Thursday, September 6, 2012
Lions give up late scores in loss
By BARRY BURLESON
The H.W. Byers defense was solid. So was Smithville’s.
“Defense dominated the game,” said James Kimbrough, head coach of the Lions. “It came down to who made the mistakes, and we made the mistakes.”
In a 21-10 loss Friday night on the road, two of the Seminoles’ three touchdowns came on Byers turnovers.
“Our defense is the best we’ve had at Byers (in its fourth year of competing at the varsity level),” Kimbrough said. “They’re not getting the credit yet, because we’re not winning. We’re playing excellent team defense overall.”
Smithville, he said, was stout on defense, too. Byers had just 117 yards rushing and 49 passing.
Plus, the Seminoles got a second-quarter score on a 15-yard fumble return and a fourth-period touchdown on a 38-yard pass interception, both by J.T. Pitts.
The Lions went up 8-0 on its first offensive series of the game. Ronnie Dennis caught a 30-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Anthony Rubin. Trelorenz Stephen cashed in the two-point conversion.
Smithville tied the score in the second quarter, thanks to the Lions’ turnover, and it stayed knotted until the fourth.
The Seminoles took to the airwaves early in the fourth to go up 15-8. Pitts caught a 19-yard toss from Drew Lann for the touchdown.
“Defensively, we played great,” Kimbrough said. “They only had one drive on us where they scored and they did not get it until the fourth quarter. We gave up two big pass plays.”
The Lions trimmed the deficit to 15-10 when a snap sailed over the Smithville quarterback’s head into the end zone and Dennis applied the pressure that resulted in a safety.
Smithville later got the late pickoff for six to seal it.
Offensively, Kimbrough said his Lions must develop a downfield passing game.
“It’s hard to run successfully when you don’t have a solid passing game,” Kimbrough said.
The Lions dropped to 0-3 against a tough early season slate – Potts Camp, Strayhorn and Smithville. In two of those, they were tied with the opposition going into the fourth quarter.
“We didn’t make the plays to win them,” he said. “We have to learn to close.”
Byers will have an open date before hosting Houlka on Friday night, Sept. 14.
“Our confidence is still up,” he said. “We have to keep our heads up and try to get back in the playoffs.”
Byers made its first-ever playoff appearance in 2011.
“Look at who we’ve played,” he said. “We’ve played some really, really good football teams (with a combined record of 7-1).”
Marquis Moore led the Byers offense with 14 carries for 85 yards.
On defense, Melvin Harris had eight tackles, forced two fumbles and recovered a fumble.
“Melvin dominated the line of scrimmage,” Kimbrough said. “He had a great game.”
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