Despite it being a Saturday night, the Princeton Bulldogs showed up in full force at Leopard Stadium for Lakewood’s last home football game. It was rescheduled from Friday night due to rainy weather.
The Leopards, on the other hand, seemed to be running on only half a tank, despite it being senior night. Princeton took home the 13-41 win.
“We were out-played and out-coached tonight. Princeton has a really good team,” Leopard head coach James Lewis said candidly.
“Their defense was strong. We just didn’t play as well as I know we could have. We missed some tackles, and had a few passes slip through our fingers,” Coach Lewis added.
The first half was all Bulldogs, especially their No. 22, junior Johnny Frasier, who is one of the top running backs in the state.
With less than 2 minutes left in the first half, the Bulldogs had already put up 21 points on the board and had marched back down the field and were threatening again.
On third down and with 1.7 seconds left in the second quarter, Bulldog quarterback Michael Wooten sent a 36-yarder through the air to Nick Hare for their 4th touchdown of the half. Vincente Mendez put it through the uprights for the 4th time and the two teams went to intermission with a score of 0-28.
Lakewood came out passing in the second half and managed to get into the red zone, but couldn’t cross the goal line and turned the ball over on downs at the 9 yard line.
Fraizer got the call and showed why he’s top in the state. He seemed to be cornered near the sideline at the line of scrimmage, but despite being pulled on, jumped on, and tackled by almost the entire Leopard defense, he forced his way through and sprinted down the field for a 91-yard TD.
The extra point was blocked to put the score at 0-34.
Lakewood finally got on the board after a bad snap on a punt put the Leopard offense on the Bulldogs’ 25 yard line.
A 6 yard pass to Haywood Mack, then a 6 yard carry by Roman Leach gave the Leopards a first down.
A pass to Roman King put the team on the 5 yard line. After a couple of incomplete passes to the corners of the end zone, Leopard quarterback J.J. Tanner tossed a quick one inside to his cousin Austin Tanner for the team’s first score of the night.
Wesley Sessoms stuck it through the uprights to make the score 7-34 to begin the fourth quarter.
A 60-yard touchdown run by Bulldog Reggie Perry would be the last score for Princeton at 3:45 in the 4th quarter.
The Leopards got the ball back on the 20 yard line and Lakewood’s Dillion Kinlock got the call. He carried it 5 times all the way to the Bulldog’s 2 yard line.
With 1:30 left in the game, Kinlock managed to force his way over the goal line for the final score of the night. The 2-point conversion attempt failed, making the final score 13-41.
With that last drive, Kinlock was the leading rusher for the Leopards with 80 yards on 5 carries with 1 touchdown. Haywood Mack had 29 yards on 9 carries.
Tanner passed for 133 yards on 12 completions, with 1 touchdown and 1 interception.
Jabriel Cooper caught 6 for 87 yards; Sam Koser, 3 for 13; and Austin Tanner, 2 for 14 with 1 TD.
For the Bulldogs offense, Frasier carried the ball 18 times for 240 yards, including a 91-yard TD run.
Wooten passed for 166 yards on 13 passes with 2 TDs.
Nick Hare caught 4 for 68 yards and 1 TD; Tanner Woodard caught 4 for 47.
Dillion Pace had a 3 yard touchdown run and a 2 yard TD run; Matt Hewett scored a touchdown; and Reggie Perry scored a 60-yard TD run.
For the Leopard defense, Cody Barnett had 9 tackles; Pat Rich, 7 tackles; Trace Faircloth, 6 tackles; and Deshaun Wilson 5 tackles. Stefan King had 1 tackle and 1 fumble recovery.
The Leopards will travel to Hobbton next Friday for the Wildcat’s senior night. This will be their last regular season game.