Toward the middle of the fourth quarter, an official let Falcons head coach, Josh Puckett, know that the clock had been running since the beginning of the second quarter. It was obvious that the game was going by quickly, but the thought was that it might have been because of the lack of passing. It is unclear whether this was a decision by the referees, or it was a decision of the Dresden coaching staff. Either way, the Lake County sideline was in a bit of dismay that they were informed that late in the ball game.
When asked if he was disappointed in the decision being made to run the clock, Coach Puckett replied, “The only thing that disappointed me was our response to cheap shots and making some unsportsmanlike decisions. We have to be mature and let stuff roll off our backs and be content with just dominating the scoreboard. The clock ran a lot and that kept the score closer, but that’s not overly important.”
No matter though, the Falcons scored early and fast. Putting up 30 points on 16 offensive plays (including three 2-point conversions), the Lake County offense trucked Dresden’s defense in the first quarter.
Lake County took the ball on the first drive after the coin flip. Tanner Snyder hooked up with Malachi Taylor for a 41-yard pass play that got the Falcons to the 14-yard line. Larry Tubbs finished the drive on a 14-yard sprint to the goal line for the first touchdown. Snyder added the 2-point conversion.
Dresden took the kickoff with 10:47 on the clock. With a loss of two yards, Chandler Turnbow and Tatum Oliver picked up 10 yards, but with a tackle by Keyshon Gross, the Lions would punt on fourth down and two.
The Falcons, led by Snyder and Tubbs, would score with 6:14 in the first quarter on a 73-yard drive. Larry Tubbs ran on the second play of the drive for 57 yards. Snyder scored three plays later and then added the 2-point conversion. Lake County led 16 – 0.
On the kickoff, Rylan Williams made a big tackle to stop the Lions on the 27-yard line. After a procedure penalty, some short gains, and a fumble recovery by Divers Lockart, Dresden punted the ball back to Lake County. Dresden managed to run 2:23 off the clock.
The Falcons, with 3:44 remaining, scored in just under 50 seconds. Tanner Snyder got to pay dirt after personally taking the ball down the field, minus one pass incompletion, for 48-yards and the touchdown. An incomplete pass on the 2-point conversion, put the Falcons up 22 – 0 with 2:34 remaining in the first quarter.
Dresden’s next two offensive drives were laid to rest with two tackles by Terry Burkett on Quea Taylor and Tatum Oliver for a loss of 14 yards. Dresden punted that ball back to Lake County. With 7.2 seconds on the clock, Larry Tubbs ran the ball 41 yards for the touchdown. Snyder added the 2-point conversion to put LCHS up 30 – 0 at the end of the first quarter.
Another Dresden punt led to a Lake County drive that resulted in another touchdown. Tubbs scored on a run with 7:19 in the second quarter. He also tacked on the 2-point conversion. The Falcons led 38 – 0.
The Lions finally scored with 6:09 left in the first half. Chandler Turnbow took the hand-off and ran across the field and back to score from 35 yards out. Divers Lockhart added the extra point.
Just before the half, it appeared that the Falcons had scored again, but the play was nullified on a penalty.
There was a total of three drives started in the third quarter, but none resulted in scores.
With the score 38 – 7, we skip forward in time to the fourth quarter. With the clock ticking and a lot of running the ball, the clock seemed to go through minutes instead of seconds.
In the middle of the fourth quarter, the Falcons would see the end zone again. Cayden Puckett took the ball from Snyder and ran hard for 40 yards to score. Snyder added another 2-point conversion. The score tolled up to 46 – 7 with 8:35 remaining in the game.
Puckett scored again, with a little help from Malachi Taylor, after a 52-yard drive with 57.6 remaining in the game. An incomplete pass foiled the 2-point conversion. Lake County would finish this game and the trip through time by winning 52 – 7.
Coach Puckett was asked why he did not scale down the offense after they were up 30 – 0 in the first quarter. He simply said, “ When we are in the game, we will play full speed. When I feel like it’s enough, I’ll call the dogs off. I never want kids on the field to let up.”
The inference seemed that when the kids play half speed more injuries could happen to them.
Lake County had 35 plays and 419 total yards. Six players for the Falcons had carries in this game. Malachi Taylor and Izaiah Matheny had the only two receptions for 72 yards. Tanner Snyder was 2 for 6 for 72 yards. He also rushed six times for 67 yards and two touchdowns. Larry Tubbs rushed nine times for 161 yards and three touchdowns.
“Our defense played extremely well. Especially our defensive line” said Coach Puckett.
Key defensive players for Lake County were in abundance. There were 17 players who had defensive tackles and assists. Joseph McCord had four tackles and one assist with one tackle for loss. Damarion Abbott had three tackles and two assists and three TFL. Rylan Williams had five tackles and one TFL. James Wilson had three tackles and three assists. The defensive line and linebackers are holding their own and keeping offenses from getting deep into the secondary.
Coach Puckett talked about his team’s focus on each other and on doing things together as a team.
“It is awesome to think that half the team made a tackle,” he said. This truly is a team game and even some young guys that haven’t gotten much playing time are so valuable during the week in our preparation. Every guy on our team has a role and is important.”
Dresden was held to a total of 94 yards. They had 20 passing and 74 rushing. The Lions were 0 – 7 on third down conversions. The Falcons had seven tackles for loss again the Lions’ offense.
Lake County plays Humboldt at home on Bill Wray Memorial Field on Friday night. Humboldt is 0 – 3 in the region after losing to West Memphis, Halls, and West Carroll. Lake County comes into the game 3 – 0 overall and is tied in Region 7-1A with Greenfield for the best record. Game time is 7 p.m.