By Craig Brown
The Wild Gators of Lake View High School were fired up Friday night in Lake View controlling the game on both offense and defense as they downed the Flashes of Johnsonville High School 43-0.
The Wild Gators were coming off a rare season opener loss by dropping a heart-breaker last week to Hannah-Pamplico 28-26.
The Wild Gators are not a team you want to face when they are coming off of a loss as the Flashes soon experienced. In fact the Gators played the entire game like a team trailing their arch rival.
The Lake View fans really got their money’s worth Friday night.
Daryl King played his entire bench and it was hard to tell the reserves from the starters as every Wild Gator player was giving 110%.
Midway in the first quarter the Wild Gators mounted a drive to the goal line that almost ended in a disaster as the Gator ball carrier had the ball knocked from his grip as he was crossing the goal line but a heads up Shiyon Gilchrist fell on the loose ball for a Wild Gator touchdown.
Jalik Roberts point after kick gave the Gators a 7-0 lead with 5:20 left in the first quarter. The Flashes did not come to Lake View to lie down and die as they too are a team of pride and they made the Wild Gators earn their yardage in the first half.
With the second quarter past the half-way mark the Wild Gators found themselves 28 yards from the goal line. Adarrian Dawkins dropped back to pass and found Willie Wheeler wide open in the end zone for the 28 yard touchdown scoring pass.
The point after kick failed holding the Wild Gator lead to 13-0 with 5:18 left in the second quarter. With 46 seconds left in the second quarter Dawkins again hooked up with Wheeler this time for a 21 yard touchdown pass.
The Wild Gators picked up the two-point conversion to give them a 21-0 lead going into the half-time break. The third quarter looked to be a defensive battle until Jalik Roberts returned a punt 62 yards for a touchdown. Dawkins picked up the two point conversion to give the Wild Gators a 29-0 lead with 2:47 left in the third quarter. The quarter would end with this score.
With only nine seconds off the clock in the fourth quarter, Benji Kelly crossed the goal line on a 20-yard run and then ran in the two-point conversion to give the Wild Gators a 37-0 lead with 11:51 left in the fourth quarter. With 3:46 left in the game, Ja’Correus Ford raced 76 yards for a touchdown. The point after failed holding the score to 43-0 and a Wild Gator win. After the game the Wild Gator dressing room was full of celebration and the sounds of a team that will be heading back to the playoffs.
Daryl King will always be a coach who believes in taking the season one game at a time.
On offense for the Wild Gators, Adarrian Dawkins was 4 for 4 passing with 59 yards and two touchdowns and had 156 rushing on 11 carries, Benji Kelly had 104 yards on 20 carries. Ja’Correus Ford had 88 yards on two carries. Willie Wheeler Caught two touchdown passes of 21 and 28 yards. Shemar Horne had 25 yards on three carries. Jalik Roberts returned a punt for 62 yards and a touchdown and Shiyon Gilchrist recovered a fumble for a touchdown.
On defense for the Wild Gators, Shiyon Gilchrist had nine tackles with four for a loss. Tieray Blue had eight tackles with four going for a loss. Tahje Nesmith had six tackles. Jordan King had five tackles with a quarterback sack. Bryson Grimsley had five tackles. La’Zar Nichols had four tackles with two for a loss. Malik McDuffie had four tackles. Isaiah Flemming, Ja’Correus Ford and Marquise Johnson had three tackles each. Arkadius Benjamin had two tackles. Caleb Andrews, Michael McInnis, Keyshawn Hanford, Shemar Horne and Josh Gilchrist added a tackle each. Lake View team statistician, Jimmy Sweat stated that the Wild Gators racked up 373 yards holding the Flashes to 145 yards.
After the game in the coaches office assistant coach Andy Ford commented that Johnsonville was under a new coaching staff with a reputation for winning and he expects the Flashes to get better with each game and season.
Assistant coach, Johnny Dew stated that during practice sessions Coach King prepared the team both mentally and physically for this game and that was the reason for the Wild Gator success in this game.
Coach Daryl King is always the gentleman coach that praises his opponents and gives all credit to his players and assistant coaches.
Coach King added that the Wild Gators would be preparing for South Robeson High near Rowland, North Carolina. Coach King states they are taking them as a serious team and expect a good game.
The coach added that his team performed beyond his expectations against the Flashes and he truly was proud of them.
Game time for the South Robeson game is 7:30 Friday night.
Photos by Craig Brown
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