5 Game Balls: Sam Houston State

Greetings, Lion fans, normally, we would not be writing a 5 game balls column after a loss, but last night’s effort against a very, very good and talented Sam Houston State deserves and demands it. The Lions went into Huntsville shorthanded, and gave the Bearkats everything they wanted and then some. To be in the fourth quarter of a 17-10 game at the time, was everything that we as fans could have asked for. Every player, coach, and support staff member deserve every credit and accolade for the grit and determination that was on display last night. There are a few that particularly stood out last night. They are:

1. Zadock Dinkleman- Dinkleman is an A&M-Kingsville transfer that was a very good quarterback who gave the Lions fits in the 2021 game. He transferred to Commerce this season, and seeing the crowded quarterback room, asked to move to tight end instead of leaving the program. Given the events of this week, he stepped into the breach, and with was certain to have been a limited game plan, had an outstanding game, going 13-25 for 169 yards, a long completion of 31 yards, and threw one interception despite getting sacked four times by an extremely tough Bearkat defense.

2. Andrew Armstrong- No higher praise can be given than that of a former player. In this case it was one of the best of Lion receivers, Billy Minor, who messaged us in the press box last night with a single phrase: “Andrew Armstrong is legit!” Armstrong led the Lions in receptions with 7 catches for 104 yards, with a long of 31. The Bearkat defense seemingly had no answer for him.

3. Dee Walker- The senior linebacker was quite literally all over the field last night, with six tackles, including a tackle for loss. While the offense was trying to find its footing, Walker and the defense kept the Lions in it for 60 minutes.

4. Mitchell McGarry- If you just look at the stat line, it may not seem like much- 6 punts for a 32.7-yard average. As a part of the flow of the game, though, it was so much more. Despite facing great pressure on occasion, McGarry never had a punt blocked, and bailed the Lions out of some tough spots when they were pinned deep in their own territory, and helped the defense avoid have to work with a short field.

5. Coaching Staff- Just an outstanding effort by David Bailiff and his entire staff last night. While we have figuratively scratched our heads at some of the decisions recently, we will be quick to complement and offer every praise. Given all the events of the past week, Bailiff and his staff had the Lions ready to play a solid game for all 60 minutes. They were still firing away as the clock ran out with a chance to win. Nothing more can be asked. Kyle Williams’s Blue Gang bent, but did not break all night, and returned an interception for a touchdown that made the score 10-7, and silenced Bowers Stadium. Billy Riebock’s offense, despite having to convert a tight end back into a quarterback and starting so many freshmen in the offensive line. was creative in his play calling, and once the offense gained momentum, kept giving everything they had. Jack Welch’s special teams had great coverage, field goals and extra points were perfect, and they blocked a Sam Houston punt. It was the best effort by far of the David Bailiff era in Commerce.

If this was a “measuring stick” type of game that showed where the Lion Football program is, and where it needs to go, then take heart, Lion fans. This team is right in the thick of things, and can only get better.

It’s morning in Commerce, America, and the future is indeed bright.

One thought on “5 Game Balls: Sam Houston State

  1. Pingback: 5 Game Balls: Sam Houston State — The Lion Wire | Ups Downs Family History

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