Struggles in stringing together momentum led to troubles for the Lehman Lobos football team in a 17-0 home opening loss to the McCallum Knights Friday at Shelton Stadium.
Breakdowns on defense and missed chances on offense were the downfalls for the Lobos, head coach Bruce Salmon said.
“We didn’t play real good,” Salmon said. “Defensively we played pretty good at times, gave up a couple big plays in third down situations. A lot of them continued drives. Special teams we really didn’t have any spark. On offense we struggled to string together four good plays.”
Lehman’s defense was stout in stopping the run game, but big plays by Knights’ Jaxon Rosales and Takai Satberry in the first half tilted the game to McCallum’s favor.
Rosales connected with Satberry on a 46-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter, then hit him again in the second frame on a 9-yard touchdown fade pass into the back corner of the end zone. McCallum led Lehman 14-0 at halftime.
“We had a lot of good plays,” Salmon said about the Lobos defense. “We had a couple breakdowns as far as containment and stuff like that. So, it’s real important that we get those things taken care of. Overall we are much improved from last year. We’ve got to be consistent across the board though.”
While the defense held its own for most of the game, Lehman’s offense struggled to put points on the board.
The Lobos moved the ball at times and drove to the Knights’ 30-yard line on four separate occasions.
All four drives failed, with the Lobos turning the ball over on downs three times, along with a missed field goal attempt that bounced off of the crossbar.
“You know we were down there four times inside the 30 (yard-line), and you’ve got to finish those things off,” said Salmon. “When you got a young football team and you try and establish some winning traditions you got to have some good things happen. When good things don’t happen then you kind of sit around and you wonder if its bad juju or not.”
Rosales finished the game 9-of-12 passing for 126 yards and two touchdowns and added 74 yards rushing on 11 carries. Satberry had three catches for 88 yards and two scores, while running back Caleb Brown also added 62 yards on the ground on 26 carries.
The Lobos had just 137 yards of total offense on the night, including only 50 yards rushing on 25 carries. Sophomore quarterback Logan Travis went 9-of-18 passing for 87 yards, while also rushing for 16 yards. Sophomore running back Kanui Guidry had nine rushes for 15 yards, and senior Keyshawn Williams added 19 yards on eight carries.
With a lot of younger players on the roster, Salmon recognized that they are still in the learning process of building the identity they want on the field. Salmon said building consistency is something the Lobos will need to work on.
“The big thing is we had a pretty good identity going into last game, and now that identity is a little bit in question,” Salmon said. “We’ve got to establish some confidence on both sides. Be able to string together some momentum. It’s not always onesided, so I think the big thing for us is that we’ve got to get some consistency.”
Salmon and the Lobos look toward making the right adjustments entering into district play. The lobos host Austin High (1-1) Friday at Shelton Stadium at 7:30 p.m.
“It’s a fun process, it’s like putting together a puzzle,” said Salmon. “There is no guarantee that all the pieces are in the box, so you got to cut and paste. Guys got to learn to fill roles and take on responsibilities. The hard thing in a nine-team district is you’ve got two weeks to kind of figure that out.”