By Josh Beavers
It was a tale of two games Friday night for the Lakeside Warriors.
When the Warriors took on North Webster in the first of their two contests, turnovers, missed tackles, and North Webster sheer athleticism proved too much for Lakeside. On the strength of three long touchdowns for North Webster (67, 52, and 36 yards), the Warriors came out on the short end of a 19-0 score.
But then a switch flipped, and in the nightcap of the annual Pineland Jamboree, the Warriors took on host Haynesville. And even though the game ended in a 0-0 tie, Lakeside physically dominated the Tors and twice came within a whisper of game-winning touchdowns.
“It’s all about ‘next man up’ at Lakeside,” head coach Mike Santelices said. “We still had several players out and we plug and play. Our players know every position and the responsibility of each. So when they are called on, they are expected to not miss a beat.”
That determination and a fiery speech between games sparked the grit gear in the Warriors. First to display that drive was Tarrio Grigsby who took a simple screen and maneuvered to the goal line. A path was opened for the senior speedster by C.J. Watts, who leveled a Tor defender on a dynamic lead block.
Penalties and a questionable ref call that negated a touchdown, resulted in zero points for Lakeside. The penalty occurred after Lakeside scored, so the yardage should have been marked off on the kickoff. Lakeside should have come away with at least 6 points, but such is the nature of the game. Refs aren’t perfect and there’s no instant replay at Red Franklin – Memorial Stadium over in Claiborne Parish.
The Lakeside defense dominated the remainder of the contest, and following a Kris Redden sack and forced fumble, Lakeside once again was in scoring position. The fumble was recovered by Watts at the Haynesville three-yard line.
“It’s a crying shame we didn’t beat them,” Santelices said. “We should have kicked a field goal at the end but we had no timeouts. We tried to score but just couldn’t make it in and ran out of time.”
Despite going 0-1-1, Coach Sant was pleased with what his boys did up in Haynesville.
“We played well,” he told The Journal. “North Webster is very good and just made huge plays. We had tackling issues, but they also made us miss and broke our tackles. They are just very good with a lot of playmakers.”
As for Haynesville, Santelices said the Tors are always tough and athletic with a large line.
The way his team responded after the initial loss with an inspired performance against Haynesville is encouraging, the coach said. And once the entire team is back, Lakeside could make some noise.
Lakeside opens the season at home against Magnolia School of Excellence on Friday.