Lake Forest routs Indian River 49-14 on homecoming

Quarterback Damian Galindez sheds off a tackler on his way to the end zone in the second quarter. (Delaware State News/Ben Heck)

FELTON — It wasn’t the start Fred Johnson was hoping for, but he’s satisfied with the finish.

Trailing 14-7 halfway through the second quarter, Lake Forest High put up 42 unanswered points to pull away with a 49-14 homecoming football win over Indian River High at James H. Blades Stadium Saturday afternoon.

The Henlopen Conference Southern Division win keeps Lake Forest unbeaten at 5-0 heading into next week’s showdown with division foe Delmar High. Indian River dropped to 1-4 with the loss.

“Indian River, they came out to play,” said Johnson, Lake Forest’s coach. “Our kids found out, ‘hey, they’re not laying down for us, so we need to turn it around.’ So, we went in [at halftime], made some adjustments and we just came out and played a little better.”

“The first quarter and a half was a little rough,” said two-way starting lineman and homecoming king Kristopher Thompson. “I feel like it was a real wake-up call.”

The ground game accumulated 326 yards and six touchdowns on 26 carries, with six different players running the ball at least one time.

Junior fullback Isaiah Johnson led the way out of the backfield, rushing for a game-high 142 yards and two touchdowns on his 11 carries, including a 71-yard run for a score in the third quarter.

Nate McGray catches a 26-yard touchdown toss from Damian Galindez in the front corner of the end zone. (Delaware State News/Ben Heck)

Junior starting quarterback Damian Galindez accounted for two more of those touchdowns runs, from 52 yards and 16 yards out, while totaling 76 yards on the ground.

Galindez also tossed a 26-yard touchdown strike to Nate McGray as he completed two of his three pass attempts for 60 yards.

“Damian did a good job today,” said Johnson. “It seems like he’s getting better and better every week. We still need to be able to make better decisions sometimes, but he’s improving every week and that’s what we want.”

Galindez attributed Isaiah Johnson’s success with the ball as the reason he was able to score on a pair of QB keepers on the option play.

“Once they started focusing on Isaiah, that gave me the opportunity to just go, touchdown, any time we did an option,” Galindez said.

Malachi Moore and Dylan Auen accounted for the other two Lake rushing touchdowns, with Moore’s coming from 15 yards out and Auen dashing down the field on a 55-yard score.

Jalen Holland-Holloway caught a touchdown pass from freshman quarterback Hayden Hall and Dalton Hall ran for another score for Indian River’s offense.

The defensive unit for the Spartans picked off three IR passes, recovered a pair of fumbles and forced three turnovers on downs on 12 possessions.

Moore, Kade Collins and Nashiem Little registered the interceptions, while Cezar Garland and Curtis Spencer recovered the fumbles.

Lake Forest forced one of those fumbles on IR’s first drive and the Spartans took advantage of the short field.

After Spencer’s fumble recovery, Lake’s offensive unit drove 48 yards on seven plays on its first possession to jump ahead early, 7-0.

Moore’s 15-yard score, and the Kade Collins extra point, capped the opening drive and put Lake on the board with 6:04 left in the first quarter.

Indian River’s offense drove 77 yards down the field on 11 plays on the ensuing drive to tie the game, 7-7.

Hall tossed a 30-yard pass to Holland-Holloway for the touchdown.

The IR defense forced a quick three-and-out on Lake’s next drive and five plays later sophomore running back Dalton Hall scored from nine yards out to give Indian River the 14-7 lead with 6:51 remaining in the half.

It was a short-lived lead for the Indians, however, as Galindez scooted 52 yards for a touchdown on the second play of the next drive to knot the game up once again, 14-14.

Damian’s 26-yard strike to McGray put the Spartans up for good with 4:12 remaining in the half.

“Nate, he was way bigger than the kid, so I just threw it up there and gave him a chance,” said Galindez.

The Spartans went into the halftime break ahead 28-14 with Galindez’s 16-yard score at the :16 mark.

A trio of second half touchdowns from Johnson (two) and Auen capped the scoring for Lake Forest.

The Spartans will face division opponents in each of the next four weeks, starting with the Wildcats (3-1) next Friday night. Last year’s matchup resulted in a 35-0 shutout loss for the Spartans.

“We’re just going to keep working on getting better,” Johnson said of next week’s showdown. “We can’t worry about what Delmar is doing, we just have to worry about what we do and the rest will take care of itself.”

Reach staff writer Ben Heck at bheck@newszap.com

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