By MIKE IBANEZ
A week filled with rivalry-fueled angst and anticipation culminated in an explosion of civic pride at Max Goldsmith Stadium on Friday night.
The Lewisville High School football team easily dispatched of arch-rival Flower Mound Marcus 41-14 and reclaimed The Axe — the travelling trophy possessed by the most recent winner of the territorial game.
— Lewisville HS (@LewisvilleHS) October 1, 2016
The Axe had rested comfortably on the Marcus campus for the last 10 years, coming out only to witness nine consecutive Marauder wins over Lewisville. But now it resides among the Farmers, their fans and the Lewisville community that hasn’t reveled in a single, monumental athletic victory since the 2013 softball state championship.
— Tony Fontana (@TonyFontana24) October 1, 2016
“I’m just so happy because I know what it means to everyone here,” LHS coach Gregg Miller said after choreographing an impromptu photo with his team in front of the winning scoreboard. “There are Axe t-shirts made and there are so many members of this community that have lived here a long time and it’s so good to see them smiling.”
Farmer quarterback Desmond Jefferson, who passed for 185 yards and three touchdowns, echoed his coach’s thoughts.
“This city has been waiting for this for a long time,” Jefferson said. “I’m proud that we are the team to bring it to them because we work hard just like this community does.”
The bulk of Jefferson’s yardage was earned on an 82-yard catch and run connection with running back Kwame Mickels that gave Lewisville a 21-0 second quarter lead. The senior signal-caller relieved starter Jarvis Brooks after a failed opening drive and led LHS on a 67-yard march that culminated in a perfectly-thrown 26-yard touchdown pass to Tyrell Shavers to put the Farmers up 7-0.
Shavers, who had three receptions for 42 yards and two rushes for 27 yards, teamed with Jefferson on a five-yard scoring pass to put LHS up 41-7 late in the fourth quarter. The Alabama-bound receiver said beating the Marauders was the highlight of his Farmer career.
“It feels great to bring The Axe back in my senior year,” Shavers said. “No matter what I do in the future, this is a memory I will always have.”
Lewisville ran out to a 34-0 lead before Marcus scored on a 31-yard pass from Michael Henry to Duncan Berger.
The Farmer defense, led by tackle Khris Lee and linebacker Ahmadric Pelican, bottled up running back Justin Dinka, who came into the game averaging 207 yards. The Marcus sophomore was held to 22 yards on 18 carries.
Defensive back Patrick Bethea scored on a 70-yard interception return to make the score 28-0 at the half. It was the senior’s second interception returned for a touchdown this season.
“We didn’t do anything special, Coach (Miller) just told us to play fast and play physical and that’s what we did,” said Lee, who led his teammates in an on-field celebration with the game’s storied trophy. “I’ve only seen pictures of The Axe, so when I got my hands on it, I had to take a victory lap with it.”
The erratic deep snaps that plagued LHS a week prior against Euless Trinity were absent on Friday. Kevin Vazquez converted all but one PAT attempt and punted five times for a 32-yard average.
On a night where all phases of the game came together for a Lewisville victory, even a miscue resulted in a turn of good fate. Dwight Walker fumbled after hauling in a 32-yard pass from Jefferson, but Kyle Smith recovered and advanced the ball 19 yards for the touchdown that put the Farmers up 14-0.
— Tina Reed (@Tinalreed) October 1, 2016
De’Mondrick Hunter led Lewisville (3-2 overall and 1-1 in District 5-6A) with 76 yards on nine carries. Mickels, who also scored on a 25-yard run, added 71 yards on 12 totes.
With Dinka neutralized, Henry led Marcus (3-2, 1-1) with 78 yards rushing, including a 46-yard touchdown run.
The Farmers look ahead to a crucial district matchup with Southlake Carroll. But Friday night was all about reclaiming The Axe and 365 days of bragging rights over neighbors to the west.
“Most of the kids on our team didn’t even know what The Axe looked like,” Miller said. “But now we have to defend it. Hopefully this means our rivalry is restored.”