Lakewood High School won their season opener against Pender High School on Friday, shutting out the Patriots in convincing fashion, 22-0.
On Friday, Lakewood played a home non-conference game against Pender and pulled out a decisive victory. It was a defensive battle in the first half, with Lakewood’s defensive line getting off to an impressive start to this season. Friday’s game was scoreless after the first half, with the Patriots’ defense also putting up a fight.
Even in the second half of the game, when Lakewood’s score pulled the Leopards ahead, it was clear each point achieved was not gained easily.
“We started slow, our defense played outstanding again it seemed like they (Pender) got every break in the first half and we managed to overcome it. Then in the second half we came out and I feel we executed better and played a lot better in that second half,” said Lakewood head coach James Lewis.
“Well we just gotta keep working. We can get better week to week and just have to keep working, that’s about all we can do,” said Lewis. “Pender had a good football team, they had some good-looking kids. I think we had a bit more depth than them, and I think that’s what won it for us. I think they ran out of steam towards the end, so that helped us a lot too, but they had a good team.”
Lakewood’s defense held Pender to a grand total of 116 yards with Lakewood’s total offense amassing 327 yards. Lakewood had 229 yards rushing and 98 yards passing.
Leopards running back Shemar Tucker had a breakout performance with 13 carries for 146 yards. Tucker also had a reception for 8 yards. Quarterback Cameron Sessoms was 5 of 10 passing for 29 yards.
Also for Lakewood, running back Jahdon Smith had one reception for 30 yards while tight end Bryce Tanner had a reception of 59 yards and wide receiver Andre Rich added another reception for 19 yards.
Of course, Lakewood’s defense had its own impressive players. Standout Luke Brewer led the way with eight solo tackles and five assists, as well as assisted on a safety, while Tristan Holmes tallied six tackles, with two sacks for losses of 8 and 10 yards. Chris Perez had four tackles, a sack for 4 yards and a safety. Dylan Ivey had five tackles, while Jaylin Torres had two tackles and one sack for a 7-yard loss.
With an opening game victory in the books, Lakewood looks to keep it going next Friday as they host Rocky Mount Preparatory.
Reach Chris Froat at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter @SampsonInd.