7-on-7 Lions upended by Stephenville, Abilene Wylie and Dublin at Tarleton SQT

DERRICK STUCKLY BROWNWOOD BULLETIN derrick.stuckly@brownwoodbulletin.com
Grant Lewis (5) caught six of Brownwood’s 10 touchdowns and finished with 12 receptions overall during the Lions’ three games at the Tarleton SQT Saturday.

STEPHENVILLE — Yes, the Brownwood Lions had already clinched a berth in the 7-on-7 Division II state tournament. And yes, Brownwood was playing without a few key contributors. However, head coach Chuck Howard left with a sour taste in his mouth after witnessing the Lions’ performance during Saturday’s Tarleton state qualifier.

Placed in a pool with other teams who are also bound for the state tournament in College Station July 10-11, the Lions failed to capture a victory in three contests. Brownwood opened the day with a 35-31 loss to Stephenville, fell 27-14 to Abilene Wylie and dropped a 40-20 decision to Dublin.

“I thought it was pretty ugly,” Howard said. “The thing that I want out of this is no matter what, we come out and compete. We played pretty well against Stephenville, we just didn’t convert on several of our one-point conversions. The other two games, I just don’t think we competed very hard. Whatever the reason, whether it be we qualified or had guys missing today, doesn’t really matter to me. We just need to get out there and compete and that’s what I’m disappointed in.”

After turning the ball over just once during last weekend’s state-clinching effort at Glen Rose, the Lions committed five turnovers Saturday and were whistled 10 times for four-second violations — the equivalent of a sack in 7-on-7.

Defensively, Brownwood also failed to create turnover for the first time in SQT action. Roger Soto did intercept one pass against Abilene Wylie, but that was negated by a four-second call against the Bulldogs offense.

Colt Garrett took all the snaps at quarterback with Colt Bertrand gone, and the Lions were also without Connor Howard — the only member of the roster who suited up on the varsity at receiver last year. Safety McLane Moore also missed Saturday’s action, as he had led Brownwood in interceptions during the 7-on-7 summer campaign.

In the loss to Stephenville, the Lions trailed 21-19 at halftime, scoring three times but missing on a pair of extra-point attempts. Brownwood began the second half with six straight incompletions, including an interception, which allowed Stephenville to race out to a 35-19 edge.

The Lions fought back late as Garrett connected with Rylee Gregory and Grant Lewis for touchdowns, but Brownwood’s comeback bid ran out of time.

During the loss to Wylie, the Lions offense never established a rhythm. Brownwood committed three turnovers while mustering only a pair of touchdowns — one in each half.

In the loss to Dublin, Brownwood pulled even at 20 on its first possession of the second half, but failed to score again. The Lions surrendered three consecutive touchdowns, while mustering just one first down the remainder of the contest.

Garrett completed 57 percent (49 of 86) of his pass attempts with 10 touchdowns and five interceptions. Lewis chalked up a team-high 12 receptions with six counting for touchdowns; Hayden Day added 11 grabs; Brandon Diaz finished with 10 receptions and a trip to the end zone; Cory Richardson hauled down seven receptions; Gregory caught five passes and scored twice; and Tristan Duque, Carson Cloy, Harley Price and Isaac Sanchez added one reception each.

Between now and the state tournament in four weeks, the Lions will twice compete in 7-on-7 events in Abilene. This Tuesday, the Lions will battle Sweetwater, Wylie and Abilene Cooper, then on June 24 Brownwood will take on Abilene High, Cooper and Sweetwater.

“When we head over to Abilene we should have most everybody back,” Howard said. “I’ll be looking for a much better performance in terms of execution and being competitive.”