By DAVID CLAYBOURN
Homecoming traditionally brings out the best in the Greenville Lions.
The homecoming Lions are hoping that magic works again tonight in a District 13-4A football contest against undefeated Lucas Lovejoy.
The pre-game festivities, including the crowning of the homecoming queen, starts at 7 at T.A. “Cotton” Ford Stadium. The opening kickoff is at 7:30.
Greenville has won 12 of its last 19 homecoming games. In a couple of seasons during that stretch the Lions’ only victory was on homecoming and some of the wins were over state-ranked and undefeated teams.
Greenville lost its homecoming game last year but by only a 35-27 margin to Royse City after leading 27-21 in the third quarter.
A victory tonight would be the Lions’ first of the season and would snap a 24-game losing streak. It would also put them back into the District 13-4A race.
The 0-4 Lions dropped their district opener, 21-10 at Royse City last week after the Bulldogs turned Greenville back on a fourth-and one run at the Bulldog 44 with 2:32 remaining when Royse City was leading only 14-10.
Greenville coach Marvin Sedberry said the Lions got a questionable spot by the officials on that run by Chance Hamilton and on the one before it, a 1-yard gain by running back Jamar Clark on third and two. After those two spots, the Lions were flagged three times for unsportsmanlike conduct on Royse City’s next drive, which helped set up Samuell Rushing’s 8-yard clinching touchdown with 1:20 remaining.
Royse City finished with a narrow 252-247 advantage in total yardage as Lion quarterback Marquist Davis accounted for 156 yards of total offense, completing 13 of 19 passes for 87 yards and rushing for 69 yards on 13 carries.
Sedberry said Davis and the Lions are showing improvement in each game.
Lucas Lovejoy team hasn’t skipped a beat since moving up from Class 3A, where the Leopards went 8-4 last season and reached the regional semifinals. The 4-0 Leopards have beaten Frisco Heritage 53-14, Forney 38-16, Frisco 35-24 and Wylie 47-21 in last week’s district opener.
“They’re a good football team,” said Sedberry. “Very good offensively. Very balanced. They can run it and throw it. Two good backs.”
Sedberry said the Leopard have a couple of good linebackers on defense and the secondary is solid.
“They’re maybe the best football team we’ve played this year,” he said.
Lovejoy quarterback Bowman Sells has passed for 603 yards and six touchdowns, completing 37 of 63 attempts with three interceptions.
Nicholaas LaSane leads the Leopard rushers with 348 yards and one touchdown on 34 carries and Dan Sefcik has run for 252 yards and three scores on 19 rushes. Sefcik also leads the Leopard receivers with 13 catches for 210 yards.
Davis leads Greenville’s rushers with 215 yards and one score on 41 carries and is 21-of-38 for 131 yards passing.
Michael Hernandez tops the Greenville receivers with seven catches for 49 yards and Neftali Vargas has five receptions for 21 yards.