It had been a while.
The Lifegate Christian Falcons had not lost a game since the 2017 season, going a perfect 10-0 last year on their way to an undefeated campaign and the TCAL 2A state championship.
That changed last Saturday night, as the Falcons fought with UIL Class A High Island for four quarters, only to fall in an offensive slugfest, 55-54.
The Falcons outscored High Island 38-35 in the fist half, as the offense picked up right where it had left off last season.
“We were just running what we usually run,” said Lifegate head coach John Stout. “We had a good game plan going — everything was clicking, everything was working.”
But the Cardinals had an answer for LIfegate’s scores, racking up the 35 points — mostly on the same play.
“They came up with a couple of plays that they ran that were long yardage plays where they scored,” Stout said. “We stopped pretty much everything — but they scored on the same play every time.
“It was kind of a sneaky play, where the flow went one way, and the play went the other. We were caught in the movement and the play went back behind us.”
After High Island had taken the lead in the third quarter, Lifegate scored once more in the fourth for a 54-47 advantage, but the Cardinals scored with about three minutes left in the fourth quarter to retake the lead.
Lifegate got the ball back and had a chance to win the ballgame after the score, but after driving to the Cardinals 15-yard-line, a sack and a fumble sealed the game for High Island.
“We were driving down to score again, but the sack and fumble backed us up,” Stout said.
The coach felt the size of the Cardinals had an effect on the Falcons in the second half.
“They kind of beat us down,” Stout said. “They were a bigger group of boys, kept overpowering us and it seemed like we just couldn’t keep up with them.”
Junior Quinten Shelnutt saw most of the playing time at quarterback for the Falcons.
The Lifegate QB accounted for 188 yards through the air on 18-22 passing and one touchdown.
He also rushed for 113 yards on 24 carries and three scores.
Junior Luke Landin rushed for 48 yards on seven carries and two touchdowns, and spelled Shelnutt at quarterback, completing all three of his throws for 24 yards.
Barson Schmidt had four catches for 54 yards, and Zack McCulloch had two catches for 41 yards. Joseph Menchaca and David Brewer contributed with one catch each on the night.
The first loss in almost two years does not worry Stout, who is confident the team will rebound.
“We know it’s fine and we’ll bounce back,” he said. “The boys were disappointed, but I took the film to them and they saw the little mistakes we made here and there.
“We’ll just work on correcting that stuff and get it going again.”
Stout noted the effort of the Falcons in the loss.
“I love their heart,” he said. “They gave it everything they had, and in some of the situations where it got a little frustrating, they came together as a team.”
The coach plans on using Shelnutt and Landin again at quarterback against the Corpus Christi Badgers at home this Friday night.
“We’ll probably switch them out a little more so Quinten is a little more fresh when he comes in,” Stout said.
Kickoff against the Badgers is set for 7:30 p.m. See the preview of that game in Friday’s Seguin Gazette.
Kevin Duke is the sports editor of the Seguin Gazette. You can e-mail him at email@example.com .