LEXINGTON — Penalties and turnovers prevented Lexington’s offense from generating any rhythm on Friday night.
The Minutemen committed nine penalties and five turnovers in a 35-14 loss to Seward at Lexington’s Memorial Field.
"It was a pretty good ball game the first half," said Lexington coach Jeff Rowan. "We came out and laid an egg kinda a little bit at the start of the second half and just let things snowball from there. We just have to learn to put a whole game together."
In the first half, the Minutemen (1-2) held their own against the Bluejays (2-1), despite some costly penalties and a lack of execution.
On their first series, they started in Seward territory and pushed the ball to the Seward 26-yard line. A false start penalty, an incomplete pass and a dropped pass pushed the Minutemen out of a manageable fourth-down play.
The Minutemen nearly scored on a 65-yard touchdown pass on their second series but a block in the back penalty erased the scoring play.
With about eight minutes left in the first half, Lexington quarterback Kaleb Carpenter connected with receiver Ean Bailey on a post pattern for a 19-yard touchdown to even the score at 7-7.
Seward stitched together a 12-play drive on its ensuing possession to seize a 14-7 lead with four minutes left in the half.
"We were playing hard, playing well and mixing things up," Rowan said. "We mixed some things up and had them a little confused I think on their offensive sets. Our kids were just playing really hard. We just have to learn to play that hard the whole ball game."
The Minutemen opened the second half on offense and had a chance to even the score. But two costly offensive series altered the game.
On the Minutemen’s first two series of the second half, Seward’s defense pressured Carpenter and forced him to scramble. Carpenter was overwhelmed with the pressure and fumbled on each possession. Seward recovered the ball each time and capitalized on the mistakes to jump ahead 28-7.
Lexington scored a desperation touchdown with one minute left on a 5-yard scramble by Carpenter.
The Minutemen finished with 185 yards of offense compared to Seward’s 364.
"You can’t give a team that good short fields to work with when you are in a seven-point ball game," Rowan said. "That ended up being the difference in the ball game."
Up next, Lexington will face Waverly at 7 p.m. Friday on the road.
Seward 35, Lexington 14
Scores by Quarter
SHS (2-1) 7 14 7 7 — 35
LHS (1-2) 0 7 0 7 — 14
SHS — Tyson Franklin 20 run (Parker Hammond kick good)
LHS — Ean Bailey 19 pass from Kaleb Carpenter (Jason Tovar kick good)
SHS — Ben Myers 7 run (Hammond kick good)
SHS — Josh Sagehorn 6 pass from Myers (Hammond kick good)
SHS — Myers 1 run (Hammond kick good)
SHS — Gavin Sukup 1 run (Hammond kick good)
LHS — Carpenter 5 run (Tovar kick good)
RUSHING — LHS: Kaleb Carpenter 5-2-1, Dylan Richman 1-1-0, Alex Ramos 10-3-0, Dakota Haines 4-9-0. SHS: Zach Ellingson 4-21-0, Tyson Franklin 5-27-1, Hunter Novacek 15-98-0, Ben Myers 16-86-2, Wyatt Warner 1-4-0, 2-2-1, Mason Bisbee 1-20-0, Team 1-(-8)-0.
PASSING — LHS: Kaleb Carpenter 16-31-3 175 yards. SHS: Ben Myers 11-18-1 115 yards, Gavin Sukup 0-0-1.
RECEIVING — LHS: Dylan Richman 9-97-0, Dau Mach 5-61-0, Ean Bailey 1-19-1. SHS: Josh Sagehorn 3-53-1, Nathan Pence 1-10-0, Wyatt Warner 1-3-0, Parker Stroup 2-11-0, Hunter Novacek 2-14-0, Boone Duncan 1-15-0. Dylan Hiser 1-9-0.