With just over four minutes remaining in the first half, there was a restless murmuring inside of Lewisville’s Max Goldsmith Stadium. Down 7-0 to an Irving MacArthur program that has struggled to find its footing in 2019, the uncomfortable thought on the minds of the Farmer faithful was the hangover effect following last week’s heartbreaking loss to Flower Mound.
But for any questions that loomed as to how Lewisville would respond, a critical stop with the Cardinals threatening to take a two-possession advantage, however, provided the answer.
MacArthur had controlled the ball for almost 19 minutes in the first half, but with first-and-goal at the 9-yard line, the unraveling began. A plethora of penalties pushed the Cardinals back to the 25-yard line and a missed field goal opened up the floodgates for a 45-7 final score in Lewisville’s favor.
The Farmer offensive appeared to be revived from the first miscue of the evening and proceeded to march down the field with a slew of explosive plays on the ground. Junior quarterback Taylen Green found blocking to his left on the fourth play of the drive and busted through the hole for a 35-yard touchdown run. The play, which capped off a drive of 2:05, was all the Farmers needed to go on a stretch of 45 unanswered points.
“It was a slow start but kudos to them. They came out and gave us different looks than what we had seen on film and controlled the clock. They did some good stuff on defense,” said Michael Odle, Lewisville head coach. “It was huge for us to have the offense on the field and for Julio (Perez) to hit the 48-yard field goal before the half.”
MacArthur could not seem to regroup after the initial score and Lewisville took advantage of a shaky performance. Prior to the touchdown, MacArthur was able to covert five third-and-long situations that kept the clock running and their defense off the field. For the remainder of the game, the Cardinals only moved the chains twice on third down. That was compounded by three turnovers, two on kickoff returns, that kept the MacArthur defense busy.
Lewisville sophomore running back Damien Martinez found his legs after the intermission, plowing ahead for a trio of touchdowns that included the back-breaker. With 9:30 in the third quarter, the bell cow fended off five would-be tacklers en route to a 33-yard score to push the score to 17-7. Moments later, Martinez brought the offensive down within striking distance and let his teammates do the rest.
Green found his slot receiver Tony Thomas in the flat on a crossing route for a 17-yard touchdown throw and from there the rout was on. The Farmers piled on 28 third quarter points on a pair of one-play drives from inside the red zone. Martinez would finish with 79 yards rushing and Green would lead all rushers with 104 yards.
“It wasn’t happy in the locker room at half time. We weren’t doing the things we prepared for all week and it was frustrating,” Odle said. “We hugged it out though and said we are going to go out and do it in the second half. We calmed down.”
With the score showing 45-7 early in the final frame, Lewisville opted for their second-string quarterback to ice the remainder of the contest. On a day when the score appeared to show a blowout, that certainly wasn’t the full story.
The Cardinals appeared to the be the better team for the first half of play. In fact, the defense of the visiting team warranted a sea change in offensive play calling on the part of the Lewisville offensive coordinator, who was forced to abandon the passing game entirely for most of the run.
“We needed to go to the run there to get some first downs and our defense was tired,” Odle said. “Once we got the chains moving, we got in a rhythm and then we were able to make some plays in the air after that.”
Set up with the speed and strength of linebackers David Galloway and Chandler Neal, MacArthur relegated the offense to be one dimensional for the majority of the night. The only issue came from Martinez’s explosive evening.
Similarly, Dylan Frettoloso continued to make sound reads on the option plays under center but turnovers by the offensive unit proved to be too much to overcome. Frettoloso would end the day 11-of-16 passing for 110 yards and an interception.
With the win, Lewisville moves to 1-1 in district play and 4-1 on the year. They will next play Coppell on the road at 7 p.m. Friday.