by Chris Boehm
Mistakes on offense hindered Lehman’s chance to end a five-game skid and upend the top team in District 26-4A.
Lehman fell to Steele at Schertz CISD Stadium Friday night, failing to take advantage of penalties, turnovers and a stingy effort by its defense against the Knights (6-0, 4-0 26-4A).
“;We’ve been our own worst enemy on offense,” said Lehman coach Steve Davis. “;We’re still having busted assignments and mental breakdowns.”
Steele quarterback Jacob Trevino orchestrated three scoring drives in the first half, completing five of seven passes for 73 yards. The junior ended the night with 114 yards and three touchdowns.
The Knights scored just once in the second half on a Lehman defense that held the opposition to 222 yards and just 74 on the ground.
“;I was proud of the defense,” Davis said. “;They played a great game.”
Running back R.J. Hardaway led Lehman on offense with 88 yards on 19 carries, including a 17-yarder late in the third quarter that put his team on the Steele 26-yard line.
Two Hardaway runs later, Lehman had first down at the 16, but the Lobos only picked up two yards the next three plays. Davis elected to attempt a field goal, which Jacques Rogers’ missed after banging the kick off the left goal post.
It was that kind of night for the Lobos, who had drives of 13, 11 and eight plays end with no points.
“;It’s like we’ve hit this block and we can’t get in the end zone,” said quarterback Chad Miles. “;The defense got us the ball and we couldn’t do anything with it.”
Trevino put his team up 7-0 in the opening quarter on a pass to Brent Lambert on the Knights’ first possession. Lehman took over on offense but went nowhere and set up to punt for the second time in as many drives. But a roughing-the-punter penalty against Steele gave Lehman new life and a first down at its own 19.
“;That just being undisciplined,” said Steele coach Mike Jinks of his teams 13 flags. “;We’ve got some big games coming up and if we want to win those we’re going to need to fix that.”
The Lobos immediately took advantage of its second chance. Hardaway picked up eight yards on a run then Miles moved the chains with an 11-yard option keeper. A run by Miles set up second-and-one, allowing the Lobos to burn a down with a bit of trickery.
Hardaway took the ball on a sweep right then pulled up to attempt a pass to receiver John Martell, who was wide open after beating his man down the side line. But the running back’s pass fell short on a play that could have tied the game.
Hardaway picked up the first down on a short run, but a play later Miles found himself under pressure and forced an ill-advised throw going down. Steele’s John Bailey picked off Miles pass, returning it 24 yards to the Lobo 13.
Two plays later the Knights were ahead 14-0 following a Trevino pass to Anthony Foster, who took the ball away from Lehman corner back John Martell before landing in the back of the end zone.
Lehman’s offense could not move the ball consistently in the first half with the game’s outcome still in the air. Twice in the first half Lobo drives ended on turnovers immediately after holding the Knights to a punt or forcing a turnover.
The first took place after holding the Knights to a six-play, nine-yard drive highlighted by a sack on third down by Caleb Frank and Riccardo Carillo. Following Steele’s punt Lehman started a drive from its 27, but only got off two plays before Chad Miles fumbled the ball away.
“;That’s crucial,” Davis said. “;If you get turnovers you’ve got to capitalize and execute. Getting take-aways isn’t enough. You’ve got to turn them into points.”
Steele responded with a two-play drive of its own, but one with a slightly different result. After an eight-yard run, Trevino found Lee Hinze wide open on a play-action to give the Knights a 21-0 lead midway through the second quarter.