After securing the first winning season in school history last week, the Lakeview Academy Lions wanted to add one more win to the already historic season.
The Lions (6-2) defeated the Towns County Indians (2-7), 34-0 on Friday night. It was the Lions fourth straight win to end the season.
After the game, the emotions and tears began to flow from the Lions’ senior players. On senior night, it was the seniors who shone brightest for the Lions, both on offense and defense.
Lakeview senior quarterback Ted Reynolds rushed for a game-high 217 yards and four touchdowns.
“It wasn’t me at all, it was my teammates. I have the best group of seniors,” Reynolds said. “My line, I couldn’t do it without them. It’s a team game. It’s a great group of guys, especially for this school.
“We have an amazing coach. He builds character in every one of us. It’s crazy what he does, and how he makes connections with every single one of us. It’ll be for a lifetime, and I’m blessed to be able to play at Lakeview Academy.”
Lakeview senior running backs Caleb Faulkner and Trevor Price contributed the offense’s success. Faulkner rushed for 76 yards, and Price rushed for 49 yards and one touchdown.
“Its been five years since I came in the eighth grade, and I’ve been with most of these boys all my life,” Price said. “This is my team. I love this team. I love everybody on this team. This is my family. Its been an amazing season. We ended it right. We went out with a W.”
The Lakeview defense was led by senior defensive back John Cox. He had the game’s only interception.
“Its been a great year. The program’s come a long way,” Cox said. “Its been fun to grow with all these teammates, all my brothers, all the hard work we put in, all the summers and spring, finally paid off. It’s beautiful to see.”
Senior defensive back Thomas Paris recorded a sack for the Lions’ defense as well.
Lakeview coach Matthew Gruhn said he knows these 17 seniors have helped the future of the program.
“It feels good. It feels good for these kids. We got a really special group of seniors,” Gruhn said. “They’re the ones that did it. They earned it. For them to go down in history, and hopefully, what they’ve done is set the standard for us. Their legacy is pretty big, and I’m just happy for them.
“I really feel strong that these 17 guys have helped the future, by the way they practiced, by the way they carried themselves. Even though we lose many, what they’ve left is immeasurable, and I think we’re going to be fine.”
Reynolds started the Lions’ attack with a 41-yard touchdown run with 4:52 left in the first quarter. His next score was an 8-yard run. He also connected with senior Joel Larson on the two-point conversion.
Then, with 6:36 left in the second quarter, Reynolds scored his third touchdown on an 84-yard run. Price capped the first half with his 10-yard touchdown run.
Reynolds’ fourth touchdown came on a 20-yard run with 1:13 left in the third quarter.
The Indians were led by senior quarterback Joseph Gibson who threw for a game-high 110 yards. Junior wide receiver Jackson Noblet caught four passes for 55 yards. Junior Brett Barrett also hauled in three passes for 47 yards.
Lakeview’s season is over. Towns County hosts Hebron Christian Academy on Friday.