Antlers tested in 31-13 win over Lockhart - Sports

Antlers tested in 31-13 win over Lockhart

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Posted: Saturday, November 2, 2019 12:44 am

The Antlers entered the locker room at halftime with a 24-0 lead, but returned to the field to face a defiant Lockhart team Friday night at Antler Stadium in a game that saw Tivy ultimately extend their seven-game win streak and protect their undefeated District 14-5A record with a 31-13 victory over the Lions.

Lockhart jumped on their onside kick in the opening play of the third quarter and scored on their first play of the series when Daetron Elllison rushed 38 yards to score Lockhart’s first points of the game after only :12 seconds of play in the half.

An Antler miscue gave the Lions back the ball shortly after and it appeared momentum may have been shifting until Tivy safety Coleson Abel stepped in front of a Lockhart pass for his second interception on the night and carried the ball 41 yards to land on the Lion’s 18 yardline, setting up the Antler’s only score of the second half when Stoney Rhodes pulled in a six-yard pass from quarterback Trapper Pannell.

“I just read my keys, like we’ve been practicing all week and the other guys put me in a position where I could make a play on the ball,” Abel said.

A strong, physical Lockhart defense was prepared for Tivy’s long-ball offense, forcing Coach David Jones to adjust his usual play-calling a bit, highlighting the talent and versatility of players like Cole Miears and Stoney Rhodes.

Miears, who shares quarterback duties with Pannell and has completed 66 of 107 passes for 826 yards and 13 touchdowns on the season, has filled multiple rolls for his team, including running back, slot receiver, punter and a defensive position or two.

Against Lockhart, Miears pulled in a 37-yard pass from Pannell on Tivy's first series of the game to score his first-ever receiving touchdown with 10:02 remaining in the first quarter.

“I’m just filling in wherever they need me,” Miears said. “Sometimes they need me at quarterback and sometimes they need me at slot. I’ll go wherever I’m needed at the moment. Their (Lockhart) secondaries were good athletes and we had a couple of times early where we beat them deep, so that helped out.”

Miears hauled in five passes in all for 67 yards against the Lions.

With the long passes not working for Tivy, Jones called for short, quick passes up the center and receivers like Rhodes were met with hard hits and physical tackles.

In addition to Rhodes’ third quarter touchdown, he recorded five catches on short yardage plays before Jones decided to embark on a ground game.

“They did hit hard, but I just got back up and asked for more,” Rhodes said. “That’s all you can do. They were smoking me for sure. I’ll give that to them.”

Jones said it was good to be forced to change up the offense, as it would better prepare his team for the playoffs.

“They had six or seven people in the backend and only three or four in the box, so we just weren’t going to throw against that,” Jones said. “We should have been able to run the ball better. A game like this helps us see what we need to work on and get better at.”

The Antlers were able to score three passing touchdowns in the first quarter before the Lockhart coaching staff made adjustments.

Following Miears’ touchdown, Colten Drake got his hands around a 36-yard Pannell Pass to score at the 6:42 mark. Pannell then teamed up with Brooks McCoy on a 21-yard touchdown pass with 4:35 left in the first quarter.

In addition to successfully completing each extra point kick for Tivy, Jared Zirkel tacked on three points with 5:45 left in the second quarter on a 40-yard field goal, giving the Antlers the 24-0 halftime lead.

After Ellison’s touchdown in the third quarter, Lockhart would not score again until quarterback Stoney McGuire punched in an 8-yard run with 3:41 left in the game. Lion kicker Alfredo Jaimes was good for one point after attempt and Tivy thwarted Lockhart’s attempt at a two-point conversion in the fourth quarter.

While Tivy outscored the Lions 24-0 in the first half, Lockhart come out ahead in the second half with 13 points to the Antlers’ 7.

Lockhart held Tivy’s offense to only 198 passing yards and 124 rushing. In return, the Antler defense, who has proven to be consistent and resistant, kept the Lions at only 217 total yards.

Key defensive plays came from Regan Robertson, who recorded two sacks; Gonzalo Hernandez on a sack, tackle for loss and pass deflection; Garrett Kleypass on a sack; and Micah Harrison on a fumble recovery.

Pannell completed 18 of 32 passes for four touchdowns.

Fisher Middleton pushed through for 105 rushing yards on 18 carries. Drake and McCoy finished with 55 and 44 receiving yards, respectively.

Tivy will travel to Castroville on Friday, where they will take on Medina Valley. With a 6-0 District 14-5A record, a win against the Panthers will ensure back-to-back championships for the Antlers, who are 8-1 on the season.

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