Bitten by the Vipers

Team looks to improve during bye week

Senior Brandon Plummer diving for extra yards against Vandegrift. Plummer subbed in and out with senior Ty Worthy, and junior Jai Garcia at running back.

After a win against the previously undefeated Georgetown Eagles (3-2) in Week 4, the Lions (2-3) fell to Vandegrift (5-0) with a final score of 49-3.

“We did okay,” Head Coach Tim Smith said. “We need to improve. We still are making pre-snap mistakes. Vandy is pretty good. We knew they would be a challenge. We need to improve on not beating ourselves.”

At the end of the Lions’ first drive,the Viper blocked junior Kyle Murdock’s punt, setting them up for a touchdown on their first offensive play of the game. Vandegrift led the Lions 7-0 with 10:24 in the first quarter. Vandegrift later scored again making it 14-0 with 8:31 remaining in the first. Murdock then kicked a field goal making it 14-3 with 4:14 remaining in the first. The defense forced a turnover on downs against the Vipers, but their next offensive drive stalled. Before the end of the first quarter, the Vipers scored again making it 21-3 with :40 remaining.

Entering the bye week, Murdock believes the team can improve. 

You just keep your head up.

— Kyle Murdock

“You just keep your head up,” Murdock said. “Do your job when you’re supposed to and even if we weren’t doing great at the moment we have time to correct [ourselves] with the bye week coming up.”

At the half, the Lions trailed the Vipers 42-3. During the game, as the team went to the sidelines, they encouraged each other.

“[We told each other] to not give up,” Murdock said. “And don’t go down without a fight.”

At the beginning of the second half, senior Levi Boeck tackled the Vipers’ kick returner at their 26 yard line and the defense stood their ground for that drive, forcing Vandegrift to punt. Vandegrift later scored again leading the Lions 49-3, the last score of the game.

“During the bye week we will focus on fundamentals and competition,” Smith said.

In two weeks, the Lions face yet another undefeated district opponent in the Cedar Park Timberwolves (5-0), who were ranked this week as the No. 1 team in the AP Class 5A poll. The original Leander rivalry game known as the Crosstown Showdown begins at Gupton Stadium at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, October 9.