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Lakeview earns first-ever football victory, 35-6
Strong ground game, defense push Lakeview past Hebron Christian
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The excitement was palpable.

Led by a relentless running game and virtually impenetrable defense, Lakeview Academy got its first football win as a varsity program with a 35-6 rout of Hebron Christian on Friday night in Gainesville.

"This feels great," Lakeview coach Matthew Gruhn said. "It feels really good, especially after last week (a 26-13 loss to Towns County).

"It means a lot to the kids and is going to give us some confidence going into our region (8-A) schedule. Right now though, they're just exhausted."

Lakeview amassed 361 yards rushing, led by Tom Drury's 130 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries.

"Our line worked really, really hard (in practice this week) and they gave it their all," Drury said. "This feels great; there's not a feeling like it."

The Lions' triple-option offense put on a good show, but their defense was stifling.

Lex Little had two fumble recoveries and Haughton Carswell and Austin White each had interceptions to lead a Lions' defense that held Hebron Christian to 113 yards of total offense, minus-4 rushing.

"This is just the type of kids we are," Little said. "We're going to go 110 percent every play. That's just what's going to happen.

"We run hard and we hit hard every day (in practice) and have just sheer ‘want-to,' drive and courage."

With the offense and defense clicking on all cylinders, the special teams made sure it followed suit.

Senior kicker Nick Saye booted all but two kickoffs into the end zone, giving Hebron poor field position on each drive, and converted on all five point-after attempts.

"It's a morale thing (to have a kicker like Saye)," Gruhn said, "because when you kick it into the end zone, everybody gets a lift.

"It gives our kids a little bit of a break, too, it's just invaluable."

Lakeview scored on three of its five first-half possessions, the first coming on a Drury 3-yard run.

Senior quarterback Haughton Carswell broke for a 30-yard run, Lakeview's longest of the season, on third-and-4 for the Lions' second score.

"That play started from fullbacks running hard," Carswell said. "That caused the D-end to pull down, and it just opened up with good blocking.

"You can't do it without good blocking."

Carswell finished the game with 64 yards rushing and one touchdown on nine carries.

Austin White pushed the score to 20-0 with 41 seconds remaining in the first half on a 5-yard run.

White finished with 32 yards and one touchdown on 11 carries.

As great as Lakeview was in the first half, scoring three touchdowns and holding Hebron to 31 yards of total offense, it was the first Hebron drive of the second half that wrapped it up.

Saye started it by putting the kickoff into the end zone, and then finished it with a 20-yard score.

Hebron threw the ball on each of its first three downs, completing only one pass for 4 yards. Lakeview rushed the punt attempt and Little got his hands on it, deflecting the punt.

Saye took over from there, picking it up on a bounce and scampering 20 yards for another Lakeview touchdown. His point after attempt made the score 28-0 Lions.

The Lions scored their final touchdown with four minutes left in the game on a 2-yard run by Patrick McCormac.
McCormac finished as the team's second leading rusher with 99 yards on 15 carries.

Lakeview's one let-up of the game resulted in Hebron's only score, a 54-yard touchdown pass from reserve quarterback Bobby Foley to Will Treadwell.

"Our kids play hard," Gruhn said. "That's who they are and who they're becoming, and I hope it maintains the rest of the year."

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