Braxton Garmon (#11) receives the ball from quarter back, Derek Clamon (#3) and runs the ball during Friday night’s defeat of Lindale.

Now, that is the way to start the season with a bang!

Thanks to a dramatic rally in the fourth quarter, the Kaufman Lions football team defeated state-ranked and 2020 4A Division 1 state finalist Lindale by a count of 39-36 in the 2021 season opener for both teams on Aug. 27. The Lions hit the road to play at Lindale High School.

Entering the fourth quarter, Kaufman trailed 36-24. However, Kaufman tapped into reserves of willpower in that final stanza, which helped them secure the victory. 

With about seven minutes left in the game, Kaufman’s defense rose up and made a critical stop. After this momentum shift, Kaufman went down the field and scored a touchdown on a Derek Clamon pass connection to Daylon Dickerson, tightening the score to 36-31 in favor of Lindale at the four-minute mark of the fourth quarter. Then the Lions made another defensive stand, stuffing the running back in the back field on a fourth down sequence to turn the ball over on downs. Kaufman’s offense was back on the field at the 1:20 mark of the fourth quarter with an excellent chance to score another touchdown.

In the end, Kaufman’s offense took advantage of their final opportunity to win the game as the marched down the field toward the end zone. With victory in sight, Kaufman’s senior quarterback Clamon found senior wide receiver Dickerson again for the game-winning touchdown pass with 25 seconds left. After this exciting touchdown TD, Kaufman went for the two-point conversion and they were successful, winning the game by three points.

“I am so proud of our young men for showing the mental and physical toughness to win their first game of the 2021 season against a very good and state ranked team in Lindale,” Head Coach Jeramy Burleson said. “Lindale will have a good season this year, but we gave them a loss in their first game since playing for the state championship last year at AT&T Stadium."

Here are some key nuggets about this game. 

• Kaufman’s offense scored points on every possession in the second half. 

• Kaufman’s defense did not allow Lindale’s high-powered offense to score a point in the fourth quarter. As Coach Burleson pointed out, "they made defensive stops when they had to." 

• Kaufman’s offense produced 322 yards in this game (182 passing and 140 rushing).

Burleson continued: “The come-from-behind win in the fourth quarter gives the coaching staff a good feeling about our team, and the way they fight and don’t give up will help us win some ball games this year."

Top individual performers in this game for Kaufman were Daylon Dickerson (seven receptions for 109 yards and two touchdowns) Derek Clamon (10 0f 18 passing for 182 yards and two touchdowns/six carries for 42 yards and one touchdown), and junior running back Braxton Garmon (13 carries for 84 yards and two touchdowns).

In the first three quarters, the action was fast and furious. Kaufman came back from an early deficit thanks mainly to two rushing touchdowns by Garmon, one touchdown run by Clamon, and a very important 27-yard field goal by Andres Gallegos. Kaufman also converted on a couple of key two-point conversion attempts in this game as well.  

“It was a great night, but it wasn’t perfect," Coach Burleson added. "We have some areas that need some attention and we hope to see some growth in those areas from week one to week two. 

It was a great night to be a Kaufman Lion indeed. Up next, Kaufman will host Crandall at Lions Stadium. This game is scheduled to kick off at 7:30 p.m. 

“As for next week, Crandall is a talented team that will no doubt be ready to play, as this is a rivalry game that we missed last season,” Burleson said. “The Lion Family will continue to prepare and fight as one.”

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