Running for Miles

District 100-meter sprint champion Miles Denson helped the speedy Greenville Lions increase their numbers on offense and special teams in 2019. Denson scored on a kickoff return, plus on six runs and five pass receptions.

  The Greenville Lions were a much quicker football team than their 2018 predecessors.

  That extra speed showed up in the win column and on the stat sheet.

  The Lions improved from a 2-7 record in 2018 to 6-5 in 2019. It was their first winning record since 2009 (6-4) and they made their first trip to the playoffs since 2003.

  The Lions’ scoring was up. They averaged 31.7 points per game in 2019, as opposed to 22.6 for the previous season.

  Their total offense, rushing and passing numbers were also improved. The 2019 Lions averaged 324 yards per game, up from a norm of 282.1 in 2018. They ran for 2,254 yards and 24 touchdowns this past season, up from the 2018 totals of 1,381 yards and 22 TDs. They also passed for 1,310 yards and 16 TDs, up from the previous total of 1,158 yards and four TDs.

  Running back Lester Turner boosted his rushing numbers with 1,040 yards and nine touchdowns on 183 carries, significantly up from his 2018 totals (117-565).

  Quarterback Brandon Stephens’ numbers were up as his playing time also increased. Stephens passed for a team-high 1,173 yards and 14 touchdowns, completing 79 of 168 attempts and ran for 584 yards and five touchdowns on 127 keeps. Stephens passed for 276 yards and ran for 148 in 2018.

  Caleb Johnson led the Lion receivers with 30 catches for 479 yards and six touchdowns, while Shawn Brown led in receiving yards with 504 yards and six TDs off 20 receptions.

  Miles Denson also caught 20 passes for 243 yards and four TDs and ran for 406 yards and six scores on 62 carries.

  The Lions’ speed showed as six Greenville players ran for gains of 20 or more yards including Turner (long gain of 61 yards), Dartaevon Wilkerson (56), Denson (51), Stephens (45), Johnson (30) and Tyrecus Davis (23).

  Johnson’s speed showed on TD receptions of 72 and 65 yards, while Denson had a 61-yard reception and Brown had a 60-yarder. All three Lion receivers ran on their 4x100-meter relay team that went to regional last spring.

  The Lions also made some big plays on special teams and defense.

  Denson and Davis returned kickoffs for touchdowns of 70 and 50 yards.

  Davis made some big plays for the speedy Lion defense this season. He returned interceptions for a 68-yard touchdown against Forney, a 60-yard touchdown against Sulphur Springs and 28 yards to the 2-yard yard line to set up a score against Ennis.

  Defensive end Jeremiah Abrego also returned a fumble 33 yards for a TD against Forney.

  The Lions’ overall defensive numbers were also improved. They allowed 344.5 yards per game, an improvement of 43 yards per game. Their run defense allowed 2,693 yards and 21 TDs, down from the 2018 totals of 2,566 yards and 32 TDs. The Lions cut down on points allowed, giving up an average of 21.8, down from the 2018 total of 28.3.

  The Lions outscored the opposition in each of the first three quarters by margins of 96-68, 99-46 and 67-61.

                  2019 Season Stats

                         RUSHING

                                  Att.       Yds.    Avg. TDs Lg

Lester Turner               183      1040   5.7    9    61

Brandon Stephens        127        584   4.6    5    45

Miles Denson                 62        406   6.5    6    51

Dartaveon Wilkerson      22        209   9.5    3    56

Caleb Johnson               11          53   4.8    0    30

Tyrecus Davis                  1         23  23.0    1    23

Cameron Mapps               2           4    2.0    0     3

Zavion Jackson                1           3    3.0    0     3

Josh Luna                       4        -25    -6.2    0    0

Team                             8        -43    -5.4    0   -3

                              PASSING

                                  C   A   I   Pct.  Yds.     TDs. LG

Brandon Stephens      79 168 6  .470 1173    14    72

Josh Luna                    6   12 1  .500    95      1    38

Miles Denson                1    1 0 1.000    42     1     42

                              RECEIVING

                            Rec.    Yds.    Avg.    TDs    LG

Caleb Johnson         30    429    14.3    6    72

Shawn Brown          20    504    25.2    6    60

Miles Denson           20    243    12.1    4    61

Lester Turner            8      38      4.7    0    19

Ja’Quez Davis            4     43    10.7    0    16

Tyrecus Davis            2     29    14.5    0    17

Brian Gilstrap             1    18    18.0    0    18

Dartaveon Wilkerson   1     6      6.0     0    6

                 TEAM TOTALS

                                Att.    Yds. Avg.   TDs  LG

Opponent rush           515   2693 5.2    21    50

Greenville rush           421   2254 5.3    24    61

                  PASSING

                        C  A     I        Pct.    Tds.     TDs  LG

Opponent        97  192 11      .505   1097   7     51

Greenville        86  181  7      . 475  1310  16    72

                TOTAL OFFENSE

                                Plays    Yds.     Avg.    TDs    LG

Opponent                   707   3790      344.5    28    51

Greenville                   602   3564      324.0    40    72

                  PUNTING

                   Punts    Yds.    Avg.    BL  LG

Opponent        38    1337    35.2    0    59

Greenville        40    1346    33.6    0    56

             GREENVILLE PUNTING

                      Punts  Yds.    Avg.    BL  LG

Zach Allen        40    1346    33.6    0    56

                    SCORE BY QUARTERS

Opponent        68    46    61   65—240

Greenville        96    99    67   55—317

         SEASON RESULTS

W.T. White 38, Greenville 37

Greenville 45, Dallas Lincoln 12

Corsicana 20, Greenville 7

Greenville 24, Kaufman 7

Greenville 49, North Forney 38

Greenville 28, Terrell 16

Royse City 17, Greenville 14

Greenville 25, Sulphur Springs 13

Greenville 51, Forney 3

Ennis 32, Greenville 25

Frisco 44, Greenville 12

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