Lakeshore dominates Rayne to reach Class 4A title game
MANDEVILLE – Lakeshore High School’s magical 2017 season continued in historic fashion.
The Titans dominated the Rayne Wolves, 33-0, at the Coliseum in the Class 4A semifinals to improve to 14-0 and punch the school’s ticket to its first ever state championship appearance next week in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
A week after Lakeshore caught the entire state’s attention by demolishing perennial powerhouse Neville, the Titans ended any doubts that they were for real while also exacting some payback in one of the most dominating performances of the season.
Just one year ago, Rayne (11-3) ran roughshod over the Titans in a 48-18 victory in the first round of the playoffs. This time around, Lakeshore (14-0) smothered the Wolves Wing-T rushing attack.
Coming into the contest, Rayne’s rushing duo of Trent Winbush and Darien Harmon combined for over 3,600 yards rushing and 51 touchdowns. The Titans held the duo to a paltry 53 yards on 22 combined carries in the rematch.
On the other side of the line of scrimmage, the Lakeshore offense started off slow but eventually wore the Wolves defense down with ball control. Rayne ran a grand total of 17 offensive plays the first half, putting immense strain on a defense which finally cracked in the second half.
Senior quarterback Chris Penton put together another solid performance to lead the way for the Titans with a near-perfect night. Penton finished 20 of 22 for 201 yards and a touchdown through the air, and added another 46 yards on the ground with a touchdown.
The Titans took the lead on their second possession of the game. Following a partially blocked punt and a personal foul penalty, the Titans took over at the Rayne 14 yard line. The Lakeshore settled for a 24 yard Josh Massa field goal to take the early 3-0 lead midway through the opening quarter.
The next points wouldn’t come until midway through the second quarter. Starting at their own 35, the Titans put together a methodical 15 play drive. Seven straight passes by Penton put the Titans inside the Rayne 25. Five straight runs then pounded the rock inside the Rayne 10, but Lakeshore again settled for a field goal. Massa’s 28 yarder extended their lead to 6-0 with 7:33 to play in the half.
Following another three and out, the Titans reached the end zone on the ensuing possession. From the Lakeshore 43, a 41-yard pass down to the Rayne 16 yard line set the stage. Five plays later, Christian Westcott punched the ball into the end zone.
Lakeshore led 13-0 at the half and showed no signs of letting up after the break.
Rayne was shut down for two straight three and out drives, giving the Titans offense more exposure against the worn out Wolves defense. Starting with great field position at the Rayne 33, Penton connected with Jacob Bernard for a 21 touchdown pass to make the score 20-0 with 8:08 to play in the third quarter.
Next came an eight-play, 54 yard march capped by Maximus Lowery’s one-yard touchdowns to further extend the lead to 27-0.
The final points of the game early in the fourth quarter on Penton’s five yard touchdown run with 9:27 to play in the ball game.
Lakeshore will look to cap their historic and unbeaten season next Saturday against the top-seeded Edna Karr Cougars at 3:30 p.m. in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome for the Class 4A state championship.
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