Roaring into the season
The Teague Lions will be back in action this Friday, beginning the 2020 season with a team that never tasted postseason defeat in 2019.
Friday night, beginning at 7:30 p.m., sees the Lions travel to Mart, the defending Class 2A Division II champions. Teague came up short in its’ lone 2019 playoff contest, a 44-17 defeat against Troy.
Mart’s run to the 2A D2 state title saw the Panthers knock off West Hardin, Detroit, Grapeland, Muenster, and Falls City, before finally defeating Hamlin in the State Championships at Cowboys Stadium.
Returning for the opposition will be senior running back Roddrell Freeman, who stands at 6’1” and 210 pounds. In his junior campaign, including postseason play, Freeman rushed for 2,138 yards on 10.7 yards per carry, adding on 39 touchdowns in the process. The multi-talented prospect also caught a touchdown, as well as threw for a score, in the 2019 season.
When it mattered most, Freeman delivered, producing 100-yard games in every playoff performance. He rushed for 218 yards in the victory over Muenster, 103 yards against Falls City, and produced 168 yards in the State Championship. In the Championship game, Freeman accounted for all three Panther touchdowns.
He is currently ranked as a two-star recruit by Rivals.com, with offers on the table from Texas Tech, Missouri State and Prairie View A&M.
Joining Freeman in the Panthers’ backfield will be junior Klyderion Campbell, who rushed for 743 yards in the 2019 season and added 31 receptions for 452 yards to his statline.
The Panthers also return the majority of a terrorizing defense that held opponents to 11.1 points per game last season, producing four shutouts along the way.
The defense is led by the Medlocks, De’traevion and Da’Marion, who combined for 155 total tackles in 2019, including 16 combined in the State Championship game.
To counter, the Lions return seven starters on offense and six on defense from the 2019 unit that finished 4-7 (3-3 district).
Looking to match up with the firepower in the Panthers’ backfield, the Lions will bring out top back Nemier Herod, who had 950 rushing yards in just five games in the 2019 season.
“We feel he’s one of the best backs in the area,” said Lions head coach Donnie Osborn. Osborn will pair Herod in the offense with returning QB Jake Callahan, who threw for 1,000 yards in action last season.
“[Callahan] has worked very hard to have a great sophomore campaign and has several players around him to have a successful offense,” said offensive coordinator Bryce Perkins.
Callahan’s supporting cast includes Herod and playmakers such as Luke Stacks, Juan Bernal and Brylon Jackson.
Backing up Callahan on the offensive line will be Josh Perez, Sebastian Carter, Hayden Lummus, Conner Buck and Nate Evans.
“If we can be consistent, we should be fun to watch,” said Perkins.
Hoping to stop the Panthers’ attack will be a Lions defense led by Bernal’s play at safety. Bernal was named District Preseason Defensive Player of the Year by Dave Campbell’s Texas Football 2020.
Other heavy-hitters on the defensive end include Stacks and Hunter Handsome at linebacker, as well as Herod and Jarrett Bodine in the secondary for the Lions. The coaching staff is also expecting production from Buck at linebacker, Wayland Allison at tight end and defensive end, and Uriel Medina in the kicking game.
After the matchup with the Panthers, the Lions will welcome Lago Vista for the team’s first 2020 home contest.
The remainder of the non-district schedule will see the Lions square off with Madisonville and Buffalo on the road.
The Lions’ district schedule for District 8-3A will consist of matchups with Eustace, Fairfield, Groesbeck, Kemp, and Malakoff.