The Tigers ripped the Leopards 36-0 at James Kenan, but not before Lakewood put up a hard-hitting fight to the finish. Lakewood had four starters out of the game, including quarterback J.J. Tanner, who is believed to have suffered a concussion in last Friday’s game, and split end Tirek James with a dislocated shoulder.
Running back DeShaun Wilson stepped up and into the quarterback slot. For the most part, he handled it well, but a few mistakes gave the Tigers the edge they needed.
It was an interception by James Kenan that gave them the ball back for their first touch down of the game near the end of the first quarter. The Leopard defense forced them to four downs, but the Tigers pulled off a fake punt to pick up the first down, which led to the score. They ran in a 2 point conversion.
At the beginning of the second quarter, the Leopards were backed up near their own goal line. The snap was fumbled and players jumped on the ball as it squirted out toward the end zone. Tiger Kevon Miller was the last one to fall on it and JK got another quick 6 points. The PAK was good and suddenly the score was 15-0.
The Leopards converted a few fourth downs and managed to get into the Tiger red zone a few time, but just couldn’t cross the finish line to change the score going into halftime.
An uncommon penalty was leveled against Lakewood right off the bat at the start of the second half. They were moved back 15 yards on the kickoff because the team was not on the field when the 3 minute clock started up just before the 3rd quarter.
With about 2 minutes off the clock, Al “The Dozer” Owens plowed through about 3 Lakewood tackles to get into open field and a 41 yard TD. The kick was good to increase the Tigers’ score to 22-0.
With just 1 minute left in the third, Owens scored again from 28 yards out. Max Hernandez kicked the extra point for the 29-0 score.
A 31 yard touch down interception by Vann Melvin started the fourth quarter off for the Tigers. The PAK was good to give the No. 1 state 1A ranked Tigers a nice 36-0 lead they would take to the end of the game.
Lakewood head coach James Lewis thought his team held their own against such a strong competitor.
“We had a lot of people out due to injuries, but I think our kids battled all night. They never gave up. The defense played outstanding. Our offense made a few mistakes and James Kenan was able to score,” he explained, and added, “We’re open next week, thankfully, so maybe we’ll have time to heal and make a good run at the end of the season.”
Haywood Mack usually shoulders a lot of the rushing yardage, but he was effectively shut down with just 43 yards on 16 carries.
Sam Koser was 5 for 22; Dillon Kinlock, 4-16; Josh Hall, 2 for 1; and quarterback Wilson, 12 for 76.
Tiger Al Owens had 146 yards for 15 carries and Marcellious Sutton, 23 for 83 yards.
DeShaun Wilson completed 2 for 6 passes with 2 interceptions for 11 yards. Austin Tanner caught 1 pass for 5 yards and Mack caught one for 6 yards.
On defense, Cody Barnett had 12 tackles; Tyrek Rich, 4 tackles; Logan Brewer, Mack, and Jabriel Cooper each with 3 tackles.
The Leopards are open next Friday and then host Princeton on November 1st for senior night.