The Lakewood Leopards varsity football team was back in action on a chilly Friday night against their rival, the Hobbton Wildcats. Lakewood completely obliterated the Wildcats on all three phases of the game and put the game away early as they marched towards a 49-0 shutout.
Lakewood knew coming in the Hobbton was a team that played with a lot of heart, despite being undermanned at nearly every position on offense, defense, and special teams. The Leopards knew well that records are thrown out of the scenario when facing against rival teams, as Hobbton is just up the road, and Lakewood knew that anything can happen in rivalry games.
Unfortunately for the Wildcats, their upset bid fell way short as the Leopards dominated the Wildcats in all four quarters of the game and never truly took their foot off the gas till late in the fourth quarter.
Lakewood got on the board first after Zach Tanner took off running for a 12 yard touchdown on their first drive of the game. Tanner has become a lethal weapon for the Leopards as he has learned to use his rushing ability to his advantage. He led his team to the first touchdown of the game on a drive that started at the Lakewood 48. After a successful extra point, the Leopards were up by seven with 8:28 remaining in the first quarter.
Lakewood scored four more times before halftime and led 35-0 at the break. The Leopards did an excellent job at controlling the game and did whatever they wanted to with an undermanned Wildcats squad.
After Lakewood scored their seventh and final touchdown, they let the clock run and were eager to end the game as they were already up by a whopping amount of points. At the end of the night, Lakewood won 49-0 and posted its third shutout of the year.
Lakewood Leopards head coach James Lewis was pleased with the win as he knows Hobbton is a team that plays with a lot of effort. Additionally, Lewis was proud of his team for getting the notion after their last loss more than a month ago that the latter parts of the football year are the most important as teams are scrambling around and attempting to make a late push for the playoffs.
“I think that loss more than a month ago was a wake-up call and told them that if they don’t come to play on Friday, they’ll get beaten.” Lakewood improves to 7-3 overall with the win and 4-1 in the conference. His squad will do work against James Kenan next Thursday in a game that Lewis called “huge” as it has playoff implications.
Despite the loss, Hobbton Wildcats head coach Robert Hill praised the effort his team showed in their final game of the season. “Our effort was there the whole 48 minutes of the game.” He said. “Finishing it was the biggest thing.” Hill added. With the loss, Hobbton finishes the season with a 1-10 overall record and 1-4 in the conference and will look to have a huge offseason in hopes of a better season next year.
Offensively for Lakewood, Dre Oates had 77 yards on five rushes and one touchdown, Keshon Bailey had 71 yards on four carries and one touchdown, Carsell Bennett had eight carries for 52 yards and a touchdown, Zach Tanner rushed two times for 37 yards and a touchdown, Jahon Smith had two carries for 36 yards, Kevin Peques had 34 yards on three carries, and Akili Underwood followed with three carries for 33 yards. Zach Tanner had three passing attempts, and one completion for 38 yards which went to Cameron Bryant.
As for Hobbton, Raekwon Bryant rushed for 63 yards, and Justin Adkins ran for 18.
Defensively for Lakewood, Jahon Smith had seven tackles, Shaiqwezt Thompson had six tackles, Tristen Holmes had five tackles, Luke Brewer finished up with five tackles as well, and Dylan Ivey had one tackle, one interception and one fumble recovery for a touchdown.