By MIKE IBANEZ
Area fans who have been waiting nine months for the return of high school football got their money’s worth at Max Goldsmith Stadium Friday night.
Rowlett held off a furious Lewisville comeback in a game that featured two ties and three lead changes — the last of which gave the visiting Eagles the lead for good with 1:27 remaining.
Rowlett’s decisive points came on a 22-yard touchdown pass from Preston Weeks to Cameron Vitosh. This was after the Eagles took over at the LHS 33-yard line with 3:15 to go on the strength of a blocked punt. But the drama didn’t end there.
The Farmers took the ensuing kickoff and marched 56 yards in 10 plays to get in field goal range. But with no timeouts remaining, quarterback Jarvis Brooks was sacked with seconds to go, and the Farmers were unable to rush their field goal team on the field for an attempt to force overtime.
“That was a fun game to be in, but a hard game to lose,” LHS coach Gregg Miller said. “I like the way the kids fought at the end. We had a chance to get a field goal at the end, but we just can’t take a sack in that situation.”
Brooks’ inability to avoid the sack and preserve precious time and field position was a blemish on his otherwise impressive first start under center. The senior signal-caller led the Farmers with 95 yards on 15 carries. The total includes the 11 yards he lost on the game’s final play.
“I’m happy with the way I played, but also know that I made some mistakes tonight,” Brooks said. “There at the end, I knew we didn’t have a timeout so I needed to make something happen or protect the ball. I look forward to progressing as the season continues.”
After his solid first-game performance, Brooks may be the answer to the question of who would be delivering the ball to four-star wide receiver Tyrell Shavers. The senior, who had been in a close quarterback competition with classmate Desmond Jefferson since spring practice, completed 12 of his 28 pass attempts for 143 yards.
Shavers caught eight passes for 105 yards, despite dealing with double and triple coverage all night. But it was his 40-yard touchdown pass to De’Mondrick Hunter to put the Farmers ahead 17-13 that electrified the home crowd. Unfortunately, Shavers’ other pass attempt out of the Wildcat formation
ended up being intercepted deep in Rowlett territory, squashing an opportunity to put the Eagles away for good.
“We were trying to get (Rowlett) on their heels by putting Tyrell in that formation,” Miller said. “We were trying to put them away and it kind of backfired on us.”
Weeks led Rowlett with 131 yards passing and 90 yards rushing, which included a 44-yard keeper for a touchdown. Ladarius Dickens, who counts all three service academies among his eight scholarship offers, caught seven passes for 86 yards for the Eagles.
Despite Weeks’ success, he was hounded by an aggressive Farmers defense. Standout defensive back Matthew Kibbey registered three tackles for loss and recovered a fumbled snap after pushing Weeks aside, Emmanuel Adesina sacked the senior quarterback, and Cruz Sustaita had an interception and a pass breakup,
“They ran that quarterback power play on us a couple of times and that’s all they got on us,” Miller said. “When we settled down and started reading our keys, we pretty much shut it down.”
Rowlett scored first via a 40-yard field goal by Josh Aldana after the game’s first drive, but LHS equalized two possessions later on a 35-yard field goal by Noah Potthast. The Farmers took a 10-3 lead on a 33-yard touchdown pass from Brooks to Shavers, but the Eagles tied the game the next time they held the ball — on Weeks’ touchdown run.
LHS failed to come away with any points despite two deep penetrations into Rowlett territory in the second quarter — one drive ended on a Brooks interception, another concluded when Potthast failed to convert a 26-yard field goal attempt.
Rowlett 20, Lewisville 17
1st 2nd 3rd 4th F
Rowlett 10 3 0 7 20
Lewisville 10 0 7 0 17
Rowlett — Josh Aldana 40 FG
Lewisville — Noah Potthast 35 FG
Lewisville — Tyrell Shavers 33 pass from Jarvis Brooks (Potthast kick)
Rowlett — Preston Weeks 44 run (Aldana kick)
Rowlett — Aldana 42 FG
Lewisville — De’Mondrick Hunter 40 pass from Shavers (Potthast kick)
Rowlett — Cameron Vitosh 22 pass from Weeks (Aldana kick)
First downs 14 17
Rushes/yards 32/138 37/152
Comp/Att/Yds/Int 12/29/136/1 13/30/183/2
Total yards 274 335
Fumbles/lost 2/1 0/0
Punts/avg 5/28.5 5/23.2
Penalties/yards 9/104 7/50
Rushing — Weeks 13/90; Kobe Morrow 14/25; Garrett Hermes 3/23; Ladarius Dickens 2/0.
Passing — Weeks 10/27/131/1 int; Hermes 2/2/5/0
Receiving — Dickens 7/86; Dylan Watts 2/13; Vitosh 2/33
Rushing — Brooks 15/95; Kwame Mickels 14/40; Hunter 3/9; Kyle Smith ¾; Shavers 2/4
Passing — Brooks 12/28/143/ 1 int; Shavers 1/2/40/1 int
Receiving — Shavers 8/105; Hunter 1/40; Woody Banks 2/33; Smith 2/6