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Lubbock High dominates Lake View, moves closer to long-sought playoff berth

Defense pitches shutout as LHS moves closer to erasing 37-year playoff drought

Posted: October 26, 2012 - 6:53pm  |  Updated: October 27, 2012 - 12:33am
Lubbock High's  Brandon Hernandez makes a final leap to score a touchdown for Lubbock High during their game against San Angelo Lake View at PlainsCapital Park on Friday. (Scott MacWatters/Lubbock Avalanche-Journal)  Scott MacWatters
Scott MacWatters
Lubbock High's Brandon Hernandez makes a final leap to score a touchdown for Lubbock High during their game against San Angelo Lake View at PlainsCapital Park on Friday. (Scott MacWatters/Lubbock Avalanche-Journal)
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With about a minute left in the game on a cold, windy afternoon at Lowrey Field, the crowd for the Lubbock High football team began a one-word chant that hadn’t been heard in almost four decades.

“Playoffs.”

They’re not there quite yet, but the Westerners took a big step toward ending a 37-year playoff drought, an did so in dominating style in a 33-0 shellacking of San Angelo Lake View on Friday.

“I missed it. I was still coaching,” LHS head coach Jason Strunk said of the chant. “I was still a little wound up and thought we should have scored again. But that’s great. To see the crowd here for a (4 p.m.) game, I really think it was great. I wish I could be more in tune with the crowd but I totally missed it. If they’re yelling that, that’s great. Our kids need to hear it.”
With the victory, the Westerners (3-5, 2-1) equal their victory total from the past four seasons combined. More importantly, they earn a crucial tiebreaker over the Chiefs, already possessing one over Plainview should the teams end up tied thanks to the victory over the Bulldogs two weeks ago.

That is critical, with four of the six teams in the district qualifying for the playoffs and the Westerners still having to play Frenship (2-0) and Monterey (0-2) in the final two weeks of the season.

Clinching a playoff spot is something the Westerners still control, but the road ahead is bumpy. Lubbock High needs one more win or two more losses by the Bulldogs, who still have to face Hereford and Frenship after Friday’s game against Monterey, to clinch a playoff berth, their first since 1975.

“Either way, win or lose, we still have a chance to get in, and that’s the best position possible to put the team in,” Strunk said. “Naturally we want to take care of business going to Frenship next week, and my theme this week is going to be we need to be 3-1 after next week. We want to take care of business and not wait for anyone to give us any help.”

The Westerners certainly didn’t wait for the Chiefs (1-7, 0-3) to help them out, taking the fight to them from the first play and putting the game away pretty much by halftime.

Layven Armendariz threw for 244 yards and a touchdown, Brandon Hernandez rushed for 148 yards and two scores, and the Westerner defense held the Chiefs to just 139 yards of total offense in winning their second District 4-4A game of the year.

But it was a special-teams gem that essentially sealed the win for LHS. Leading 17-0 late in the first half, the Westerners appeared to stall at the Lake View 42.

On fourth-and-11, Josh Rodriguez took a reverse handoff on a fake punt and had nothing but open space around the right end, just beating the Lake View defense to the pylon for the touchdown to make it a 24-0 lead with 4:51 remaining.

“We just came out and did our thing,” Rodriguez said. “I had a great block by Charles (Keller) and scored.”

Coupled with the defensive effort by LHS, the Chiefs never stood a chance after that play.

LHS forced a punt on its first defensive series of the game, found the end zone on its second play on offense and never looked back, racking up 438 yards of total offense, more than 135 yards above its season average.

“We tried hard to get the shutout, so we accomplished one of our goals,” Rodriguez said. “We came out and executed and did what we had to do.”

The first half was a complete domination by the Westenrers. LHS averaged just 304 yards per game going into the game but had 288 by halftime, and conversely limited the Chiefs to just 57 total yards in the first two periods, including 11 yards on 15 carries on the ground.

On Lubbock High’s second offensive play from scrimmage, Erin Lopez made a great catch when he tipped a pass from Armendariz into the air on a deep post pattern, stayed with it and caught the ball for a 72-yard touchdown less than 3 minutes into the game.

After forcing another punt, Lubbock High went back to work, this time in the more conventional style. Hernandez capped a 12-play, 63-yard drive with a bruising 15-yard touchdown run with 5:10 left in the first quarter to push the lead to 14-0.

LHS made it 17-0 early in the second quarter on a 31-yard Ryan Rodriguez field goal. The Westerners made it to the Lake View 14 but a holding penalty stunted the drive and forced the field-goal try.

LHS extended the lead to 30-0 on its first drive of the second half, going 75 yards in 11 plays capped by a 3-yard touchdown run by Hernandez. Ryan Rodriguez added a 28-yard field goal on the Westerners’ next drive to finish off the scoring.

Lake View’s final two drives of the game ended in turnovers on downs, one at the LHS 34 and the other at the Westerner 8-yard line to help preserve the shutout, which was about the only thing in doubt in the second half.

Still, Strunk was not completely satisfied for having to settle for a couple of Ryan Rodriguez field goals instead of getting touchdowns, and also an interception Armendariz tossed just before halftime. Those are among other things that, Strunk said, playoff teams don’t do.

“I’m not totally pleased with the second half. There’s still some things to work on because we left some points on the field, I think,” Strunk said. “Playoff teams find ways to score more and we need to. Missed throws, some penalties and different things that hurt us that we need to get better at. If you’re going to be a playoff team you have to get better in those areas.”

But, at least for now, Lubbock High is right on the verge of being that playoff team.

 

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LUBBOCK HIGH 33, SAN ANGELO LAKE VIEW 0

SA Lake View 0 0 0 0 — 0

Lubbock High 14 10 9 0 — 33

First Quarter

LHS — Erin Lopez 72 pass from Layven Armendariz (Ryan Rodriguez kick); 9:20

LHS — Brandon Hernandez 15 run (Rodriguez kick); 5:10

Second Quarter

LHS — Ryan Rodriguez 31 FG; 8:59

LHS — Josh Rodriguez 42 run (R. Rodriguez kick); 4:51

Third Quarter

LHS — Hernandez 3 run (kick failed); 7:47

LHS — R. Rodriguez 28 FG; 1:40

TEAM STATISTICS

LV LHS

First downs 11 21

Rushes-yards 30-60 29-194

Passing yards 79 244

Comp.-att.-int. 6-22-0 23-38-1

Punts-avg. 5-38.6 2-33.0

Fumbles-lost 3-1 0-0

Penalties-yards 7-52 15-85

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING: San Angelo Lake View, Eli Peterson 10-58, Andres Montalvo 6-19, John Hernandez 1-0, Alan Moreno 13-(-3), Jonathan Tamez 1-(-14); Lubbock High, Brandon Hernandez 21-148, Josh Rodriguez 1-42, Charles Keller 1-9, Quentin Sapp 1-2, Layven Armendariz 5-(-7).

PASSING: San Angelo Lake View, Alan Moreno 6-15-0—79, Montalvo 0-6-0—0, Jonah Saucedo 0-1-0—0; Lubbock High, Armendariz 23-38-1—244

RECEIVING: San Angelo Lake View, Victor Muro 1-33, Dylan Gilbert 1-17, Tamez 1-16, Saucedo 1-12, Hernandez 1-4, Kenny Gonzales 1-(-3) Lubbock High, Erin Lopez 1-72, Anthony Martinez 6-46, Cory Schovanec 4-31, Bam Jackson 3-29, Dominique Zuniga 2-26, Charles Keller 1-21, Brandon Hernandez 6-18.

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