Lions lose homecoming heartbreaker, 54-13


Taneya Parker

Keeson Taylor, senior wide receiver, makes a run across the 40 yard line for a first down. Taylor felt confident that they could win and that Parkway West a was beatable team.

Julian Albright , Sports Editor

Resting on a 0-8 record going into the homecoming game, Lions fans thought they might be looking at win on account of the occasion. Sadly, this proved untrue.

The morning of Oct. 1 fans were hopeful. Parkway West was in town for the homecoming game. After blowing out the Longhorns last year 38-0, it is safe to say that U. City’s football team was filled with confidence as they jogged onto the field. However, after a flag throw on false start against U. City, and then a pick 6 on the fourth play of the game, one might think that the energy at U. City would die. This was not the case.

Almost halfway through the first quarter, Parkway West standout player Drew Seers had two interceptions and three touchdowns. This didn’t stop the motivation of the Lions. They came up with a defensive stop and gained yardage pushing the ball in their direction. The Lions, turned it over, but kept up the pressure and drew two flags against the Longhorns at the end of the first half. However, the Longhorns did end up converting on 4th and 31 for a touchdown.

Luckily for the team, the crowd was not discouraged. Or at least they weren’t showing it. The band kept belting out songs, and there was plenty of energy in the stadium.

The Lions went down 35-0 at the start of the second quarter, but running back Jason Knight, junior, answered with a breakaway touchdown run. This hyped the crowd up to another level, and there was a burst of spirit in the stands.

The Lions looked stronger in the second quarter with two highlight runs from junior quarterback/running back Atum Gibson. It looked like a promising drive, but the Lions ended up turning the ball over on downs.

The end of the second quarter looked shaky and the Lions walked off the field at halftime with only one touchdown.

The halftime show was entertaining as the alumni band and alumni dancers performed for the crowd. That is the kind of connection people nurture in U. City. Because of this, community makes people want to spend their Saturday afternoon at a high school football game.

The alumni band and dancers were followed by the current band, with the cheerleaders and golden girls. These performances seem to bring up the spirits to the crowd and good vibes around the stadium.

To start the second half, U. City came out of the gate strong and shutdown Parkway West on defense on the first drive of the half. A number of fumbles made for hypnotizing entertainment during the third quarter. After one fumble by Parkway West, U. City called a timeout to take advantage of the situation.

Whatever was said in that time out worked, because the Lions played textbook football for the next couple of minutes, scoring a touchdown in just two plays. Quarterback Lawrence Coleman, freshman, connected with senior Keeson Taylor (Bam), on a 60-yard throw. The next play, Coleman connected again, this time with junior Deion Williams. The throw was almost intercepted but with outstanding alertness from Williams, he was able to make the catch deflecting off the defender’s hands.

“I knew I was going to get it,” said Williams.

But the momentum did not carry them to a victory. The Lions ended up losing 54-13, only scoring two touchdowns and missing an extra point.

Not everything went horribly for the Lions, though.

“The opportunities we had, we made the most of it,” said Treveon Johnson, junior lineman.

He believes that they can do better than the way they’ve been playing.

“We have to play better and get better. That’s it.”

However the Lions did look like a tight unit today, and players agreed.

“We stood together,” said Johnson. “And we didn’t get mad.”

Johnson is currently being looked at by colleges to play football, but was unable to disclose any details.

Parkway West played a great game of football, and Seers, seemed to take over the game. He could play almost every position except lineman. Besides receiving, running, and playing in the defensive backfield, he kicked as well.

Head coach Lafayette Gatewood said that going into this game, they knew that they would have to play hard against Seers, and defend him well.

“He is an outstanding football player,” said Gatewood. “We didn’t do as quite a good job as we wanted to.”

One of the biggest questions that fans have had is what the difference is this season than last season.

“The biggest difference is experience,” said Gatewood. “We lost 20 seniors last year, I think 14 were starters.”

Gatewood elaborates that a loss like that takes a toll on a football program. That young players, naturally, will not be as good as older players, and experience is the factor keeping the Lions from winning.

Referring to the team of last year, Gatewood said, “When they were young, they had problems, too.”