Struggling Lakeview blanked as injury woes continue

The Lakeview High School football team will battle.

But the Gators haven’t had much in the way of good luck, and bad breaks continue to plague them.

Friday night in a 33-0 loss at Winnfield, Lakeview lost its junior standout, quarterback and safety Dillon Pikes, to a hip pointer in the first quarter. Pikes has been the pivotal piece of the Gators’ offense, and his departure hiked up the degree of difficulty for the visitors.

Winnfield, winning its third straight game, took advantage and kept the Gators off the scoreboard. The Tigers (6-3 overall, 2-3 in District 3-2A) steadily opened a 26-0 halftime lead at Stokes-Walker Stadium.

“Turnovers hurt us. We gave up a pick six, and also gave up a special teams touchdown,” said Lakeview coach Brandon Helms, whose young, short-handed and battered team dropped to 1-8 including a fruitless district slate.

“The kids played hard. I am proud of their effort and how they kept battling. We are so beat up, but the kids keep fighting. I just feel for those who are hurt and can’t play,” he said.

Some who are healthy enough are stepping up.

“James Pennington was a warrior for us,” said Helms. “It was a gutty performance by him.”

Pennington posted 115 yards rushing on 27 carries.

The Gators wrap up their season at home next Friday with the daunting task of facing the top-ranked Many Tigers, the defending Class 2A state champions who have won eight straight games.