By Allen Jones
The Lake County Falcons moved on the third round and also go 12 – 0 on the season. The last time Lake County was 11 – 0 was 1984. They lost in the second round to ECS and finished 11 – 1. That was not the fate Friday night, November 15.
Lake County led 48 – 0 at halftime. It seemed like a game where it never seemed like it was going to get started and it was over just as quick.
The scoring started at the 10:22 mark in the first quarter. Tanner Snyder carried the ball 22 yards into the endzone for six points. Larry Tubbs added a two-point conversion to put Lake County up 8 – 0.
MASE kept the ball for a minute plus a few seconds but eventually Jalen Harris for MASE punted back to Lake County with 9:12 on the clock.
Snyder and Tubbs were aided on the next drive by Izaiah Matheny and Cayden Puckett. Snyder poked the ball into the end zone from the 2-yard line and Tubbs added another two-point conversion. With 6:15 to go in the first quarter, Lake County was leading 16 – 0.
The Falcon defense backed the Phoenix up to the 10-yard line. After a short punt, Lake County took over on the 31-yard line.
Matheny and Tubbs, along with Snyder, wasted little time in moving the ball into scoring position. Tubbs took it in from seven yards out and also added the two-point conversion. At the 2:56 mark in the first quarter, Lake County led 24 – 0.
Jamarius Williams, a tenth grader for the Falcons, has started pretty much every game this year. He has worked hard and showed a lot of ability on defense. Williams had a pass break up on a fourth and 2 play by MASE. Lake County took over on downs.
Snyder ended the first quarter with a 23-yard run and started the second quarter by scoring from five yards out with 11:56 on the clock. Snyder added the two-point conversion to put Lake County up 32 – 0.
Despite some penalties, Lake County took advantage of MASE’s lack of a passing attack. A throw by the Phoenix quarterback went straight into coverage and into the hands of Justin Morgan. Morgan turned and sprinted, protected by other defensive players, for 52 yards into the end zone. Snyder tacked on the two points on the conversion to put Lake County up 40 – 0 at the 9:50 mark in the second quarter.
Despite a good effort and some penalties on Lake County, MASE still punted.
Lake County took over on downs because of the effort of the Falcon defense. Jamarius Williams had another pass break up on a second and ten play. After Lake County took over, Tubbs dropped a 50-yard run on MASE like a pile-driver that seemed to break their spirits. With 5:59 remaining in the half, Lake County led by a score of 48 – 0.
The second half started with 8:00 minute running clocks and a turnover on down for MASE. It was a great stop by the second-string defense.
The second-string offense also stepped up their game. Miguel Abbott and Cayden Puckett made quick work of the MASE defense. Abbott had a 47-yard run to start the drive. After several scampers by he and Puckett, Abbott would score the touchdown with 6:50 on the rolling clock in the fourth quarter. Blake Smith caught the two-point conversion from Puckett to put Lake County up 56 – 0.
Despite an effort, the MASE Phoenix were not able to score on the Lake County defense. The game ended in a shut-out. Despite 45 plays, MASE was only able to 44 passing yards and 82 rushing yards. They were 1 – 7 on third down conversions and 0 – 4 on fourth down conversions.
Lake County on the other hand had a total of 282 yards. Most of this was because of short field positions caused by their defense. The 17 passing yards for the Falcons came on two catches by Isaiah Matheny. Lake County finished with 265 rushing yards. They had twelve first downs and were 1 – 1 on third down conversions. They never faced a fourth down on the night.
Tanner Snyder was 2 – 5 for 17 yards. He also rushed five times for 64 yards and three touchdowns. Larry Tubbs rushed nine times for 129 yards and two touchdowns. Miguel Abbott rushed four times for 45 yards and one touchdown.
Lake County has a Mr. Football Semi-finalist in Tanner Snyder. He and Campbell Puckett were chosen to play in the Toyota East-West All-Star Game in Clarksville on December 13. Also, on December 13, Larry Tubbs, Damarion Abbott, Isaiah Matheny, Keyshon Gross, and Jamarion Higgins were chosen to play in the 2019 West Tennessee All-Star Game in Jackson TN at USJ.
Coach Puckett said, “I am proud to have the 7 selected. I really thought we had at least 2 more that were deserving. I just hope that they go be great teammates on that team as well and be leaders. I hope they have fun and enjoy it.”
Defensively, Jamarius Williams led with five tackles and four assists. Rylan Williams had three tackles and two assists. Jeremiah Williams had four tackles. Justin Morgan had two tackles and an interception for a touchdown. Fourteen more players had tackles, assists, and tackles for loss.
Lake County plays West Carroll in Tiptonville this week in the third round of the 1-A Playoff Bracket. Head Coach Josh Puckett shared his thoughts on West Carroll, “They haven’t changed much. They go as far as their Qb takes them. He’s a good player. They are well coached, but if we take care of business, we should be fine. “
Lake County beat West Carroll earlier in the season 60 – 14. West Carroll has improved since then to win four straight games since that October 18 loss to the Falcons. They beat South Fulton (34-30), Greenfield (8-0), Memphis East (62-36), and Memphis Middle College (28-14).
Coach Puckett said of his plans for practice and changes for the team this week, “Not a lot of changes. I was very happy with the way the kids played Friday night. We’ll keep fine tuning and keep trying to execute at a high level.”
Puckett added, when asked about how he keeps the kids interested this late in the season, “I just try to give them one thing to improve on each day. If they can still get better at something, then practice was good. Obviously, practice is shorter now then it used to be. More about execution and not as much new stuff.”
Lake County’s matchup with West Carroll will start on Friday night at 7:00. May the fireworks continue.