Promising start unravels as Lobos prevail, 38-24

Injuries, turnovers, fatigue, monster game from Lehman’s Tanner Johnson too much for Knights to overcome


Charlie Partheymuller

ON TO THE NEXT – After a disappointing outing against the Lehman Lobos, QB Jaxon Rosales only is fociusing more on the game plan. “Any loss will make you evaluate your play and give insight on how you can improve to help the team. Focusing on the game plan will help prepare us for next Friday,” Rosales said. The Knights take on Connally for their next game at House Park.

Charlie Partheymuller, staff reporter

Coming off an emotional Taco Shack victory, the Knights went into last Friday’s game against the Lehman Lobos feeling amped up yet still prepared.

“The coaches made sure we were well prepared and the team worked hard all week at practice,” senior quarterback Jaxon Rosales said.

And as the game started the offense looked, just as Rosales said, prepared. On its first drive, the team drove down into the red zone with ease and eventually found the end zone on a quarterback sneak on fourth and goal from the 1-yard line to lead the game 7-0 with 9 minutes left in the first quarter. 

The coaches made sure we were well prepared and the team worked hard all week at practice”

— Jaxon Rosales

The defense on the other hand though, had a slower start. Lehman scored off a 68-yard screen pass on only their second offensive play. Tanner Johnson would be the one to bring that score to the house for Lehman, the beginning of a huge game that is likely to be the source of McCallum football players’ nightmares for days to come. The following offensive drive for the Knights ended in a three and out and a punt that traveled barely back to the line of scrimmage. Staring its second drive in great field position, the Lehman offense fired again with another passing touchdown to Johnson that would put them up 13-7 to end the first quarter. Knights’ fans could only hope that missed extra point would come back to haunt the Lobos like it did the Trojans the week before. 

With the first quarter winding down and the Lobos driving down the field, the Knights defense was able to turn it around and create a turnover on downs. On the ensuing Mac drive, the Knights put together a few big gains on the ground before fumbling the ball on the 9-yard line, where the Lobos recovered. The Lobos put together a strong drive ending in a field goal, leaving Mac with 2:30 left on the clock before halftime.

GAME OF HIS LIFE – Lehman wide receiver and corner back, Tanner Johnson, had himself a game contributing two offensive touchdowns and two interceptions, returning one for a pick six. (Dave Winter)

Rushing to get the offense down the field, Rosales threw an ill-advised pass that Johnson intercepted and returned for a touchdown, stretching the Lobo lead to 21-7 after Johnson also ran in the 2-point conversion. Luckily after some tough runs by Rosales the offense got the Knights in range for Dash Levy to kick a buzzer-beating 29-yard field goal to bring the Knights to within 14 points at halftime at 24-10.

Unfortunately, the Knights were unable to build on that momentum as the second half started. It took only 46 seconds for the Lobos to run in a 67-yard touchdown. The remaining first half of the quarter was filled with fruitless drives for both teams until 6:44 left in the third when Johnson got another interception that led to another Lehman touchdown drive. After receiving a Lobo punt, the Knights drove down to the Lobos 30-yard line where on a pass intended for Nate Davidson a flag was thrown for pass interference. With 46 seconds left in the quarter Colby Napier ran in a 15-yard touchdown to end the quarter down 38-17.

Unfortunately for the Knights, the fourth quarter was relatively quiet with multiple drives for both teams ending in three and outs. Rosales got one more consolation touchdown for the Knights late in the fourth quarter off of a 2-yard touchdown run where Dash Levy once again made the extra point to make the final score 38-24. 

While the game obviously did not go how the Knights wanted or planned, the Knights were very shorthanded due to injuries which forced many players to play on both sides of the ball.

OFFENSE FIRING – Coming out of the gates hot was the Mccallum offense after quarterback Jaxon Rosales led a methodical drive down the field and eventually punched in the 2-yard touchdown. The touchdown came on fourth and goal after running back Colby Napier had been stopped only a play ago trying to hurdle over the line into the end zone. (Grace Nugent)

“It was concerning at times, but we knew it was going to be that way heading into the game and so our coaches just prepared us all to go play ball,” senior safety Wyatt Cunningham said.

The Knights were so short-handed due to injuries to two star defensive players in safety Jake Hissey, out with a wrist injury, and defensive tackle Miles McCollum, who ended up tearing his ACL in the game against Anderson. Rosales was able to find the good in this game.

“The new guys filled in and showed their potential early on in the season,” he said.

The Knights take on Connally in their next game back in front of their home crowd hoping to get their season back on track.

“Connally is an athletic and tough opponent, but the work we put in during the week will decide the outcome,” Rosales said.