The center-quarterback exchange was a major part of Lakeview Academy’s frustration and led directly to three turnovers Friday in Gainesville.
And certainly five turnovers against a team that runs the ball as precisely as Prince Avenue Christian is too much for almost any team to overcome.
The Lions (0-3) turned it over three times on the snap to the quarterback. Prince Avenue scored 35 points off of turnovers and rolled to a 42-7 win at Jock Hornor Field.
“It’s certainly disappointing to turn it over that many times,” Lakeview coach Matthew Gruhn said. “It hurt our chances of being competitive.”
Once Prince Avenue (3-0) took over on offense, they were nearly flawless thanks to long running plays on misdirection and pitch plays and rolled up 407 rushing yards.
Bryce Huff was Prince Avenue’s leading scorer with three touchdowns and 117 yards. Rob Farriba (121 yards), quarterback Carl Mattox and Hayden Lewis each added a touchdown run for the Wolverines, which averaged close to 9 yards per rushing attempt.
“Our offensive line is an experienced group and did a really nice job,” Prince Avenue coach Mark Farriba said. “A lot of the credit goes to those guys.”
“They run the Wing-T about as well as anybody,” Gruhn said.
Prince Avenue also forced a fumble on a pass catch by the Lions, along with recovering a turnover off a kick off late in the second quarter.
Lakeview scored its touchdown with 3:30 left in the game when senior Matt Askounis scored on a run from the 5. Trailing 42-0, the Lions put together a long drive that was kept alive by a 31-yard catch by Matt Askounis.
That drive was a good sign for Gruhn after a rough first half.
“We played with a lot more fire in the second half,” Gruhn said. “We’re going to try to forget about that first half.”
Prince Avenue took advantage of Lakeview fumbles right from the start. On the first play of the game, the Lions fumbled setting up a Wolverines score on a Huff run on fourth-and-1 from the 2.
Then on its next drive, the Wolverines took their time and big up some big yards with pitch plays. Even though Mattox was one of the team’s best rushers coming into the game, his biggest contribution in this game was dishing the ball out to his fast stable of backs that had sizable holes to run through.
Leading 14-0, Prince Avenue started picking up big yardage, but didn’t abandon the running game that was working so well. With the ball at their own 37, Rob Farriba picked up 15 when he broke through a couple tackles.
On the next play, Lewis gained 23 when he took a quick hand off from Mattox. After another gain of 15 from Farriba, Huff scored on a run from the 4.
The Wolverines would score two more touchdowns in the next 5:16 and go into halftime with a 35-0 lead. Lewis scored on a run from the 10, then after another Lakeview turnover, Mattox scored his only touchdown on a run from the 1 four plays later.
Early in the third quarter, Prince Avenue marched down field and scored on seven running plays, capped by a 3-yard touchdown run from Huff. Lewis finished the game with 11 carries for 78 yards for the Wolverines.
Prince led Lakeview rushing with nine carries for 39 yards. The Lions totaled three receptions for 63 yards.
With the loss, Lakeview has a bye this week and returns with a game at Hebron Christian on Sept. 23 in Dacula.