A 21-point fourth quarter performance from the Austin High Maroons (2-1), coupled with seven total turnovers by Lehman (1-2), were the difference makers in the Lobos 38-14 loss on homecoming at Bob Shelton Stadium on Friday night.
“We made a lot of progress tonight, it was the most physical I’ve seen us play.” Lehman head coach Bruce Salmon said. “We’ve just got to string together four quarters. That’s the trick.”
The first two drives of the game were something to forget for the Lobos as Austin High took a 14-0 lead within a minute into the first quarter. Austin High quarterback Charles Wright connected with receiver Nick Anderson on a 21-yard touchdown pass on their six-play opening drive, and the Maroons followed it up with a 29-yard pick-six from defensive back Holdan O’Kelley only three plays later.
Turnovers were the achilles’ heel for the Lobos as they had four fumbles, two turnover-on-downs and one interception for the game.
“The ones that are mental mistakes, and transitions, things like that are unacceptable,” Salmon said. “The ones at the end when you are trying to gain extra yards and the ball comes loose, that’s a discipline deal with ball security. Right now, as things are, the most contact you get is on a Friday night, so that comes a little bit with experience. It comes a little bit with stressing the three points of contact fundamental-wise.”
Although the offense struggled with keeping the ball away from the Maroons’ defense, Lehman did control the line of scrimmage and played a physical brand of football. As a team, the Lobos rushed for 210 yards and one touchdown on 44 carries.
Senior running back Keyshaun Williams bulldozed his way through the Austin High defense for 126 yards on 21 carries, and had a 39-yard rushing touchdown in the second quarter to bring the score to 17-14 by halftime. Sophomore running back Kanui Guidry also contributed in the Lehman rushing attack with 16 rushes for 66 yards.
“The big thing when they hit it downhill, we were pretty good,” Salmon said about the offense. “Our offensive line came off the ball better tonight. We had some big plays. We just can’t afford to get behind the sticks.”
The Lobo defense had a tough task to stop the high scoring attack of Wright and the Maroons, who averaged 46 points per game over their first two games. Lehman’s defense held its own in the first three quarters only allowing 17 points and 21 yards rushing on 15 carries, and even had a 3-yard pick-six by junior defensive back Roy Malett in the first quarter.
But a 21-point fourth quarter from Austin High, including two touchdown passes from Wright, blew the game open. Wright hit on a 6-yard toss to receiver Colby Kalbacher , and a 54-yard bomb to Anderson later in the quarter. The third touchdown came on a 52-yard run by running back Grayson Davis.
“They’ve got a great passing attack, quarterback is unbelievable,” Salmon said. “I thought we did a pretty good job of kind of holding it together. They got us a little bit there towards the end, but we were able to get pressure on them and we were able to do some things. So that’s something to build off of, but we’ve got to put together four quarters.”
Wright finished the game with 19 completions for 263 yards and three touchdowns, with Anderson having 7 catches for 184 yards and two scores.
Lehman will look to regroup with a bye week this week, and will return to action with a road game against Westlake (3-0) at 7:30 p.m Sept. 27.