Season Review: Football

Season Review: Football

It was a tale of two seasons for the Lions football team; there were the first 3 games where the team was finding themselves as a unit. After that the Lions won 4 out of their last 5 games to finish 4-4, which is only the third time in program history that the Lions have finished .500 or better!

The Lions picked up wins against Lewis-Clark Valley College (twice), Robert Morris Peoria and then Haywood College. The Lions picked up two home and two road wins this past season.

The Lions had a unique mixture of athletes. The Lions had 8 seniors on the roster, and 13 freshmen; the Lions had to balance upperclassmen with freshmen so the learning curve was in full effect this past year. Once the Lions came together they showed what could be a bright future for the Lions as many underclassmen were feature performers for the Lions, along with the usual playmakers. 

Offensively the Lions were lead by TJ Martinez, who started the season as one of the top pass catching threats and he turned into the guy throwing the passes. Martinez, led the Lions to 4 wins, he threw for 903 yards, and 7 TDs, he finished with a QB efficiency rating right around 100 with 99.4. 

The Lions rushing attack was paced by two Lions, David Steeves and Landen Bradley. Steeves rushed for 296 yards on 65 carries, which is 4.6 yard per rush and added 3 TDs. Landen Bradley ran for 236 yards on 39 carries for an average of 6.1 and he also added 2 TDs. Jimmy King also rushed for two TDs, Zach Noffsinger and TJ Martinez also added a rushing TD as well.

The Lions were very balanced through the receiving core as they were lead by Jeremy Blanchette and Zach Marengo as they both ended with 266 yards receiving. Jeremy Blanchette finished with 29 receptions for 266 yards and 2 TDs, Zach Marengo finished with 26 Catches for 266 yards and 1 TD. Alex Wattley had 13 catches for 192 yards and 3 TDs. Both Jeremy Blanchette and Alex Wattley were top on the team with all purpose yards, as Jeremy Blanchette averaged 100.8 ypg and Wattley added 53.3 ypg.

The Lions defense improved nearly in every category from 2017. The Lions defense broke two team records as they forced the most turnovers in a season with 27 in 8 games, also the most sacks as a team as the Lions finished with 24 total sacks. The Lions defense was led by David Steeves, he finished the season with 102 total tackles, and Dakota King was second on the team with 71 tackles. Dakota King also lead the team in sacks finishing the year with 9 sacks and 15.5 TFL which is a half tackle from tying the school record. Jamal Williams led the secondary in interceptions with 4; Nick Howser, Jeremy Blanchette and Landen Bradley also added 2 interceptions apiece.

Records that were broken:

Alex Wattley career kick return yards 1,036 the old record was held by Barry Bighorn as he had 803 return yards.

Career Kick return attempts Alex Wattley 53 attempts the old record was held by Marcus Montana with 38.

Most career forced fumbles David Steeves with 8 forced fumbles the old record was held by Jerome Green with 6.

Sacks in a game Dakota King with 3.5 sacks multiple players held the old record at 3.

Punt attempts in a game by Jimmy King with 12 attempts the old record was 10 held by Rex Causey.

The seniors who played their final season for the Lions were, Alex Wattley, Colten Hoots, David Steeves, Devontae Riley, Jimmy King, Landen Bradley, Zach Marengo, and Zach Noffsinger.

Tanner Twigg SID