After the game, Lakota West junior running back Mikel Horton said he wasn’t tired and was ready to go another quarter.
A bold statement for the 6-1, 225-pound Lakota East transfer, who just rushed for 239 yards and two touchdowns on 43 carries in the 46-34 Lakota West win against La Salle late Saturday night in the Skyline Chili Crosstown Showdown.
Lakota West junior Mikel Horton rushed for 239 yards and two touchdowns on 43 carries in the 46-34 Lakota West win against La Salle late Saturday night in the Skyline Chili Crosstown Showdown. Photo taken Aug. 25, 2012 by Joseph Fuqua II.
Horton, who was the game’s MVP, said he now hopes colleges will come calling in the next few weeks after he found out that scouts from Ohio State, Cincinnati, Wisconsin and Michigan State were in attendance.
“He (Horton) showed up,” Lakota West head coach Larry Cox said. “And he showed that he had endurance. That is what I love more than anything.”
Cox also has to love that, thanks to Horton and his offensive line, Lakota West was able to grab its first season-opening victory since 2006.
“Mikel did what I want our great tailbacks to do,” Cox continued. “He came up with a big play down the stretch … but our offensive line must have done something right as well.”
Horton saved his best for the fourth quarter, scoring on runs of 62 and 15 yards. The 15-yarder with less than 3 minutes to play iced the win for the Firebirds.
The running back wasn’t the only star of this game, however, as Nick Watson, who became the second freshman ever to play quarterback at La Salle, threw for 325 yards and a touchdown in the loss.
With senior Brad Burkhart out with an undisclosed injury, La Salle head coach Tom Grippa started junior Jake Meyer at quarterback. The junior backup struggled, tossing two interceptions that led 10 points for the Firebirds in the 1st quarter.
After the second interception, Watson came in and eventually led the Lancers’ on a 12-play, 79-yard touchdown drive that cut Lakota West’s lead to 18-7 with 8:49 left in the second quarter.
Before halftime, junior kicker Justin Martin added his second field goal of the half and Lakota West led 21-7 at the break. Overall, Martin made all three of his field-goal attempts.
On the first possession in the second half, Watson fired a 50-yard bomb to senior Jason Bell – cutting the lead to 21-14. West would respond, with a 20-yard touchdown run by sophomore Kole Gentry two possessions later.
The second half scoring then continued, Martin added his third field goal of the game, and on the kickoff, La Salle freshman Jeremy Larkin took it 92 yards for the score, making it 31-21.
With a 31-28 lead with 9 minutes left in the fourth quarter, Horton rumbled 62 yards for a touchdown and junior quarterback Malik Grove converted the 2-point try.
La Salle responded with a quick touchdown by junior Morgan Wilcox, who led the Lancers with 96 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries. Watson couldn’t find a receiver on the two-point conversion and West led 39-34 with 8 minutes left.
On its next possession, La Salle went for it on a 4th-and-6 from its own 39. An incomplete pass from Watson gave West the football and Horton did the rest, scoring on a 15-yard run to give the Firebirds a 46-34 win.
LW – Martin 27-yard FG
LW – Cross 17-yard INT return off Meyer (Martin kick)
LW – Pence 45-catch from Grove (Grove run)
LS – Bell 1-yard run (Rumke kick)
LW – Martin 24-yard FG
LS – Bell 50-yard pass from Watson – (Rumke kick)
LW – Gentry 20-yard run – (Martin kick)
LW – Martin 28-yard FG
LS – Jer. Larkin 92 kickoff return (Rumke kick)
LS – Wilcox 4-yard run (Rumke kick)
LW – Horton 62-yard run (Grove pass)
LS – Wilcox 1-yard run (pass failed)
LW – Horton 15-yard run (Martin kick)
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