After first loss, LMS has no problem beating E.O. Coffman
After suffering their first setback of the season with a 14-6 loss to Spring Hill five days earlier, the Lewisburg Middle School Tigers (5-1) quickly righted the ship by pounding the E.O. Coffman Panthers 39-8 at home on Thursday.
E.O. Coffman had defeated Spring Hill 15-14 two weeks earlier, but proved to be no match for LMS, as the Tigers forged a 26-0 lead in the first half with the help of two special teams touchdowns before opening up a 39-0 lead late in the third quarter en route to claiming the 31-point victory.
"I was pleased with the way we bounced back," said Lewisburg coach Jeff Morton. "That team beat Spring Hill so it was a good win. We were flat last week against Spring Hill, but tonight we came out with a lot of emotion and played well."
LMS' defense turned in a dominant performance and limited the Panthers to a mere 63 yards of total offense while forcing three E.O. Coffman turnovers.
Defensive tackle Ethan Poteete and linebacker Peyton Williams both recorded six tackles and recovered a fumble to spearhead the Tigers' defensive effort with Poteete returning his for a touchdown to go along with a sack.
Devin Martinez also notched three tackles for LMS, while Dylan Jones, Tata Davis, D'Andre Brown, Payton Hood and Quinton Holman each had three tackles.
J.Q. Haislip recovered a fumble as well.
"The defense was flying around the field tonight and was really hitting. We had at least six big hits that were pretty devastating," said Morton.
With their defense setting them up in excellent field position the entire evening, the Tigers finished with a modest 167 yards of total offense, all on the ground.
Williams led Lewisburg with 59 yards rushing on nine carries from his fullback position to go along with a 55-yard punt return for a touchdown.
Quarterback Jay Howard also toted the ball five times for 57 yards and three TDs, while tailback Dylan Jones tallied 43 yard rushing and a touchdown on four attempts.
Joseph Smith paced the Panthers' offense with 42 yards on seven carries and Hunter Smith added 21 yards and a touchdown on four attempts.
On the opening drive of the game, E.O. Coffman picked up 21 yards on four straight runs to advance to the LMS 40, but things quickly went awry for the Panthers on the next play when the shotgun snap sailed over quarterback Jaxson McAnally's head and Williams pounced on the ball at the Lawrenceburg 37.
LMS then reached pay dirt six plays later when Howard scored on a two-yard touchdown plunge to give the Tigers a 6-0 lead with 2:56 left in the first quarter after Howard and Williams ripped off runs of 13 and 14 yards respectively earlier in the drive.
Although E.O. Coffman stopped Williams short of the goal line on the two-point conversion, Lewisburg forced a three and out by the Panthers on their next possession before Williams returned the ensuing punt 55 yards for a touchdown.
Curtis Keiler then ran in the two-point conversion to stretch LMS' lead to 14-0 late in the first quarter.
After the Panthers were stopped on downs at their own 38 on their third offensive series, Howard broke loose for a 25-yard touchdown jaunt on a quarterback bootleg to make it 20-0 with 6:12 left in the second quarter.
E.O. Coffman failed to pick up a first down on their fourth drive and was struck by another special teams disaster when punter Josh Hubbach was unable to handle the snap before Poteete scooped up the ball and rumbled 27 yards for a touchdown to stake LMS to a 26-0 advantage at the break.
In the second half, the Tigers received the opening kickoff and stretched their lead to 33-0 thanks to a 30-yard touchdown scamper by Jones while Rachel Cole converted the extra point.
The Panthers were stopped on downs again by Lewisburg at their own 27, before LMS opened up a 39-0 advantage five plays later on a four-yard touchdown run by Howard late in the third quarter.
E.O. Coffman spoiled Lewisburg's shutout bid by putting together an 8-play, 62-yard scoring drive, which was capped by a 21-yard touchdown jaunt by Smith, while Colton Sims ran in the two-point conversion for the 39-8 final.