Robert E. Lee enters its bye week before district looking to bounce back following a 37-7 home loss Friday against Beaumont West Brook.
Lee’s miscues ultimately enabled the visiting Bruins to take over the game.
The Red Raiders (1-4) finished with a season-high in turnovers (3), a season low in passing yards (27), two three-and-outs and an unfortunate mistake on special teams.
“I am a firm believer in nothing good comes out of a loss, so we’ve just got to get better with what we’re doing,” Lee coach Randy Huffstickler said. “We can’t afford to get behind the chains and we can’t have turnovers.”
On defense, Lee was done in by big plays and time-consuming drives, most of it courtesy of West Brook tailback Percy Johnson, who finished with 233 yards and three touchdowns.
The biggest stat for West Brook (4-1): The Bruins were 6 of 10 on third down conversions — one of them a third-and-19 — and they also overcame a fourth-and-14.
Huffstickler said his team looked out of gas and blamed himself and his staff.
“I am disappointed in a lot of things, disappointed in our technique, our effort; we didn’t get them ready to play,” Huffstickler said. “They played hard for four weeks and we were hoping this wasn’t going to happen and I think we came out flat against a good football team.”
Lee trailed 7-0 on a 68-yard scoring run from Johnson on the third play of the game. Despite that, REL looked moments away from a touchdown or field goal of its own thanks to a punishing 14-play drive that moved the Red Raiders deep into Bruins territory.
A turnover ended it and a second turnover helped give West Brook a 21-0 lead at halftime. Despite that, Lee had moved the ball and was set to receive the football to start the second half.
It never happened.
What did was an embarrassing trip by West Brook’s kicker which a heads up Bruins player turned into an unintentional onside kick. A stunned REL return team could only watch. This led to a fourth touchdown followed by a Lee fumble on the next kickoff return.
When Joseph Seeber and the offense finally got on the field for the second half, there was 4:16 to play in the third quarter and REL was trailing 31-0.
The Red Raiders ended the game on an upswing, though, with backs Dalaven Baker and Vincent Cato taking turns churning up yardage on a 69-yard touchdown drive that needed six plays.
Next up are the games that really count as REL opens District 11-5A play Oct. 7 against Mesquite Horn (1-4) at Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium.
“The kids will bounce back quicker than the coaches,” Huffstickler said. “We’ll get over it. We’ll get back to work and start working on Mesquite Horn.”