Pikes’ big night sparks Lakeview, but bad start does in Gators

Dillon Pikes and the Lakeview Gators offense did their part Friday night, but the D’arbonne Woods Timberwolves were able to pound away and prevail 33-22 to dampen the LHS homecoming celebration.

On a landmark night for Lakeview, with the official groundbreaking ceremony pre-game for a new $900,000 artificial turf field to be ready next year, the ground games were good for both teams.

Pikes was dynamic, posting 196 yards rushing on 22 carries, including two touchdowns.

But the Timberwolves were just unstoppable. D’arbonne Woods (5-2) jumped to an early 14-0 advantage that the Gators couldn’t overcome.

“Offensively, we moved the ball. We just couldn’t get off the field defensively,” said Lakeview coach Brandon Helms. “They had a 230-pound back who wouldn’t bust you for 25 and 30-yard runs, but it was just the six-yard runs that kept piling up. They converted so many third-and-twos, not by much, but they did a good job.”

The visitors got a 25-yard touchdown run on their second possession to move on top, then pounced on a fumble and turned a short field into a 14-0 lead.

Pikes broke loose on a 65-yard scoring bolt and added a two-point conversion to cut it to 14-8, but the Timberwolves regained a two-score lead, 22-8, shortly before halftime.

In the second half, Pikes cracked the goalline again, but the Timberwolves again answered. Kaleb Collins dashed 33 yards and converted a two-point play for Lakeview, but D’arbonne Woods kept pounding away and retained the upper hand.

“We just never could get the lead,” said Helms. “Against teams like that, we needed the lead because they struggle in the passing game and it’s tougher to come from behind. You’ve got to be able to get chunk yards to rally and neither team has been able to consistently do that this fall.”

The Gators’ success running the ball wasn’t just due to the skill of Pikes and Collins, said Helms.

“Our offensive line got better this week. Dillon Ireland had a good night up front for us.”

With all of the festivities associated with homecoming, and the groundbreaking ceremony, there was almost a great week for the Gators.

“It was a good homecoming week,” said Helms, “other than the fact we just couldn’t get that W. But we’ll let the rest of the school enjoy fall break, and come Monday we’ll get back on that field and get going to have a good week of practice.”

Lakeview (1-6) will get back to District 3-2A play next Friday night, making the short ride up to Coushatta to play the Red River Bulldogs.