Tivy High School's football season will continue, but the Antlers probably don't want to see another mobile quarterback again.
Lockhart's Ashton Dickens scorched the Antlers for 220 rushing yards and five touchdowns, including a dagger 50-yard kick return on a Tivy onside kick with 2:44 left in the game.
Dickens' efforts and a stout defensive effort helped Lockhart snap a 10-game losing streak to Tivy, 42-28.
TIvy quarterback Kale Lackey runs into the endzone.
More importantly, Lockhart wrapped up second place in the district and improved to 7-3 overall. Tivy finished 3-3 in the conference and 5-5 overall but will advance to the UIL 5A Division II playoffs based on a fourth-place finish in the district.
Tivy had moments when it looked like it was going to extend its three-game winning streak but had no answers for Dickens. It was a difficult night for Tivy's offensive line, which gave up eight sacks of quarterback Kale Lackey.
Despite the protection problems, Lackey was 15-of-18 for 178 yards and two touchdowns. Lackey's late interception on a tipped pass sealed Lockhart's victory.
Despite passing for 178 yards on 15-of-18 attempts, Lockhart sacked Lackey eight times.
Lockhart's defense held Tivy to just 64 rushing yards, and the Antlers suffered a major blow when running back Logan Edmonds was ejected after a targeting call on a block that negated a touchdown pass from Lackey to Jake Layton.
Edmonds, the hero of last week's stunning comeback win at Veterans Memorial, will now miss the first half of the playoff game.
Tivy got on the scoreboard first after Lockhart strangely elected to onside the opening kickoff — downing the ball at the 50-yard line.
The Antlers marched down the field and scored on a double pass from Lackey to Layton and back to Lackey, who was wide-open for the 12-yard touchdown catch.
But then it was Dickens's turn, and the Lions answered back with an impressive 11-play, 75-yard drive capped by Dickens's 7-yard touchdown run.
Tivy had no answers for Lockhart quarterback Ashton Dickens, who scored four rushing touchdowns and added a fifth on a kick return.
Lockhart took the lead on its next possession — and after a three-and-out for Tivy — with Dickens scoring on a 3-yard keeper. The lead boosted to 14-7, and the Lions would never trail.
Tivy had its moments. After both teams traded punts, Lackey found Layton for a 50-yard touchdown strike, but the Antlers missed the point after to trail 14-13.
Lockhart took a 17-13 lead to the locker room when Omar Ocampo kicked a 25-yard field — the first of two field goals for the Lions.
After halftime, Lockhart's Diante Jackson returned a kick 64 yards to put the Lions deep into Tivy territory.
The Antlers kept pace with a 12-play drive, one strewn with penalties and near-disasters. Fortunately, Lackey staved off the messes and scored on a 19-yard run to help keep the Antlers in reach, 24-21.
Lockhart boosted its lead to 27-21 on a 36-yard field goal, but Tivy's next drive was typical of the challenges the Antlers have endured all season. After a 25-yard run by Lackey, which put the ball at the Lockhart 33, the Antlers went backward after the Lions sacked Lackey twice, forcing a punt that rolled to the Lockhart 5.
Even with that booming Layton punt, the Antlers couldn't contain Dickens, who ripped off 35 and 46 yards runs, the last a touchdown.
Tivy answered back, again relying on Lackey's improvisational skills, with a harrowing drive capped by a 12-yard touchdown pass to Layton with 2:48 left in the game.
Trailing 35-28, the Antlers had to an onside kick, and the ball bounced high and right into the hands of Dickens, who had a wide-open lane to the endzone.
Tivy's Jake Layton dives for the endzone for a fourth-quarter touchdown.