(Editor's note: Over the last six weeks, The Lead assisted the Kerrville Daily Times in covering Tivy High School football. However, KDT management elected to edit our latest story without consultation, thus unnecessarily changing the context and introducing errors. During this agreement, we provided KDT exclusive access to Tivy football game stories. We have severed the arrangement with KDT. We present the original version.)
The odds are now long for the Tivy Antlers — not impossible — but lengthening. Those odds are related to making the playoffs, and they became a worrisome problem after Friday's 30-27 loss to visiting Bastrop at Antler Stadium.
Tivy is now down two games in District 13 and will have to run the table or get a lot of help if they want to return to the University Interscholastic League 5A Division II playoffs. At 0-2 in the district, the Antlers have a long way to go.
This was a winnable game for the Antlers, but they faced a Bastrop team that has a way of hanging around. The Bears came into the game 0-5 but lost those matchups by a combined 34 points. On this night, the Bears got a 34-yard field goal from kicker James Ramon, one of three on the night, to seal the win with 12 seconds left in the game.
"We didn't take care of the football,'' said Tivy football coach David Jones.
The Antlers turned the ball over twice, including a crushing fumble at the Bastrop 6-yard drive in the first half, and then a bad snap resulted in a turnover with 6:32 left in the game. That turnover led to a Bastrop touchdown that helped tie the game at 27-27 with 1:38 left in the game.
But the real miscue, you could argue, happened on the next possession, with the Antlers electing to run the ball twice for minimal gains. A strange set of circumstances considering quarterback Kale Lackey and receiver Jake Layton tore it up in the third quarter — connecting five times and for two touchdowns.
Tivy High School's remaining schedule
- at San Antonio Pieper, 7 p.m., Oct. 7
- Bastrop Cedar Creek, 7 p.m., Oct. 21 (Homecoming)
- at San Antonio Veterans Memorial, 7 p.m., Oct. 27
- Lockhart, 7 p.m., Nov. 4
Tivy's Landon Barnett scores on a 1-yard touchdown run against Bastrop.
Of course, Lackey also had trouble of his own; collapsing protection didn't help, and he threw an interception as the Antlers were driving toward another red-zone opportunity. Lackey's lack of security resulted in six carries for negative yards, including four in the second half.
However, when it mattered most and the game on the line, the Antlers went conservative and rushed the ball with Logan Edmonds, who did have a season-high 107 rushing yards, and Lackey. Then on third down, another problem area, Lackey couldn't find an open man and the ball fell to the ground.
With 42 seconds left and Bastrop at their own 44-yard line, it looked like the Antlers defense might come through, but Bears quarterback Seth Mouser connected with Julius Baynard for a 42-yard passing play put the ball at the Tivy 16-yard line. After a spike, Ramon trotted out and hit the game-winner.
Tivy quarterback Kale Lackey works his way for some running room against Bastrop.
There were opportunities here for the Antlers. Tivy did some things well, especially when Layton got into the open. The former quarterback caught five passes for 119 yards, with two touchdowns. Lackey finished the night with 250 yards on a 14-of-19 passing night, with three touchdowns and an interception.
Trailing 10-0, the Antlers got back into the game in the first half on a 5-yard pass from Lackey to Edmonds. The Antlers took the lead going into halftime when Landon Barnett capped a nine-play 59-yard drive with a 3-yard touchdown run over the middle.
And it looked like Tivy might blow the Bears out with the big plays from Layton, who scored on passes of 21 and 55 yards. However, the Antlers gave up crucial big plays and then there were the turnovers.
Now, Tivy hits the road to face 1-4 San Antonio Pieper, which beat Bastrop last week 30-21. Pieper will be coming off a bye week when it hosts the Antlers next Friday in San Antonio.