A safety in the second quarter would prove to be the difference in Lakewood’s trip to Midway on Friday night, as the Raiders remained undefeated, and handed the Leopards their first loss, by a score of 16-14.
Lakewood’s defense looked as stifling as ever on the Raiders’ first drive of the game. They didn’t allow Midway to gain a single yard, and would later take advantage of it, scoring the game’s first touchdown with 7:50 to play in the first quarter, as Dillion Kinlock ran it in from 6 yards out.
On the ensuing kickoff, Raider Shaking Warren returned the ball to the Leopard 38, which would later set up a 19 yard touchdown run from fullback, Larry Blanks, on 4th and 3.
The two entered the second quarter tied at 7-7, and Midway looked like they would quickly make it 14-7. However, they fumbled the ball on the one yard line, and Lakewood recovered.
Momentum quickly shifted back in favor of the Raiders though, as they brought down the Leopard ball carrier in the end zone, resulting in a safety, which put them up 9-7.
Midway would score their final touchdown on their next drive, when Austin Raynor connected with Dillion Lee on an out-pattern that resulted in a 19 yard touchdown.
After a 16-9 halftime score, each team stalled in the third quarter. Lakewood score for the last time with 10:12 to play when Kinlock found pay dirt for the second time on the night, which cut the lead to 16-14.
The Leopards had the ball and a chanced to win with under four minutes left, but the Raider defense came up big, and forced a turnover on downs, which helped propel them to a now 4-0 record.
Leading Midway offensively were Warren and Terrell McGee, who each had 64 yards. Lee had 2 catches and a touchdown.
Defensively, Derek Loftis and Mike Kramer each had 8.5 tackles. James Hardy and Lee each had 6.5 tackles, and JD Lockamy had 5.
Lakewood struggled offensively, as they had 155 yards on the evening, all on the ground. Kinlock led the way with 97 on 16 carries. DJ Eason chipped in for 44 rushing yards as well.
For Lakewood’s defense, Ethan Blackwell, Ray Hayes, and Jirah Cooper led the way with 7 tackles each. Tristen Holmes and Tristen Hawks each had 6 tackles, as did Chris Torres. Luke Brewer added 5 tackles for the Leopards.
“It was a big win for us,” said Midway’s head coach Jason Fussell. “We really shot ourselves in the foot a couple of times, but it was a good win and it feels good to be 4-0.”
Lakewood’s head coach, James Lewis, admitted that his offense and special teams put his defense in a couple of binds.
“I thought our defense once again played well tonight,” said Lewis. “We just don’t have much room for error on offense. Our special teams and offense really put our defense in some tough spots tonight, and that will really hurt you when you’re playing a good team like Midway. They played a good game, they’re a good ball club, my hat’s off to them.”
Lakewood is home next week to host Red Springs. They fall to 3-1 on the season. Midway is open next week, and is slated to return to action the following Friday night, when they take on East Bladen.