Lions' Start Season with a Balanced Win
It was an exciting home opener for the New Deal Lions last week, when they defeated the Smyer Bobcats 55-8. The Lions were in control of the game in all aspects: the defense forced two fumbles, one interception and two turnovers on downs while just allowing one touchdown and the following 2-point conversion. Smyer was held to just 98 total yards on the night and eight first downs. The Bobcats’ starting Quarterback, Ethan Ramirez, was held to one completion for 12 yards and one interception on nine attempts. The dominant defensive performance by the Lions turned into success for their offense.
The Lions amassed 475 total yards from scrimmage on just 34 plays. The average of 14 yards per play led to eight touchdowns on the night. Two of the scores were on deep connections from first year starting quarterback Harley Patterson to wide receiver Kyler Reed. The first passing touchdown was with 1:55 remaining in the first quarter when Patterson hit Reed with a 35 yard touchdown pass. They connected again with 3:30 left in the half for a 63 yard score. Patterson had five completions on six attempts for 135 yards. Patterson was replaced in the second half by Aron Gonzales who went 2-2 for 76 yards in the second half. Reed led all receivers with four receptions for 127 yards and two touchdowns. He was followed by Arric Mares who had two receptions for 69 yards and Damoria Hall who added one reception for 15 yards.
The passing game wasn’t the only side of offense the Lions had working well. The New Deal running game added 264 yards on 26 attempts and six touchdowns. The 10.2 yards per carry average was led by Leric Eaton who had a South Plains Sports Game Ball performance. Eaton gained 161 yards on 10 carries and found the endzone four times. Eaton’s night was capped off with 40 seconds left in the first half when he ran through the entire Bobcats defense and found the end zone from 86 yards out. Eaton was followed by Slade Martin who ran nine times for 71 yards. Derrick De La Cruz and Arric Marres each had one carry that ended with a touchdown after four and five yard carries, respectively. Quarterbacks, Patterson and Gonzales, both also saw success on the ground as they added 26 yards combined.
The Lions’ defensive line, aka The Big Green Wall, did a great job of controlling the line and limiting the running game which Smyer depended on. The offensive lineman worked together as a well oiled machine, providing time for Patterson and Gonzales and creating gaping holes for Eaton, Martin and the other Lion ball carriers. Looking ahead, the Lions can look to improve upon the six accepted penalties for 50 yards against Smyer.
South Plains Sports Game Balls:
Ron Mayo’s game ball: Leric Eaton - 10 carries/161 yards/ 4 touchdowns
Tyler Reed’s game ball: Kyler Reed - 4 receptions/127 yards/ 2 touchdowns