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Lakewood falls to Colleton 20-19

By DENNIS BRUNSON | dennis@theitem.com

The Lakewood High School football team fell short against Colleton County 20-19 in its season opener at J. Frank Baker Stadium on Friday.

The game was delayed by lightning early in the third quarter for about one hour.

Last year’s meeting between the two teams had to be completed on a Saturday at Sumter High’s Memorial Stadium after the game was started on a Friday at Baker Stadium. The Gators ended up winning the game 35-19.

Lakewood put itself in a hole right off the bat on Friday when Taron Wilson failed to handle the opening kickoff and Colleton County recovered at the Gator 28-yard line. On third down and eight yards to go, Cougars quarterback Edwardian Stansel hit wide receiver Trakell Murray with a short pass in the left flat. Murray cut back across the field and raced to the end zone to make it 7-0 with 10:58 still remaining in the first quarter.

LHS managed to pick up three first downs on its first down, one of them coming on a 42-yard run by running back James Wright. Lakewood had a first down at the Colleton 11, but quarterback Cody Windham was intercepted and it was returned to the Cougar 42.

On its first offensive play, Murray took a handoff and went 58 yards for a touchdown to make it 14-0 with 4:50 left In the first quarter.

LHS went three downs and out on its next possession, but Stansel was intercepted by Zayveon Wells to set Lakewood up at its 33.

The Gators again moved the ball with both the run and the pass and appeared to have a touchdown when Windham connected with Tilmon Vaugh for a 27-yard score. However, LHS was flagged for an ineligible receiver being down the field, nullifying the touchdown.

Lakewood wouldn’t be denied though. On fourth and eight from the CC 25, Windham connected with Jeffrey Lawson for an 11-yard gain. After Windham connected with Koby Wagner for nine yards, Wright took it in the end zone on a direct snap to make it 14-6. Placekicker Payton Frye added the extra point to make it 14-7 with 8:49 left in the second quarter.

The Gators defense stiffened over the remainder of the half, but the offense was unable to take advantage of two more Cougar turnovers. Thus, Lakewood trailed 14-7 at halftime.

The Gators were able to take advantage of Colleton County’s fourth turnover of the game though. On the first offensive play of the second half, CC fullback Kylee Hart fumbled and Lakewood recovered at the Colleton 34.

Lakewood needed seven plays to get into the end zone with Wells taking a direct snap and scoring from nine yards out. Frye was unable to connect on the extra point though, leaving the score at 14-13 with 8:21 remaining in the third quarter.

That was the final play before the game was delayed. After play was resumed, neither team was able to score again in the third quarter.

Murray scored on a 14-yard run early in the fourth quarter. The extra point attempt was blocked though, leaving the score at 20-13.

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