After a 36-7 loss against Midlothian in the home opener Friday night, Shoemaker head coach Toby Foreman knows his young team has to grow up, and fast.
“We’ve got a bye week coming up, so we’re going to lick our wounds and get ready for Temple,” Foreman said.
Although the game was delayed more than 30 minutes because of lightning around Leo Buckley Stadium, the Grey Wolves head coach felt it had nothing to do with how his team performed.
The Panthers got on the board first behind a 34-yard run into the end zone by sophomore fullback Ethan Hill. Midlothian added a 2-point conversion to lead 8-0 late in the first quarter.
Shoemaker senior quarterback Jaylin Dixon completed a 46-yard pass to senior wide receiver Claude Williams to put Shoemaker within 4 yards of the end zone.
A false start penalty pushed the Grey Wolves back to the 9, but senior quarterback Mark Walker was able to get into the right corner of the end zone from there for a touchdown.
Senior kicker Vance Brown’s extra point kick was good and Shoemaker trailed 8-7 in the middle of the second quarter.
“The first half, things were going OK,” Foreman said. “We stuck together.”
Midlothian started the second half by quickly adding another touchdown to extend its lead to 15-7.
The Grey Wolves were on the move in the middle of the third quarter when Panthers defensive back Nathan Humphries intercepted a long pass from Dixon and put Midlothian at the 18-yard line.
Panthers quarterback Austen Thomas handed off to Hill for a 10-yard carry into the end zone as Midlothian extended its lead to 22-7.
Walker was forced to leave the game in the third quarter when a hard hit sent his helmet flying.
He was given a sideline concussion check before being cleared to return in the fourth quarter.
“(Walker)’s a tough kid,” Foreman said. “He did take a good lick. They came and brought it on a little bit, but he bounced back.
“He got checked out and everything. The trainers and doctors released him, so he’s good to go.”
It only took the Panthers four seconds to start the fourth quarter with another touchdown for a 29-7 lead.
After another defensive stop, Midlothian added another touchdown and extra point to cap the scoring.
“The second half, we kind of got down on ourselves,” Foreman said. “I was disappointed because I saw some pouting going on on the sidelines and those are things we’re just going to have to grow up fast for.
“We’ve got 13 days (to prepare) and if you do that against Temple the score will be 100-0 because they’re a very good football team. ... So we’ve got to grow up in a hurry.”
Dixon led Shoemaker with seven carries for 56 yards, followed by Devin Brown, who rushed 51 yards on six carries. De’Andre Exford also has six carries for 17 yards.
Dixon completed 6 of 13 passes for 114 yards and one interception while Walker was 4-of-10 for 22 yards.
Claude Williams had three catches for 70 yards. Capel Glee had one catch for 40 yards and Exford made four catches for 17 yards.
Foreman plans to use the 13-day break to make some predistrict adjustments and deciding who will start at quarterback.
“We’ve got to get better all around but my main focus is going to be on blocking and blocking assignments,” Foreman said. “We got to improve on that in a hurry.”
Under center, Dixon had most of the snaps Friday night but when he tweaked his ankle in the second quarter, Walker entered the game.
Foreman said he and his staff would review the film during the week before making a final decision before opening District 12-6A play against Temple at home.
“I’m not dodging the question like Nick Saban,” Foreman said, “but right now, I really don’t know.
“They both have great qualities, but both made some mistakes, so we’ll look at the film, we’ll regroup and whoever looks like they’ll be ready to face Temple, we’ll put them out there.”