Plainview Bulldogs head football coach Ryan Rhoades had no problem taking the blame for his football team’s 36-0 season-opening loss against the Levelland Lobos on Friday night.
“Our defense played really well in spurts. We even had a few spurts on offense,” Rhoades said. “It’s my job as the head coach to make sure that those aren’t spurts, that those are sustained things, whether that’s sustained defensive intensity or sustained offensive drives and we didn’t do either one of those tonight.”
Meanwhile, Lobos senior quarterback Chris Gerber proved his merit as a dual threat quarterback, scoring every touchdown and racking up 119 yards on seven carries.
“We missed a few tackles early on that maybe made him (Gerber) look a little better than he was, but he made some darn good cutbacks and reversed field a few times that kind of caught us off guard,” Rhoades said. “He’s a good player, and we’re going to have to learn how to defend those.”
Gerber started the game with a long run in the first quarter that got called back because of a penalty. The Lobos had eight in the first half for 65 yards.
“We’ll definitely run for those in practice,” Gerber said. “A lot of them were just stupid penalties. We’ll get them fixed.”
It didn’t take long for Gerber to forget as he slipped through the Bulldogs’ defense for a 44-yard touchdown with 5:49 to go in the first frame. Senior Jersson Hernandez kicked the extra point for the 7-0 game.
Hernandez later added a 32-yard field goal in the second quarter and went 4-for-4 on extra kicks. He provided the Lobos with a final field goal – good for 30 yards – in the later half of the fourth quarter.
Gerber carried the load for much of the first half with a 7- and 14-yard rushing touchdown to send the Lobos into the half with a 24-0 advantage.
“I just looked for the back of the field because as soon as I did drop back to pass, they would just get out of there, so the middle of the field would just pop wide open,” Gerber said.
The Bulldogs’ offense took a major metaphorical and literal hit when senior tailback Andrew Villa left the game with an injury at the 2:46 mark of the first quarter. Junior backup Peyton McNutt came in and had an 11-yard run in the first half.
Meanwhile, the Bulldogs’ secondary was able to limit Gerber’s passing game to 7 of 17 throws for 92 yards.
“Of all the plays that Levelland ran, and they ran quite a few, I only remember one play where we somehow busted a coverage. That was because they saw a formation they hadn’t seen to this point,” Rhoades said. “Overall, I thought our defense secondary-wise did a really good job.”
The Bulldogs had a few near interceptions when senior defensive back Gerardo Duran picked off one of Gerber’s passes in the end zone. In a twist of fate, though, a block in the back penalty gave the Lobos a safety.
“The rule was correct, and the ruling is correct. It was just kind of an unbelievable occurrence,” Rhoades said. “I’ve never seen that on the defensive interception before.”
Gerber closed out the night with a final 36-yard TD at the 5:27 juncture of the fourth quarter for the senior-laden Lobos team.
“I’ve wanted this game since I found out that we scheduled them,” Gerber said about the Bulldogs. “We’ve always started off with a (Class 3A school) … and now we went to a 5A. I feel like that’s going to open a lot of eyes.”
Levelland (1-0), a Class 4A school, plays Shallowater in its season opener next Friday.
Though a blow to the Bulldogs’ confidence, Rhoades is confident his team (0-1) will bounce back next week against Palo Duro on Thursday in Amarillo.
“They (Palo Duro) have some big-time receivers on the edge. They do some really good things,” Rhoades said. “We’re go... Click here to read full article