Santa Gertrudis Academy (0-2) lost to the Progreso Red Ants (2-1) in a close contest, 14-7, despite a stellar offensive attack on the ground for the Lions.

The Lions racked up 188-yards rushing on the day, led by Jacob Espinoza, who had 69-yards on only four attempts. Quarterback Joel Guerra also had a 67-yards on 15 carries. 

George Santana Jr. added 57-yards of his own and had the lone touchdown of the night for SGA, which was set up by a blocked punt by the Lions.

Santa Gertrudis was successful in moving the football, but was unable to score on three-of-four opportunities inside the red zone.

Lions’ Coach Ivory Dillard said the offense is going to need to work on finishing drives if they want to be able to win close games like last week’s.

“I thought we moved the ball well in spurts,” Dillard said. “Of course, (not having) an offensive turnover was huge, which allowed us to stay in the game (last week). Our focus has to be better in those crucial situations on third and fourth downs, and in the red zone. We can’t have penalties, miscues or bad snaps.”

Looking ahead, the Lions will face off against the Odem Owls, who have done well containing rushing offenses.

The Owls have yet to give up 100-yards rushing to any team this season, which could be a problem for a Lions’ offense averaging 168.5-yards rushing per game, but only 43-yards passing all season. 

“Odem plays great, sound defense, which means we have to execute and take advantage of what they give us,” Dillard said. “And of course, that goes for our passing game.”

Odem has played two games in which they have accumulated more than 200-yards rushing.

Dillard said that is something SGA needs to prevent in order to win on Friday night.

“Our goal will be to slow down their run attack,” Dillard said. “They have been very effective at wearing teams down. So this will be one of those games we will have to bring our hard hats and lunch pails and put in work for all four quarters.”

The Lions look to win their first game of the season against the Odem Owls next Friday on the road at 7:30 p.m.

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