Lakewood shut out Pender 34-0 in their first playoff game Friday night, earning their eighth shutout and remaining unbeaten at home for the year.
“It’s unbelievable,” said Coach James Lewis. “Our defense has played outstanding all year I’m very happy for them.”
Friday night was a chilly one and it seemed to influence both teams with some uncharacteristic slips of the ball.
“Well as it gets colder the ball becomes harder to hold onto and as the night wore on it only got colder,” said Lewis.
Lakewood earned 14 points in the first quarter, the first touchdown by Jahdon Smith with an 11-yard rush followed by a successful kick by Tyler Hobbs. Cameron Sessoms added the second with a 25-yard pass completion to Bryce Tanner and another kick from Hobbs to bring the game to 14-0 at the end of the first quarter.
Smith later ran in a 5-yard touchdown, but the following kick was missed leaving the score at 20-0 through the rest of the first half.
In the third quarter, Sessoms completed a 15-yard pass to Jawaun Johnson, followed by a successful kick from Hobbs, to extend the Leopards’ lead, 27-0. A 9-yard rush from Sessoms and another kick by Hobbs brought the score to the eventual final, 34-0.
Neither team scored in the final quarter.
Dylan Ivey led the team’s defensive effort with eight tackles and an interception. Luke Brewer and Tristan Holmes were close behind with six tackles and one sack apiece. Johnson had five tackles, as did Jaylin Avery, and Taureon Owens earned a tackle and an interception.
Offensively, Smith led the team’s rushing attack with 26 carries for 145 yards. Shemar Tucker had four carries for 36 yards, Jameek Johnson carried six times for 27 yards and Sessoms and Tillyon Williams each had six carries for 25 yards and 19 yards, respectively.
Sessoms went 5-of-6 passing for 65 yards and a couple of TDs.
Receiving for the Leopards were Ivey, with one reception for 28 yards; Smith, with three catches for 28 yards; Bryce Tanner, one reception for 24 yards; and Johnson, one for 15 yards.
Next Friday, Lakewood takes a three-hour trip to East Carteret for the second round of the 1AA playoffs.
Reach Chris Froat at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter @SampsonInd.