Lake Forest routs Laurel 41-0 in home finale

Spartans quarterback Damian Galindez keeps the ball and weaves through the Bulldog defense for a big gain in the first quarter. Special to the Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh

FELTON — If this is the last football game played at Lake Forest High this season, the Spartans gave their fans something to remember.

With a victory already in the bag, Kade Collins walked it off in style.

Collins returned an interception 76 yards for a touchdown as time expired to seal a 41-0 shutout over Laurel for Lake Forest on Friday night in the home finale. The Spartans improved to 7-1 on the season and 3-1 in Henlopen Conference Southern Division play.

Collins is a senior linebacker for Lake Forest who also the kicker. It was the first touchdown of his varsity career.

Collins tipped the ball in the air as he fell to the ground, bounced back to his feet, turned around and was able to grab the ball. He then went 76 yards the other way behind a wall of blockers.

Laurel quarterback Kaden Shockley is sacked by Lake Forest linebacker Zachery Kennedy for a big loss in the first half.

“It feels amazing,” Collins said. “All week in practice the coaches said watch the slant on the backside, so I knew it was coming. I was just hoping there was no one around so I could get the interception. Running downfield, I could hear every block and it felt good to know I had my teammates with me.”

There wasn’t any time left for Collins to kick the extra point after the touchdown. So the score stayed at 41 points, matching his jersey number.

“That’s the icing on the cake,” said Lake Forest coach Freddie Johnson. “It’s a senior in possibly his last home football game. Then you look at the scoreboard and see 41, he wears 41. That’s the perfect ending. It’s the exclamation point on a job well-done.”

While this was the last regular season game at Lake Forest, the Spartans are hopeful of a playoff berth. Another home contest could follow if they find themselves in the eight-team Division II state tournament field.

Running back Malachi Moore led the Spartan offense with a pair of rushing touchdowns. Fullback Isaiah Johnson and quarterback Damian Galindez also added a rushing touchdown apiece while Nakiem Scott recorded a touchdown on a punt return.

The Spartan defense earned its second shutout of the season, paced by a pair of sacks from Zyaire Elliott.

“It was great energy, we’re a family out here and we take it seriously,” Elliott said. “We had a hard week of practice. The coaches were on us a lot so we just wanted to play hard. We just had to keep the intensity up and keep applying pressure. If we play as hard as we can, playing every snap, not taking any plays off, we can play with the toughest and roughest teams.”

“We run the same exact offense as them,” Johnson said. “Our kids see what we do every single day. We made a couple of little adjustments but the game was slow for the kids because they see it every day.”

Malachi Moore of the Spartans takes a handoff around left end to score a touchdown in the first half against Laurel.

It didn’t take long for the Spartan ground attack to get going.

Lake Forest scored on its first drive of the game, covering 70 yards on seven plays — all runs. Isaiah Johnson finished it off with an eight-yard score for a 7-0 lead with 7:55 left in the first quarter.

The Spartans forced a three-and-out thanks to a sack by Zachary Kennedy. It gave Lake Forest solid field position, on the Laurel 42.
Five plays later, Moore doubled the lead when he burst through to the outside on fourth-and-three for a 13-0 advantage.

Damian Galindez stretched Lake Forest’s lead to 20-0 on the Spartans’ final possession of the first half on a 12-yard quarterback keeper for a touchdown. The scoring drive was set up after a Scott interception allowed Lake Forest to take over at the Laurel 27.

Scott added a 53-yard punt return touchdown in the third quarter before Moore’s second score and a two-point conversion by Johnson made it a running clock with less than 10 minutes remaining.

Lake Forest ends this season with trips to Woodbridge and Milford.

“This sets us up for the upcoming weeks,” Collins said. “It shows that we can play with anybody.”

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