By Marco Clark, exclusive to the Times
Seven hundred forty-nine days. That’s how long it has been since Lakeview last won on the football field. These young men fought hard to earn the victory Friday night in front of their home crowd. The Gators elected to kick-off after winning the coin toss. Lakeview wasted little time making an impact on the defensive side of the ball as Thomas Hickman intercepted a pass on the second play of the game giving the Gators great field position. The Gators would take the ball into the end zone for the first score of the game.
The 2 point conversion failed leaving the score at 6-0. Lakeview kicked off to the Tigers but the Winnfield receiver lost the ball allowing Gators defender Nicholas Flakes to recover the ball deep in the Tigers territory. The Gators would not waste this golden opportunity to add more points to the scoreboard. Lakeview’s Jaylin Triplet-Bell found the end zone on a bruising 12-yard run for the goal-line.
The two-point conversion was good making the score 14-0 in the first with 6:45 left on the clock. The Gators kicked-off to the Tigers. Winnfield would catch a break this time taking over on their own 32. The Tigers had success moving the ball down the field but a miscommunication between the quarterback and running back forced the Tigers into a punting situation giving the Lakeview offense their third possession of the game. The Gators picked up two key first downs but a costly penalty forced the Gators into a fourth and 6 punting situation.
The Tigers ran the clock down to zero in the first quarter sending the game into the second quarter with Lakeview leading 14-0. The Tigers the break between quarters to gather themselves and moved the ball down the field scoring their first touchdown. Lakeview received the kick-off. The Gators used a combination of running and passing to make it deep into the Tigers territory but fall short on a 4th down play turning over the ball on downs. The Tigers took over on their own 18.
Winnfield moved the ball down the field into Lakeview’s territory but on the seventh play from scrimmage, TJ Hickman picked off another pass giving the Gators three turnovers. The Gators took full advantage of the turnover moving the ball down to the 32-yard line. That’s when William Brew found an open Jordan Hardy for a touchdown. PAT good, 21-7 Gators.
Winnfield would take over but a quick three and out turned the ball back over to Lakeview. The Gators would run the clock out and take a 21-7 lead into the locker room for halftime. The Gators received the kick-off but was unable to get anything moving on offense, so they punted the ball away. The Tigers gained confidence on offense by moving the ball down the field on four consecutive run plays. Winnfield scored on a reverse run play by Tristen Williams. 21-14 Gators. Lakeview did not shut down after giving up the touchdown. The offense was ready to answer the score with one of their own. The Gators used a mixture of plays to navigate down the field capping off the drive with a touchdown pass from William Brew to U’Donis Jones.
The Winnfield Tigers did not lose sight of trying to pull out a victory, scoring a touchdown on a 34-yard run by Tristen Williams making the score 26-20. The Tigers would attempt an onside kick but the Gators recovered the ball and ran the clock out giving the Gators their first win of the season 26-20.
Next week the Gators will host the Bunkie Panthers.