The month of October opened with the Lions ending their home slate with a meaningful game with the Little Mill Mustangs. If the Lions had any hope of finishing the season with three consecutive wins then it would begin here. The Lions pounced early as a turn over led to a short three yard blast up the middle by Jess Lucas. The ensuing two point conversion spotted the Lakeside squad an early 8-0 lead. The onslaught continued with running back Tyler Bowman grabbing a short pass and sprinting thirty four yards and a 16-0 lead after a single quarter. Once again quarterback Cal Morris took to the air launching another scoring strike, this time to wide-out Ryan Pontrelli; which covered forty five yards. Just before the end of the opening half Bowman scored again giving the Lions a commanding lead. Lakeside continued its dominance at the start of the second half when Ryan Finnegan sprinted in from twenty three yards. Little Mill, being the worthy opponent it was, managed to rack up 21 points, but to borrow a cliché too often-used scored “too little, too late.” Running back Tyler Bowman rushed for over one hundred yards as the Lions’ offense cranked out over five hundred yards of total offense. Defensively Lakeside forced numerous turnovers and put pressure on the Little Mill quarterback all day. Solid defensive line play was highlighted by a Rett Winter pick of a Mustang screen pass. When the dust settled, Lakeside put up a record 42 points enroute to a one-sided, but hard fought 42-21 victory.
Lakeside made its final road trip of the season to tangle with a winless Otwell team with bad memories from the last two meetings. Also, the Lions were determined to finish their season at 5-3 thus giving Lakeside its best record in its short history. It took the Lions an offensive series to find their rhythm, but quarterback Cal Morris engineered a brilliant drive the length of the field, which culminated in a slick 10 yard run by A.J. Webber and an early lead. All day the offensive line, anchored by center Briggs Hutcheson and guards Gabe Cleveland and Keegan Smith neutralized the Bulldogs’ defensive front allowing running backs Jess Lucas and Tyler Bowman to run free. A good mix of both the run and the pass kept Otwell’s defenders guessing. Tyler Bowman added to his team leading point total by scoring from 7 yards out. Ryan Finnegan added yet another touchdown on a well- blocked dive play. Tight End Blake McDaniel scored his first points of the season on a short look-in pass. As the final horn sounded the most successful campaign in Lion history was a reality. A potent offense, led by running backs Jess Lucas and Tyler Bowman, who by the way had 154 rushing yards between them on this day combined with one of the leagues’ most stubborn defenses to register Lakeside’s most successful campaign. Final score: Lakeside 33 Otwell 0.
The Lions continued their home slate with a match up against the always tough Vipers. It was a great day for football, but our Lakeside squad found the going rough as Vickery Creek lived up to its nickname and struck quickly. On this day the home team had no answer for the opposition. Even with solid play on the defensive side of the ball by linebacker Blake McDaniel and lineman Rett Winter the Lions gave up too many big plays propelling the Vipers to a convincing 33-0 victory. Sitting at 2-3 Lakeside spent its bye week working hard in preparation for their “strive for five” wins.
The young Lions traveled to Piney Grove to tangle with the always tough Grizzlies. Lakeside took the opening kick-off, quickly dominating the ground game until fumbles began to take their toll. Numerous Lion drives were stymied by Lakeside miscues. Late in the first half the Lakeside offense once again moved the ball successfully with a blend of run and pass. Foster Burch and Blake Handschumacher did the bulk of the damage, while quarterback Drew Morris aptly managed the clock. With time running out in the first half Drew Morris tossed a touchdown strike to wide out Drew Bailey. Handschumacher added the two points and Lakeside took an 8-0 lead into the half.
The second half mirrored the first with solid defensive play by both sides. On numerous occasions Lakeside’s defense was backed up within the shadow of their own goal post only to stop the persistent Piney Grove offense. A Lion turnover proved costly however, witht he Grizzlies scoring on a swing pass from 10 yards out. At the end of three the score was knotted at 8. Late in the game Drew Morris who had already thrown a touchdown pass showed his scrambling skills running in from 18 yards out. With minutes left in the game the Lions had a precarious lead, 14-8. Two defensive stands by the Lakeside defense, anchored by ends Peyton Kelley, Michael Corona and Dawson Carr and tackles Bryce Hutcheson and Dante Johnson ended the Piney Grove threat. Middle backer Josh Taylor led the team in tackles and forced a key fumble which stopped a critical Grizzley drive. Final score Lakeside 14 Piney Grove 8.
The Lions returned home tothe “Lions’ Den” with the desire and commitment to extend their short winning streak. A deep kick by Michael Corona pinned the Panthers deep in their territory. On the first play of the game Riverwatch took to the air for a long pass and run and a 7-0 lead. The Lions, however, answered quickly. On the ensuing drive the Lions, using both the pass and the run put themselves deep in Panther territory. Quarterback Cal Morris scored on an option from 4 yards out, knotting the score at 7. Riverwatch, with its tenacious defense, forced numerous Lion turnovers and stole the momentum away from Lakeside. The home team found itself with numerous scoring chances but were unable to capitalize. Even though the Lions’ defense played an inspired four quarters the Panthers left with a hard fought 22-7 victory.