pass to force a Matador punt that Nick Tamez nearly blocked. With the rushed punt reaching just the 50-yard line the Lobo offense finally had decent field position to work with.
Subbing in at receiver, Hyss took a reverse handoff from running back Paul Brown to the 42-yard marker, and Brown and quarterback Paul Matthews took turns pounding the ball to the 16-yard line. Brown crashed through a big gap created by the left guard and tackle for a hard-fought gain to the 4, then ran the same play untouched into the end zone to narrow the gap to 27-14 with 6:32 to go in the third quarter.
When the Lobos’ next offensive possession fizzled later in the third quarter, however, Franz lofted a 41-yard touchdown pass to Colton Applewhite on the very next play. The Matadors added their final touchdown less than two minutes into the fourth quarter when Hall took a handoff up the middle from the 14-yard line, spun away from Hyss’s tackle attempt, knocked over a referee and ricocheted into the end zone.
With the Lobos back on offense, the Seguin defense was whistled for a pair of 15-yard penalties that ushered the Lobos down the field to the Matador 15-yard line. Matthews handled the shotgun snap on the next play and scampered in for the final touchdown of the night.
Brown led the Lobos with 68 yards on 19 carries, despite being ejected for a penalty in the fourth quarter, while Matthews added 48 yards on 16 rushes. He also completed 4 of 12 passes for 38 yards.
First-half penalties hurt the Lobos, but Lehman players said they were proud of the way they fought back in the second half.
“I feel like we are starting to learn how to put points on the board,” said defensive back and tight end Tyler Dodero, who notched his first interception when he stepped in front of a Franz pass and returned it 23 yards in the fourth quarter.
“We tried hard,” added sophomore right tackle Julian Silguero. “We did our jobs, and we tried to come back. We have to keep pushing and getting our blocks, and trying to get the team motivated.”
Seguin’s Hall led all rushers with 99 yards on 12 carries, all but two of the touches coming in the first half, while Franz completed 15 of 31 passes for 218 yards — four of those passes finding receiver Ty Miles for 97 yards, all in the first half.
The Lobos face another tough test next Friday as they play host to Kerrville Tivy, which fell into a two-way tie with Hays for second place in District 27-4A after losing to the undefeated Alamo Heights Mules on Friday. It was Tivy’s first district loss since 2009. The Lobos and Antlers will kickoff next Friday at Shelton Stadium at 7:30 p.m.