Lamar cruises past Darlington, wins shut-out game
By Drake Horton
Things did not go according to plan this past Friday night at home for the Darlington Falcons against the Lamar Silver Foxes.
From the outcome of the game to an over 30 minute delay because of the lights going out at halftime, this was just not the night for the Falcons.
While Lamar is talented and favored to win the 1A state title for the second straight year and third time in the last four years, Darlington, who is 4A, was hoping to be able to use its size as an advantage in wearing down the 1A powerhouse.
That, however, did not happen and Lamar cruised to a 26-0 victory over the Falcons.
“I am just proud of our guys coming out tonight,” Lamar head coach Corey Fountain said. “We had a little bit of adversity, had the lights go out, a big pause in the game, but our kids stayed focused and we finished strong.”
Lamar, led behind the running of Jacquez Lucas, have become quite the juggernaut on offense and while 26 points might seem like a lot to some, that is not necessarily the case for the Silver Foxes.
A team that has become accustomed to running whatever they want was instead forced to run mostly between the tackles, due to Darlington’s defensive approach.
“I don’t know, different formations gave us different things,” Fountain said. “We were trying to see what they were going to give us and then call the play. Offensive line blocked good early then we had some guys get injured, backups come in then it kind of got dicey quick, had some starters at running back start to cramp up a little bit just because the pace of the game, it’s a long, grueling game. They’re a physical team; it was a good game. They are a well-coached team.”
Lamar methodically scored throughout the game, with the Silver Foxes scoring one touchdown every quarter.
Lucas, who finished the night with two touchdowns, got the scoring going for the Silver Foxes in the first quarter with an 11-yard touchdown run and then scored his second in the second quarter on a 76-yard run.
Quarterback Cameron Galloway scored the other two touchdowns; a 16-yard run in the third quarter and a 75-yard run in the fourth quarter.
For Darlington, however, nothing went right offensively. Going into the game, the Falcons were averaging 31 points per game. Against Lamar, however, the Falcons put up a big goose egg on the scoreboard.
“We didn’t play very well offensively,” Darlington head coach John Jones said.” We didn’t practice very well all week, offensively. We’ve had two good outputs offensively, two good games and two good weeks of practices. We have to understand that it translate to the field. We didn’t do a good job tonight offensively.”
This was a tough pill to swallow for Darlington, who going into this game had struggled defensively, giving up an average of 48 points per game.
“Our defense played lights out and they had to stay on the field the whole night because we weren’t generating offense and when we generated something we had a missed assignment that put us in long yardage and we are not the type of team that can overcome long yardage especially against a team like Lamar,” Jones said. “They have a good football team and those are things that you just can’t do.”
A big problem with Darlington’s offense was the performance of the offensive line.
“They (Lamar) gave us a lot of trouble up front tonight,” Jones said. “We got beat at the line of scrimmage and you can’t win football games when you get beat at the line of scrimmage.”
Darlington now heads into the bye week and looks to regroup after dropping to 0-3 on the year.
“We are going to stay the course of what we are doing,” Jones said. “We just have to get better at what we do during the bye week and another thing that we have to do is make sure that we get healthy. No excuses, but we were down three starters on defense and one on offense tonight and now we are probably down two more starters on offense. We have to try and find a way to get healthy.”