First-half surge fueled by onside kicks carries Lakeview to first win

Lakeview running back Omarion Pier takes off down the sideline Friday in a 60-36 win against Montgomery. (Photo by KEVIN SHANNAHAN, Natchitoches Parish Journal)

By MATT VINES, Natchitoches Parish Journal

MONTGOMERY – The Andy Boone system was on full display Friday as the Gators rolled Montgomery in a 60-36 road win.

Trailing for most of the first quarter, the Gators recovered two onside kicks that sparked a Lakeview run in which they scored 30 straight points.

Lakeview (1-1) gashed Montgomery for 572 rushing yards as running backs Caleb Collins and Omarion Pier each topped the 200-yard mark.

After Lakeview’s offense bogged down in a Week 1 loss with four lost fumbles, the Gators cut that number in half and averaged more than 12 yards per carry.

“Those onside kicks really got us going because we were losing all of the first quarter,” said Lakeview coach Andy Boone, who earned his first win as a Gator after building Avoyelles High into a force for more than a decade. “The two onside kicks put us ahead for good.

“We still have a lot of work to do, but it was good to see the kids succeed in this way.”

Montgomery jumped out to a 14-6 lead with a pair of short rushing touchdowns, part of 207 team rushing yards.

Pier scored Lakeview’s first touchdown on a 6-yard run, and then the Gators dumped 30 straight points to go up 36-14 late in the second quarter.

Pier gashed Montgomery for a 71-yard touchdown run before Caleb Collins took over with touchdown runs of 27, 70 and seven yards.

Collins accumulated 288 rushing yards and four scores while Pier added 233 yards on the ground and four touchdowns.

Montgomery scored with no time remaining in the first half on a seven-yard pass, but the Tigers never could get closer than 14 points.

The Tigers took to the air in the second half, throwing for 125 yards on 10-23 passing.

But Lakeview’s ground game kept Montgomery at bay, answering each Montgomery touchdown in the second half.

Pier scored on touchdown runs of 11 and 16 yards while Collins added a 15-yard touchdown run in the second half.

The 60 points scored is the most since Lakeview put up 64 points in 2019 against Boone’s Avoyelles team (Avoyelles won 68-64).

Lakeview will see the inside of their own stadium for the first time this coming week when Northwood-Lena visits for Homecoming.

“We have to be focused with the Homecoming festivities that will be happening this week,” Boone said. “We will see where our focus is at and how much we’ve grown.”

In 2022, Lakeview put together a four-game winning streak against these opponents, starting with Montgomery in Week 2.

The 2022 Gators topped Montgomery, Northwood-Lena, LaSalle and Delta Charter consecutively.