PREP FOOTBALL

Gators looking for the way back

BY TREVOR BAUKNIGHT
trevor@theitem.com
Posted 10/12/18

The Lakewood High School varsity football team, which started out the season with a promising 3-0 start, has lost its last three games, and hasn't looked very competitive in doing so, going back to its 27-26 miracle victory over Manning on a …

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PREP FOOTBALL

Gators looking for the way back

Posted

The Lakewood High School varsity football team, which started out the season with a promising 3-0 start, has lost its last three games, and hasn't looked very competitive in doing so, going back to its 27-26 miracle victory over Manning on a game-ending safety.

The first step back was a forgivable 49-7 loss to Sumter, the seventh-ranked team in the last several S.C. Prep Media Football 5A polls, which has beaten everybody by about that same margin. Next, however, were two straight shutout losses, 16-0 to Orangeburg-Wilkinson, and most recently, 52-0 to A.C. Flora on Friday in Columbia.

Lakewood will have a chance at redemption on Friday when 3-4 Lower Richland comes to visit. Game time is set for 7:30 p.m. at J. Frank Baker Stadium on the Lakewood campus.

The Diamond Hornets went through their own stretch of tough luck, losing to Carolina Forest, Westwood, Wilson and Airport after opening the season with a win over 3A Swansea. But L-R has won its last two, 28-14 at Dreher and 44-14 over Crestwood last Friday in Hopkins.

Senior quarterback Malik Richardson, who has signed to play college football at East Carolina University, continues to lead the offensive attack for the Gators. Richardson has completed 42.2 percent of his 83 pass attempts for 421 yards and two touchdowns. He also leads the rushing attack, with 575 yards on 107 carries, 5.4 yards-per-carry, and six touchdowns. Junior receiver Quentin Hodge is Richardson's favorite target, with 11 catches for 139 yards and a touchdown.

Lower Richland is a run-oriented team, with five backs over 200 yards on the season. They're led by senior running back KeyShawn Capers, whose 406 yards on 61 carries gives him a 6.7 yards-per-carry average. He has reeled off consecutive 100-yard games in the two latest victories. Junior QB Jamison Ganzy is a threat to run, as well, having carried 48 times for 333 yards, 6.9 yards-per-carry. Ganzy represents a solid aerial attack for the Diamond Hornets, as well. Ganzy is 59-of-117 on the season for 916 yards and nine touchdowns through the air. Ganzy's favorite targets are senior wideout Jamal Henderson, who has 16 receptions for 402 yards and four touchdowns after missing the Diamond Hornets' first three games, and junior wideout Quanta Jackson, who has 25 catches for 368 yards and five touchdowns.

PREP SCHEDULE

FRIDAY

Blythewood at Sumter, 7:30 p.m.

Dreher at Crestwood, 7:30 p.m.

Lower Richland at Lakewood, 7:30 p.m.

Manning at Waccamaw, 7:30 p.m.

Lee Central at North Central, 7:30 p.m.

Kingstree at East Clarendon, 7:30 p.m.

Wilson Hall at Cardinal Newman, 7:30 p.m.

Hammond at Laurence Manning, 7:30 p.m.

Carolina at Robert E. Lee, 7:30 p.m.

Thomas Sumter at The King's Academy, 7:30 p.m.

Wardlaw at Clarendon Hall, 7:30 p.m.