Big Play Payday

Quick strike Tigers dial up long distance for romp
BY BILL MARTIN
Reporter Sports Editor


Tyler Lehmkuhl sprints downfield en route to a 99-yard touchdown catch and run. 
Reporter/Cliff Dungan Tyler Lehmkuhl sprints downfield en route to a 99-yard touchdown catch and run. Reporter/Cliff Dungan ACADEMY—The Rockdale Tigers are the defending District 10-3A champions.

Friday night, they took the first step in protecting the crown. Actually, it was a lot of steps.

Posting points on the their first four possessions of the game, the Tigers ran away with an emphatic 49-14 victory over Academy at John Glover Stadium.

Big Blue improved to 3-2 overall and claimed their 11th straight league win.

Displaying impressive athleticism, the first four times the Tigers touched the ball, they accumulated 316 yards of offense in finding the end zone on scores of 67, 99, 93 and 57.

By the end of the first quarter, Big Blue had out manned Academy under their thumb 25-0, with 352 yards of offense.

Rockdale finished with 576 yards of offense including 408 in the first half while constructing a 39-0 lead at the break.


Bottom left to right—Adam Gomez sets up to protect Torry Locklin. Linebaker Jackson Perry zeroes in on another Bumblebee ball carrier. Lineman Carson Offield takes a water break. Tyler Lehmkuhl was all smiles after a breakout game of three touchdowns. Dylan Rowe pressures the quarterback. Middle—Chris Johnson tries to come up with a reception. Jaqualyn Crawford goes over the shoulder. Nathan Newlin looks for space on a kickoff return. Torry Locklin shakes a tackler. Top—An injured Josh Springer sat out against Academy. Tiger defensive back Levi Baggerly watches as Academy’s Coleman Berg juggles the ball on a reception. Bottom left to right—Adam Gomez sets up to protect Torry Locklin. Linebaker Jackson Perry zeroes in on another Bumblebee ball carrier. Lineman Carson Offield takes a water break. Tyler Lehmkuhl was all smiles after a breakout game of three touchdowns. Dylan Rowe pressures the quarterback. Middle—Chris Johnson tries to come up with a reception. Jaqualyn Crawford goes over the shoulder. Nathan Newlin looks for space on a kickoff return. Torry Locklin shakes a tackler. Top—An injured Josh Springer sat out against Academy. Tiger defensive back Levi Baggerly watches as Academy’s Coleman Berg juggles the ball on a reception. “Explosive offensively,” said Rockdale Coach Jeff Miller. “Torry you know just... tonight’s the game, tonight’s his breakout game. Tonight’s his bust-out game.”

For the second straight game, Locklin was the trigger man for the Tigers with 334 yards of offense and accounting for six touchdowns—five through the air.

Locklin was 14-of-18 for 250 yards through the air and the five scoring strikes are the second most in school history.

Locklin opened the scoring floodgates on the third play of the contest when he tried the middle of the line, spun out of trouble and headed down the left sideline for a 67-yard score.

Returning from a shoulder injury last week, Jaqualyn Crawford eased into the offensive scheme.

Friday evening, he was front and center.

The 5-foot-9, 170-pound Oklahoma pledge toyed with the hapless Bumblebees who tried to take him on, with three rushes for 117 yards and six catches for 91 yards.

Crawford showed off his gold medal speed by leaving defenders in his exhaust fumes on a 94-yard touchdown dash from scrimmage and then on a 57-yard scamper to the end zone.

Crawford went untouched on both plays.

Crawford enjoys facing Academy, he set a school record for receiving yards in last year’s matchup with the Bumblebees.

Locklin and Crawford combined for 206 yards on the ground on just six carries.

Tyler Lehmkuhl—who also missed some time this season with an ankle injury—had his breakout game with five catches for 139 yards and was on the receiving end of three of Locklin’s five touchdown aerials.

Lehmkuhl logged most of his yardage on a 99-yard catch-and-run from Locklin in which he snagged the ball at the 20-yard line and showed impressive speed himself, going untouched for the next 80 yards to complete the journey.

The long distance trip set a new school record that can never be broken, eclipsing Cristian Lara’s 90-yard grab from David Franklin against Comanche in 2015.

Lehmkuhl added a 11-yard grab in the back of the end zone in the second quarter and snagged a 15-yarder in the third quarter to end the Tiger onslaught.

The three scores were the senior tight end’s first of the season.

Tyler Caldwell also hauled in his first touchdown reception of the season on a six yarder that put the cap on Rockdale’s longest possession of the evening that covered 46 yards on nine plays.

“On both sides of the ball, in the first half was about as dominant as we’ve been in a long time,” Miller said.

What makes the numbers even more interesting is that most Tiger starters took to the sideline midway through the third quarter.

The Big Blue defense was equally as impressive.

The Tigers snuffed out the Bumblebee offensive effort, holding them to seven yards in the first quarter and 23 yards by halftime.

Academy did not record its first first down until there was under two minutes remaining in the half and that came by way of penalty.

When the Tigers went up 46-0 with 8:58 left in the third quarter, Miller cleared the bench, so all of Academy’s points came against Tiger reserves.

Still, the Bumblebees finished with just 120 yards of total offense and eight first downs.

Senior linebacker Jr. Harris returned to action after sitting out the Rogers game with an ankle injury and pulled the trigger on 10 tackles—six for loss.

“We’ve been talking all along that we were pretty good on defense and tonight we really played like it,” Miller said.

“They were just better than us,” said Academy Coach Mike Nichols. “That’s as good a team as there is in the district. They just have so many athletes. We were going to have to be perfect and we weren’t perfect.”

TIGER SEASON LEADERS

Rushing—Locklin 53-572 7TD, Ayala 44-250 TD, Crawford 4-128 TD, Barnes 21-83 TD, Mitchell 9- 60, Rowe 4-13, Loth 6-21, Harris 1-1 TD, Dean 1-(-9).

Passing—Locklin 64-116- 3, 786 yards 7TD, Loth 3-10- 0, 47 yards.

Receiving— Lehmkuhl 15-257 3TD, Crawford 11-134 TD, Johnson 11-141, Loth 5-53 TD, Caldwell 5-43 TD, Myles 6-48, Hughes 7-67, Monzingo 2-17, Storey 1-43 TD, David 1-25, Moore 1-8, Rowe 1-1, Mitchell 1-(-5).

Tackles— David 54, Springer 29, Story 37, Harris 30, Debault 28, Mitchell 22, McBride 23, Moore 21, Dean 20, Newlin 19, Baggerly 15.







Photography by Cliff Dungan and Steve Young Photography by Cliff Dungan and Steve Young


Click here for digital edition
2017-10-12 digital edition

Copyright 2009-2017 Rockdale Reporter, All Rights Reserved.



Special Sections


Special Sections
Archive