Meridian Star

October 26, 2013

Raider romp: Lamar School downs Russell Christian Academy

By Tony Tsoukalas /
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN —     Russell Christian Academy’s Arik Washington gave Lamar School an early scare Friday night when he returned the game’s opening kickoff 95 yards briefly silencing the Raider faithful at Grey Cobb Field.

    Seven plays and two Lamar scores later, the Raiders were back on their way to a blowout using their overwhelming speed to run past RCA 69-14.

    “The best play to give up a touchdown on is on the first play of the game, because you have the longest time to catch up,” Lamar head coach Mac Barnes said. “I thought we answered everything tonight. That’s one of those things, we came back and ran the ball well. We used the play-action pass well. We just have a lot of weapons.”

    Davis Harrison led the Raiders on 8-of-10 passing for 208 yards and two touchdowns. The freshman quarterback also added 48 yards on the ground on three carries. Jackson Turner led Lamar in rushing with 11 carries for 103 yards and a touchdown. Sam Vaughn also had a big night, racking up 58 yards and three touchdowns on six carries while also adding 40 yards on three catches in the air.

    After scoring on the opening kickoff, RCA attempted to catch the Raiders off guard with an onside kick. The plan was foiled when the Warriors touched the ball before it went 10 yards  giving Lamar possession at the Warriors’ 49-yard line to start the drive. Two plays later, Harrison took a read-option keeper and jetted 32 yards down the left sideline to tie the game for the Raiders.

    “I thought our offensive line blocked well tonight,” Barnes said. “Offensively, we showed a lot of improvement in our execution from last week.”

    On RCA’s next possession, Lamar linebacker Richard Covington stepped in front of a pass from Jacob Howse and broke free 25 yards for a touchdown. Covington’s pick-6 was one of four Raider interceptions on the night. Brett Shaffer had two interceptions and Dalton McHenry added another.

    “We are not very good when we turn the ball over more than the other team,” Barnes said. “So, when we get turnovers that’s great. Our biggest thing on turnovers is us not getting them, and we were able to do that tonight as well.”

    Harrison put the Raiders up 21-7 later in the first quarter as he hit receiver Lee Martin in stride for a 61-yard touchdown.

    RCA struck back again on its next possession, once again capitalizing on special teams. Facing a fourth-and-7, the Warriors snapped the ball to Washington on a fake punt as he raced down to the Raider 7-yard line. Two plays later Howse found receiver Ashton Temple on a 10-yard touchdown to cut the lead to 21-14.

    The Warriors would not get any closer though. Vaughn ran in the games’ next three scores, and the Raiders rolled into halftime up 56-14.

    Coming into the game, Russell Christian head coach Nate Ballard said the Warriors were looking for respect. Despite the lopsided score on the scoreboard, Ballard said he was proud of how his team played on the night.

    “I think we got their respect,” Ballard said. “Coach Barnes complemented our boys after the game. That’s what we were looking for. I think a lot of people expected us to come here and get beat 70-0. But we returned the opening kickoff back, and there were four or five plays that could have made it a little different. I think the game was closer than the scoreboard indicated. I feel we competed tonight.”

    Lamar moves to 8-2 with the win and will host Parklane Academy next week while RCA finishes its season at 4-4.