After suffering a disappointing loss in the season opener on Monday night to Union, the Lakewood Leopards bounced back strong on Friday night, taking a 42-14 win over East Columbus.
The Leopards were off to the races in the first quarter scoring three times in three possessions. Carsell Bennett would find the end zone on a 25-yard touchdown run. The PAT by Compos was good putting Lakewood up 7-0.
Four minutes later quarterback Zach Tanner would scamper 40 yards in the end zone followed by a Campos PAT putting Lakewood up 14-0.
With 1:34 remaining in the first quarter Tanner would connect with Dylan Ivey on a 45-yard reception. Campos was dead-on once again, giving the Leopard a commanding 21-0 lead.
The second half was another scoring frenzy for the Leopards, who got on the board three more times on touchdowns by Bennett for 16 yards and two touchdowns by Dre Oates, one on an 8-yard run and the other from 5 yards out. The Leopards were then on cruise control, up 42-0.
The Gators would ultimately get on the board in garbage time, scoring twice in the final 2:24 of the fourth frame. Jordan McKoy scored on a 33-yard rushing touchdown and Trumal Baldwin added the final touchdown on a 1-yard plunge.
Bennett led the Leopards with 4 carries and 83 yards, including two touchdowns. Tanner carried the ball three times for 77 yards and was 3-for-4 for 81 yards through the air, one going for a touchdown. Oates had 46 yards.
The tenacious defense of the Leopards were led by Luke Brewer with 11 tackles. Tristen Holmes added seven tackles and one fumble recovery. Akili Underwood and Shaiqwezt Thompson each contributed six tackles each. Dylan Ivey had five tackles.
The win gives the Leopards a 1-1 overall record. They will travel to Lejeune on Friday night to take on the Devil Pups.