Unbeaten Avoyelles too much for gutsy Gators

Lakeview:  14
Avoyelles  56

The visiting Avoyelles Mustangs looked every bit the fearsome foe that their credentials indicated when they rolled into Lakeview High School Friday night.

The unbeaten Mustangs took command and despite a relentless effort by the outmanned Gators,

Avoyelles (6-0, 2-0) rode home 56-14 winners in the District 3-2A football matchup.

It wasn’t men against boys, but it was definitely an uphill climb for Lakeview, said coach Brandon Helms.

“They played big boy football, got behind that huge offensive line, and we had trouble getting stops. It seemed like they converted every short yardage situation.

“We moved the ball fairly well, but couldn’t get stops defensively. They run a hurry-up, ball-control offense – it’s an odd mix, but it is very effective. Hurry up teams don’t usually run it 65 times but they did. It was just a case of them being so powerful up front and we’re not there yet. We got pushed around, that’s the bottom line.”

The Gators (1-5, 0-1) got their usual outstanding play from junior quarterback/safety Dillon Pikes. He scored on runs of 36 and 5 yards, and tossed a two-point conversion pass to account for all the Lakeview points.

“One (touchdown0 was a big-boy run, when he broke a couple tackles, and the other one, we blocked it well and he had a crease. On the two-point conversion, we got a completion to Evan Baker. We got better in the passing game and that’s something we wanted to see,” said Helms.

There were standouts for the Gators.

“Kaleb Collins played well, especially on the offensive side at running back. He did some good things for us. Defensively Dillon, on the back edge, played well. Gevious Washington played better inside defensively Friday night.

“James Pennington came in and played the wildcat quarterback at times, and gave us a spark. He’s a 5-6, 130-pounder but runs it like a 230-pounder,” said Helms. “He’s got heart and deserves a pat on the back.”

The veteran coach was proud of the Gators’ effort and tenacity, and even against one of the state’s better 2A teams, he saw encouraging signs.

“No doubt, I could see improvements,” said Helms. “These boys will fight and compete. We have a big homecoming week against D’Arbonne Woods and we’ve got to come in Monday ready to continue making progress.”

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