Lakota East beats West and wins first playoff game
WestChesterBuzz.com will count down the area’s top 12 stories of 2012 this month, concluding with West Chester’s most discussed topic of the year on Sunday, Dec. 30.
Photo gallery of the entire football season, starting from summer camp to the playoffs. Images provided by The Cincinnati Enquirer, Barb Trimble of TrimPhotoAndVideo.com and WestChesterBuzz.com.
After losing back-to-back games against Sycamore and Mason in October, Lakota East appeared to have no shot at the postseason. However, the Thunderhawks bounced back with wins against Fairfield and Lakota West in the final weeks of the 2012 season and earned in its first postseason berth in school history.
The West win, which snapped a seven-game losing streak against its rival, and the extra points earned when Northmont, a team Lakota East defeated in Week 1, defeated Wayne in the final week of the season gave the Thunderhawks enough to sneak into the No. 7 seed in the OHSAA Region 4 postseason bracket.
Once in, Lakota East defeated No. 2 seed Springboro in its regional quarterfinal matchup.
In that game, The Panthers tied the score, 38-38, with less than a minute to play. In overtime, junior quarterback Eric Eichler put Lakota East on top by scoring on a six-yard run. On Springboro’s overtime possession, the Thunderhawks defense stopped senior Rahman Hardin before he could cross the goal line on a 4th-and-goal from the 2-yard line.
- Follow Lakota East football on WestChesterBuzz.com
- Moeller defeats Lakota East, 46-20, in regional semifinals
- Lakota East wins postseason OT thriller, 45-38, against Springboro
- Lakota East upsets rival Lakota West, 33-21
The following week, the Thunderhawks jumped out to 7-0 lead against Moeller in the regional semifinals. The Crusaders, however, were able to cruise to a 46-20 win thanks in large part to the performance of Northwestern commit Keith Watkins, who rushed for three second quarter touchdowns.
“Obviously we are really proud of our kids. We just wish we would have played better at the end here, but our seniors did a great job and I thought they battled back and fought hard in the second half,” Lakota East head coach Rick Haynes said after the game.
The loss also ended the high school career of 26 seniors.
“I hope when they look back they will be very, very proud of what they accomplished and not just focus on this one game,” Haynes said.
A few weeks later, Moeller won its eight state championship by defeating Toldeo Whitemer, 20-12, in Canton.
This story was the only Lakota High School sports story to make WestChesterBuzz.com’s list of top 12 stories in 2012. There were many other stories that just missed the cut. See below for a few stories that were honorable mentions.
- Video shows police striking patron with batons at West Chester bar
- Lakota West choir honored to be part of World Choir Games
- Former Lakota teacher gets 15 years for child porn
- Bengals help Lakota school with aging playground
- Cherokee Elementary School student hit by car on way home from school