By THOMAS COOK
A little over a year ago, the Lewisville High School football team was sitting at 0-1, having just lost to Rowlett High School. The Fighting Farmers had their revenge Friday, a 24-10 victory over the Rowlett Eagles, the first for new coach and former player Michael Odle.
The scoring started off slow, with both teams exchanging a pair of field goals through the first quarter-and-a-half. Following Rowlett tying the game at three, the Farmers had a quick four-play 1:17 drive. Farmers’ quarterback Tyler Urban’s first career touchdown wasn’t a pretty one. Urban’s pass had been tipped across the middle of the field and was caught by a diving Brandon Rolfe. Rolfe led all receivers with 7 receptions for 64 yards and a touchdown.
Rowlett and quarterback Preston Weeks had a chance to tie the game in the second quarter following a turnover on downs by the Farmers, but a great play by Farmers linebacker Jacobie Lewis ended any threat of a Rowlett score. Weeks attempted to throw a quick pass outside, but Lewis jumped the route and intercepted the pass, returning the ball untouched, 41 yards to the end zone to put the farmers up 17-3 going into halftime. Earlier in the quarter Lewis dropped a potential interception on a very similar play.
Another quick scoring drive by The Farmers coming out of halftime increased the lead to 24-3. On a 3rd down and 2 from Rowlett’s 26-yardline, running back Demodrick Hunter took the ball to the left and made a nice cut to avoid two defenders and ran the rest of the way to the end zone before Rowlett defenders could bring him down. Hunter carried the ball 19 times for 91 yards and a touchdown. He led all rushers in those categories.
First year Farmers head coach Michael Odle was able to start his tenure off on a good note, thanks to a balanced offense and a stingy defense. The team appears to have bought into being relentless, a sentiment that Odle has repeatedly said he wants his team to be.
“I love all the coaches, all of them,” Hunter said of his new coaching staff. “They put so much time into us and it paid off tonight.”
The Fighting Farmers defense held Rowlett to 230 yards of total offense, and kept them out of the end zone until late in the fourth quarter. The Farmers defense played exceptionally well at limiting big plays. Until the middle of the fourth quarter, Rowlett’s longest offensive play was 11 yards.
“It really is those guys on the defense playing hard,” Odle said of his defenses effort. “They play hard. They hit the quarterback hard when they got to him.”
Jacobie Lewis, Emmanuel Adebayo and Parker Webster stood out for their strong performances on the defense. Lewis was jumping passes in the screen game, including his pick-six and nearly coming down with a second interception. Adebayo was pivotal in slowing down the Rowlett run game. Adebayo appeared to be in on almost every tackle. Webster was a terror for Rowlett quarterback Preston Weeks, recording three of Lewisville’s six sacks. Webster’s relentless motor was on display throughout the game.
“He’s a kid that’s gonna give me everything he’s got every time he’s on the field,” Odle said of Webster. “So we know exactly what we are gonna get with Parker.”
First time starting quarterback Urban played well, and limited mistakes. Aside from the questionable throw that led to the Rolfe touchdown and a late fumble that Urban recovered himself, he played a nearly flawless game. Odle raved about Urban’s performance.
“General. He’s a General. He’s the leader and he runs that show on offense,” Odle said, “You know he’s our guy. He’s the distributor and the coach on the field…. He’s got ice water in his veins and you know he’s our guy”
While his 9 completions on 14 attempts for 130 yards and a touchdown weren’t out of this world, Urban played the game well. He took care of the ball, picked up first downs with his feet when necessary and stayed within the system he was running.
Odle admitted it wasn’t a perfect game. A late touchdown by Rowlett that required the Farmers to recover an onside kick to ensure victory, and two late fumbles, one of which was recovered by Rowlett, will be addressed by coaches.
“There’s no excuse for it.” Odle said. “We’ve got to take care of the ball, and we’re not happy about that”
The performances, both by new coaches and new players, was encouraging for a team that struggled last year to win games.
The Fighting Farmers will host their home opener Friday Sept. 8 at 7:30 p.m. against the Lake Highland Wildcats. Tickets are available for pre-sale for $4 for students and $6 for adults, and at the gate for $8.