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Lehman Lobos suffer Dawg bite

By Moses Leos III

It seemed the Lehman Lobos had things under control Friday after holding the Bowie Bulldogs to seven points in the first quarter of their district opener. 

But a 28-point second quarter Bowie surge was too much for Lehman in a 42-13 defeat at Burger Stadium in Austin. 

“We got tired and lost our mental focus a little bit. We made some mistakes,” Lehman head coach Todd Raymond said. “They are a good football team. When you make mistakes against a good football team, you pay for it.” 

Lehman’s defense held firm in the first 12 minutes of play. The Lobos adjusted to the Bulldogs’ up-tempo style, limiting Bowie to one touchdown — a three-yard strike from running back Cole Martin. 

A total team effort led to Lehman’s success, which was focused on stopping Bowie’s prolific offense. 

“We were in the game. Everyone was flying to the ball,” linebacker Kacey Santos said. “Everyone was getting their calls; we had good communication.” 

However, Lehman’s offense couldn’t get the ball rolling against the Bulldog defense. The Lobos failed to cross the midfield stripe in four first quarter drives. Only once did the Lobos reach Bowie territory in the first half of play.  

Lobo quarterback Jeremy Schilhab attributed some issues to a flat start. Bowie’s size and tactics also created problems, primarily in the passing game. Bowie’s defense forced three interceptions in the first half, two in the second quarter. 

“From the outside, it was hard to see [the field]. They were bringing pressure,” Schilhab said. “As soon as I stepped up in the pocket, they would have someone there. It was constant pressure. It was frustrating, actually.” 

Bowie’s stifling defense allowed their offense time to wake up in the second quarter. Over a nine-minute span, Bowie tallied 21 points on offense. Bulldog quarterback Preston Wheeler led the charge, tossing two touchdown passes in the second quarter. Wheeler finished with 160 passing yards before exiting with an injury. 

Lehman also struggled to stop running back Andre Washington, who carried the ball nine times for 92 yards on the night. 

“They are balanced. That’s the kicker. [Bowie is] good. They are a good offense,” Raymond said. 

The Bulldogs capped off the half with an interception for a touchdown by defensive back Zachary Velasquez as time expired. 

Trailing 35-0 at the half, Santos said the team focused on playing “for pride and heart and your team.” It was a mentality forwarded by Raymond in the locker room at intermission. 

“My mentality is I’m not going to lie down and quit. I don’t want our kids to lie down and quit,” Raymond said. 

Bowie tallied one more touchdown in the third quarter before the Lobos responded. Led by Schilhab, the Lobos marched 78 yards on 11 plays, ending with Schilhab scoring on a four-yard run. 

They repeated a similar feat in the fourth quarter, going 84 yards on 12 plays, aided by a scintillating 20-yard pass from Schilhab to wide receiver Jon Herrera. Schilhab finished off the drive by notching his second score of the game. 

Halftime adjustments allowed the Lobos to thrive in the final 24 minutes. Schilhab said running outside made a difference. Cutting down lineman, instead of blocking upright, allowed the Lobos to thrive. 

Schilhab led Lehman in rushing and passing. He gained 194 total yards, 120 through the air. 

But for the Lobos, the inability to string four consistent quarters together was an issue. It’s something Raymond hopes to focus on against Akins on Friday. 

“We have got to play four periods (of football),” Raymond said. “We got to learn when we get fatigued, that we have to stay focused and eliminate mental mistakes.”

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