LMS tramples tough Lipscomb
Wesley Walker made sure Lewisburg Middle School had a happy Homecoming on Thursday night, as the talented eighth grader turned in a tremendous all-around performance to help lead the Tigers to a 43-22 victory over the Lipscomb Academy Mustangs.
Aided by three early Mustang turnovers, LMS (6-1) held a 20-6 lead late in the second quarter before Lipscomb Academy (3-2) scored a touchdown in the waning moments of the half to narrow the gap to 20-14 at the break.
The Mustangs were unable to carry that momentum into the second half, as the Tigers reeled off 23 straight points to forge a 43-14 advantage early in the fourth quarter before cruising to their third straight win over Lipscomb Academy.
"I was worried all week because we were playing a good team and had a thousand distractions with Homecoming going on," said Lewisburg coach Elliot Cook. "These kids have been focused all year though and know how to lock in when it's time to play."
Having averaged 33.5 points per game in their first six contests this year, the Tigers ran roughshod over another opposing defense on Thursday and racked up a season high 354 yards of total offense, which included 275 yards rushing on 19 carries.
Walker was the Mustangs' main tormenter, as he rushed for a career high 241 yards and five touchdowns on 11 carries to go along with one reception for 11 yards. Miciah Greer also added 36 yards on three carries and Kavares Tears picked up 11 yards on his lone carry.
LMS quarterback K.J. Johnson tossed two interceptions and connected on just 2-of-5 passes for 56 yards and a touchdown, while Tears completed his lone pass attempt for 26 yards.
Devontavious Wilson and Terrez Smith each caught one pass for 47 and 26 yards respectively with Wilson scoring a touchdown.
Lipscomb Academy churned out 248 yards rushing on 36 carries en route to finishing with 278 yards of total offense, but were hamstrung by four turnovers.
Tailback Edmond Phillips led Lipscomb Academy's ground attack by rushing for 152 yards on 16 carries, while quarterback Blake Pruitt toted the ball 10 times for 69 yards and two TDs.
The Mustangs were unable to hit any big plays through the air, as Pruitt completed only 4-of-9 passes for 26 yards and a touchdown.
Walker also had a major impact on LMS' defense, as he recorded seven tackles and forced two fumbles, one of which he recovered.
"Their coach said it best after the game when he told me 'Number nine is a beast'. Wesley is smart and intuitive. He sees stuff most kids his age don't see," said Cook.
Kyrese Harris and Chandler Harmon registered seven tackles apiece as well with Harris notching a sack. Greer also tallied five tackles for the Tigers, while Hunter Lancaster, Jayson Wilcox, and Wilson each recorded four tackles with Lancaster recovering a fumble.
The turnover bug bit the Mustangs early, as Walker jarred the ball loose from Pruitt on the fourth play of the game and recovered the ball at the Tiger 46.
Walker made Lipscomb Academy pay for the miscue by racing 54 yards down the right sideline for a touchdown on the next snap before Johnson found Ford in the end zone on the two-point conversion to stake the Tigers to an 8-0 lead.
The Mustangs mounted an immediate response and cut the deficit to 8-6 when Pruitt scored on a one-yard touchdown plunge to cap a seven-play, 78-yard drive. Marcus McCord sacked Pruitt on the conversion attempt to maintain LMS' two-point lead.
Following a Lewisburg punt, Lipscomb Academy was careless with the football again, as Mac Woodard fumbled the handoff on a reverse before Tiger defensive end Dagon Stacey scooped up the pigskin and rumbled down to the Mustang 22.
Walker then broke loose for a 22-yard touchdown jaunt on the next play to push LMS' lead to 14-6 early in the second quarter.
The Mustangs picked up a couple of first downs on their ensuing possession, but that drive came to a halt when Walker knocked the ball loose from Phillips hands before Bennett Fleming recovered the fumble at the Lipscomb Academy 44.
Lewisburg once again cashed in on the Mustang mistake, as Walker ripped off a 24-yard TD run to make it 20-6 with 3:32 left in the half.
After Lipscomb Academy lost the ball on downs near midfield, the Tigers tried to tack on another score in the final seconds of the half, but Phillips picked off a pass by Johnson and returned it 55 yards to set the Mustangs up at the LMS five-yard line with :03 left in the second quarter.
Sam Colley then caught a five-yard TD pass from Pruitt before Phillips ran in the two-point conversion to whittle the deficit to 20-14 at the break.
Walker swung the momentum back to the Tigers' sideline early in the third quarter by sprinting 40 yards for a touchdown on the fourth play of the half. Johnson then ran in the two-point conversion to stretch Lewisburg's lead to 28-14.
Things quickly went from bad to worse for Lipscomb Academy, as Lancaster recovered a fumble by Phillips at the Mustang 47. Johnson then hit Wilson for a 47-yard TD strike on the next snap before Walker ran in the two-point conversion to give Lewisburg a 36-14 advantage with 5:08 left in the third quarter.
After LMS stopped Lipscomb Academy on downs on their next two offensive series, Walker capped his remarkable night by galloping 41 yards for a touchdown early in the fourth quarter while Smith tacked on the extra point to extend the Tigers lead to 43-14.
The Mustangs salvaged some pride on their last possession when Pruitt scored on a one-yard touchdown dive before Samuel Griffith ran in the two-point conversion for the 43-22 final.