After getting out to a 5-1 start and ranking as high as No. 6 in the Ohio High School Athletic Association’s region 4 computer rankings (top eight qualify for postseason), the Lakota East football team has lost two straight games to Greater Miami Conference opponents.
Impressive performances by their opponent’s featured running back played large roles in both losses. In the 28-7 loss last Friday to Sycamore, junior Greg Simpson totaled 193 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 23 carries. This past Friday, in a 28-13 loss at Mason, senior Darryl Johnson rushed for a career-high 229 yards and scored two touchdowns on 33 carries. Johnson also caught two passes for 23 yards.
In the loss to Mason, Lakota East senior Will Mahone gave the Thunderhawks a 6-0 lead midway through the first quarter when he punched in a 1-yard touchdown run.
Mason quickly responded with a 20-yard pass play from junior Jensen Harris to senior Adam Osika, which gave the Comets a 7-6 lead.
Again in the second quarter, both teams traded scores. First, Lakota East junior quarterback Eric Eichler scored on a 1-yard touchdown run, making the score 13-7 with 1:30 left in the first half. Then, with 30 seconds left until halftime, senior Jalen Mayo scored on a 12-yard pass from Harris – giving Mason a 14-13 lead at the break.
In the second half, the Thunderhawks failed to score, while Johnson rushed for two touchdowns.
Other standouts for Mason included Harris, who completed 12-of-16 passes for 174 yards (also had two interceptions) and Osika, who caught seven passes for 97 yards.
Lakota East, once again, received a solid performance from Mahone, who finished with 138 yards on 20 carries. Through eight games this season, Mahone has rushed for 787 yards and 12 touchdowns on 134 carries.
Next week, Lakota East (5-3 overall, 3-2 in the GMC) will host Fairfield (2-6 overall, 0-5 in the GMC) at 7:30 p.m.
LE – Mahone 1-yard run (kick failed)
M – Osika 20-yard pass from Harris (Peck kick)
LE – Eichler 1-yard run (Smith kick)
M – Mayo 12-yard pass from Harris (Pick kick)
M – Johnson 1-yard run (Peck kick)
M – Johnson 9-yard run (Peck kick)