By Josh Beavers
Lakeside kicked off its 2021 football season Friday night with a thumping of the visiting Magnolia School of Excellence. The Warriors rode the wave of a dominating defense on the way to a 39-0 victory.
“I feel great,” Lakeside coach Mike Santelices said. “The win is great, and I want the team to feel great about it tonight.”
The Lakeside defense gave up only one completion – for 43 yards – and held Magnolia to minus 47 yards rushing. The Mariners had 21 penalties for more than 200 yards.
Ashton Stewart ran the ball eight times for 88 yards and three touchdowns. Jacob Whitehead had 52 yards rushing and a touchdown. Jordan Case added 12 yards on the ground, and Cade Boley had 25 yards. Boley also caught four passes for 56 yards and a touchdown.
Whitehead was 10 for 10 passing for 95 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Tarrio Grigsby caught the second touchdown pass. Josh Sebald caught a pair of passes for 16 yards and Jordan Case caught a single pass.
“We made some mistakes,” Santelices said referring to eight Lakeside penalties. “Those kinds of things will cost us in a close game. So, we are going to have the team go back and look at the film and see areas they can improve. But we did have good technique and these boys should be proud of the way they played tonight. I’m happy for everyone at Lakeside.”
Magnolia had the ball first, but a series of penalties and a dropped pass pushed the Mariners to a third-and-25 deep in their own end of the field. Grigsby and Tyler Tharpe caught the Magnolia running back out of the backfield and threw him for a loss to force the punt.
What was either a trick play attempt or a botched punt resulted in Lakeside getting the ball on its own 41. After a two-yard run by Ashton Stewart, quarterback Jacob Whitehead hit Stewart on a little swing pass out of the backfield for 19 yards. On the next play, Whitehead kept the ball himself and ran 18 yards down to the one-yard line. Stewart punched it in on the next play to give the Warriors a lead they would never relinquish. The point after failed, but Lakeside went on top 6-0 at the 9:29 mark.
The penalties kept coming for Magnolia on their next drive. After three penalties gave them fourth-and-30, Magnolia’s Mark McCray threw a screen over the middle to Me’Ciah Butler. He broke tackles on his way to a 43-yard gain into Lakeside territory.
C.J. Watts then took over the drive as he made three tackles for loss and rushed the quarterback on fourth-and-long. The pass fell incomplete, and Lakeside took over on its own 39.
Stewart picked up a first down, and it looked like Grigsby scored from 35 yards out, but a holding call negated the play. Stewart went around the left on the next play for 22 yards. Moments later, Cade Boley took a short pass from Whitehead for a 19-yard touchdown. Watts made the point after for a 13-0 advantage at the 2:41 mark of the first quarter.
Three straight bad snaps put Magnolia on their own one-yard line with fourth-and-49 to go. Tyler Tharpe and C.J. Watts blocked the punt, giving Lakeside a first-and-goal inside the 10. Two plays later, Stewart scored his second touchdown, this one from six yards out. The point after failed, but Lakeside increased the lead to 19-0 with 11:39 to go before halftime.
Senior Kris Redden tipped and intercepted a pass on Magnolia’s next possession to give Lakeside the ball at the Mariner 12. A completion to Josh Sebald set up Grigsby’s four-yard touchdown catch out of the backfield. A failed PAT brought the score to 25-0 with 9:19 to play in the first half.
With Magnolia once again in possession, Koby Mangrum, Redden, and Ty Maness teamed for a 15-yard loss on a sack. A moment later, Mangrum was once again in the backfield for a sack and a safety. Lakeside led 27-0 at the 7:46 mark.
Jaden Miller was on the sack patrol when Magnolia got the ball back and threw the carrier down for a 20-yard loss. Magnolia went for it on fourth-and-long, but Redden sacked the quarterback for a loss and a turnover on downs.
Redden kept up the defensive pressure in the second half with a tackle for loss on the second Magnolia possession of the third quarter. Mangrum hit the quarterback for a loss of one to force a fourth and 15 for the visitors. The Mariners punted to give Lakeside the ball at the Magnolia 42.
Whitehead completed a 25-yard pass to Cade Boley on the last play of the third. On the first play of the fourth quarter, Stewart scored his third touchdown of the night as he cut right and scampered in from 35 yards out. The try for two failed, but Stewart’s run increased the Lakeside led to 33 with 10:28 to play.
Ty Maness, Eli Campbell, and C.J. Watts teamed for a sack on the next Magnolia possession. After another turnover on downs, Whitehead kept the ball on an option around the right for a 30-yard touchdown run. Lakeside didn’t attempt the point after, and the final moments of the game expired giving Lakeside the 39-0 win.
PHOTO: Kris Redden (55) and C.J. Watts (1)