NEW WILMINGTON —
Scoring on all five possessions in the first half, Lakeview — avenging its only loss of the season to Mercer — built a 34-7 halftime lead and cruised to a 52-21 victory over the Mustangs on Friday night in District 10 Class A semifinal action at Wilmington High School.
The Sailors (11-1) will meet Sharprsville — a 40-3 winner over West Middlesex — next week in the D-10 championship game at a site and time to determined.
In the fourth week of the regular season, Mercer knocked off Lakeview, 19-8. Since then, the Sailors took care of business and defeated their remaining opponents.
Lakeview’s season got sweeter in the playoffs — a rematch with the Mustangs.
Heading into the game, Lakeview coach Dan York was downplaying the retaliation factor ... “I haven’t heard anything from the players about it (playing Mercer again). They (his players) haven’t said anything either way.”
The Sailors’ first-half performance showed otherwise.
Rotating the carries between senior halfback sensation Blake Reddick and bruising junior fullback Marquis Spence, the Lakeview ground game was unstoppable in the first half — churning out 177 yards.
Reddick — who now holds the District 10 all-time, single-season rushing record with 2,590 yards — rushed for 69 yards on 13 carries and Spence gained 74 yards on 11 hauls.
Closing out three well-oiled drives, Spence scored Lakeview’s first three touchdowns on three-, four- and nine-yard runs to give the Sailors a 21-7 lead with 6:52 remaining in the first half.
York then switched up his play-calling.
On first-and-10 at Mercer’s 40, the Sailors’ quarterback Zach Bigley lofted a high spiral down the middle of the field. Fleet-footed split end Zach Van Dusen hauled in the pass at the five and scooted into the end zone.
After a Mercer fumble, Lakeview scored its fifth touchdown in the first half on Spence’s six-yard reception with 27 seconds remaining in the first half.
Halftime score: Lakeview 34, Mercer 7.
The feared Mustangs’ passing game — only 38 yards in the first half — opened the third quarter with a big play as running back TJ Peters took a screen pass from quarterback Logan Clarke and raced 61 yards for a touchdown on the second play from scrimmage.
Then, after a Lakeview fumble, the Clarke-to-Peters tandem hooked up again on a four-yard scoring play to cut Lakeview’s once comfortable lead to a 34-21 margin with 22 seconds left in the third period.
Mr. Reddick then put a stop to Mercer’s comeback plans.
After a failed Mustangs’ onside kick, Reddick — on the first play from scrimmage — shot through a right-tackle hole and raced down the right sideline for a 49-yard touchdown scamper with six seconds left in the third quarter.
Reddick wasn’t done.
On Mercer’s ensuing possession, Reddick intercepted a pass at the Mustangs’ 4 and zigged-and-zagged down the field for a 96-yard interception touchdown return with 8:13 remaining in the game.
Game ... set ... match.
Game Notes: Reddick finished with 151 yards on 20 carries. Spence rushed for 94 on 16 totes ... Clarke completed 25-of-41 passes for 177 yards ... Both Lakeview and Mercer showed their support in the Sharon tragedy (two football players and one adult died in an automobile accident) that happened last week. Several Sailors’ players wore orange socks and many Mustangs’ players had the Tigers’ stickers on their helmet. Head coach Pat McClearn had one on his cap.
NEW WILMINGTON —
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