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The Roar

Lions fall to Eagles in first game

Varsity team fights back in second half

The Lions charge out of the tunnel after halftime. They scored 21 points in the second half.

by Kyle Gehman, Editor-In-Chief

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On Saturday night the Lions lost to the Ellison Eagles by a score of 56-21 in the first game of the season.

“It was a good learning experience and it will help us know what we need to work on when moving forward,” junior Noah King said.

The Lions turned the ball over on a fumble after receiving the kickoff. Soon after the Eagles went up 7-0. Minutes later the Eagles scored again and went up 14-0. The first quarter ended 21-0, after Ellison scored a 67 yard touchdown pass.

“We need to get more stops on the defensive end by playing with more intensity and putting more points on the board,” King said.

The Eagles scored two more touchdowns, but then the Lions drove down field after the execution of a few running plays by varsity quarterback senior Kyle Irlbeck and a completed pass to junior Dalton Flowers. However, the Eagles intercepted the ball and threw an 87 yard touchdown pass in their following play to end the half with the Lions down 42-0.

“I think a lot of our younger players were kind of ‘wide eyed’ after the first half,” Head Coach Tim Smith said. “A lot of it was they calmed down, trusted their technique and coaching and played well.”

The Lions came out and stopped Ellison after they kicked off and came down the field with the ball, however they were stopped on 4th and 16. However, after a holding call on Ellison was made during the Lions next play, the Lions rushed down to the red zone and Irlbeck completed a pass to senior Jonathan Spires for their first touchdown of the game to make the score 42-7.

I believe if we remain calm, trust the process and do our job, it’ll be a great game [against Pflugerville].”

— Jai Garcia

“We all just calmed down and realized that everything was going to be alright no matter what the score was the first half,” senior Jai Garcia said.

The Lions got the ball after an Ellison punt and after a completed pass to Flowers and two rushing first downs by Irlbeck. JJ Larson caught a touchdown pass to put the score at 42-14 with three minutes left in the quarter. The defense put up a stop against Ellison’s next offensive possession with the help of a sack by senior Godswill Nwakamma. Flowers caught Irlbeck’s third touchdown pass to end the third quarter 42-21 Ellison. The Eagles scored two more touchdowns in the 4th quarter to end the game with a score of 56-21.

“I feel like we learned what we are capable of that second half,” Garcia said. “So I believe if we remain calm, trust the process and do our job, it’ll be a great game [against Pflugerville].”

The Lions next game will be this Friday, September 2nd, at 7:00 at Kuemper Stadium against the Pflugerville Panthers.

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Leander High School's online student-run newspaper
Lions fall to Eagles in first game