DULUTH — After suffering an early-season loss to Duluth last year, Lakeside-Evans got some revenge Friday night.
Lakeside-Evans broke open a game that was close at the half with 27 points over the final two quarters to pull away for a 45-21 win over Duluth.
The win kept Lakeside perfect at 2-0, while Duluth dropped to 0-3.
“We’ve just got to execute better,” Duluth head coach Cam Jones said. “Execution will beat talent every time and we just didn’t do that tonight. We did compete for all four quarters but we need to start faster. Lakeside is an impressive team and they did their job extremely well and executed better than we did.”
The Panthers led 18-7 at the half, but showed their big-play ability and scored three touchdowns in the third quarter to pull away.
Quarterback Jaden Taylor led the attack with 161 yards passing on 10 of 20 attempts with three TDs and one interception. He added another two scores and 105 yards on 11 rushes.
Chris Turner also had a big game carrying the ball for Lakeside, gaining 165 yards on 11 carries with Aaron Grey chipping in with 41 rushing yards and one TD on three carries.
Duluth battled back with a pair of scores in the fourth quarter on TD passes from Lonnie Ratliff IV.
The first of those was a 1-yard toss to Tyrik Sullivan, while the second was a 78-yard bomb down the middle to Jaiden Jones.
Ratliff IV had a busy night, throwing the ball 40 times and completing 22 of those for 275 yards, two TDs and two interceptions.
Jones was his top target, catching six passes for 142 yards and one score, while Sullivan had seven catches to 30 yards and one TD.
Lakeside was able to take control in the first half by forcing two turnovers that resulted in 10 points for the Panthers.
The first of those came on the opening drive when Duluth’s fourth play of the night resulted in an interception by Daniel Holloway.
That gave Lakeside great field position at the Duluth 28. Four plays later, Taylor connected with Rickey McGee (two catches, 42 yards, TD) on an 11-yard pass play to give the Panthers first and goal from the one.
But three false start penalties and two passes defended in the end zone by John Durden and Ja’Cody Pollard forced the Panthers to settle for a 26-yard field goal from William Hattaway.
Lakeside would extend its lead midway in the second quarter when the Panthers started a drive on the Duluth 47 after a short punt.
Eight plays later, Taylor broke free for a 6-yard TD run to put the Panthers up 10-0.
The ensuing possession for the Wildcats didn’t last long as a double-reverse flea flicker on the drive’s second play resulted in an interception by Carlton Carter.
That set Lakeside up at its own 34 with the Panthers needing seven plays to cover the distance, ending with a 21-yard TD strike down the middle from Taylor to Hawes. Hawes led the Panthers in receiving with 62 yards and one score on four catches.
The two-point conversion put the Panthers up 18-0 with 6:14 left in the half, but Duluth responded on its next drive by going 60 yards on 10 plays for its first points of the game when Ratliff IV pulled the ball back on an option read for a 9-yard run up the middle.
The PAT by Daniel Levine cut the score to 18-8 with 1:18 left in the half. The Panthers would mount one more drive in the closing seconds of the half, but the Duluth defense stopped it when Jones intercepted a Taylor pass inside the Wildcat 10 with nine seconds left.
Duluth’s defense finished the night with three turnovers forced, while Jordan Coggins recorded two sacks and two tackles for loss.
LAKESIDE-EVANS 45, DULUTH 21
Lakeside 3 15 20 7 — 45
Duluth 0 7 0 14 — 21
Lakeside: William Hattaway 26 FG 7:31
Lakeside: Jaden Taylor 6 run (Hattaway kick) 8:26
Lakeside: Zaion Hawes 21 pass from Taylor (Chris Welch run) 6:14
Duluth: Lonnie Ratliff IV 9 run (Daniel Levine kick) 1:18
Lakeside: Rickey McGee 31 pass from Taylor (Hattaway kick) 10:19
Lakeside: Aaron Grey 28 run (kick failed) 7:54
Lakeside: Taylor 45 run (Hattaway kick) 4:42
Lakeside: Andrew May 26 pass from Taylor (Hattaway kick) 11:52
Duluth: Tyrik Sullivan 1 pass from Ratliff IV (kick failed) 6:57
Duluth: Sullivan 78 pass from Ratliff IV (Sullivan run) 4:17