Mistake-prone Lake Forest drops opener to Hodgson 27-12

GLASGOW — For a lot of the players on the Lake Forest High football team, Saturday morning was their first exposure to varsity football.

It didn’t go how the Spartans would have liked, as they slumped to a 27-12 defeat at the hands of Hodgson Vo-Tech on the road. Hodgson has now won three in a row against Lake Forest.

“I think these kids realized what it takes and they know we’ve got to get better,” said Lake Forest coach Freddie Johnson. “We made a lot of mistakes. We’ve got a lot of first-year people playing and we just made so many mistakes. Not to take anything away from Hodgson, they’re a good football team, but we just made a lot of mistakes.”

Lake Forest was kept in the game mainly because of the play of its special teams unit.

After the Silver Eagles began the contest with back-to-back first quarter touchdowns, Diante’ Cannon returned a kickoff 72 yards for a score.

Lake Forest’s second touchdown was set up when Cameron Lewis blocked a punt, allowing the Spartans to take over on Hodgson’s 19-yard line. Lewis then caught an 11-yard touchdown pass on fourth down from quarterback Xavier Daniels.

The Spartans also capitalized on a muffed punt in the fourth quarter, recovering it deep into Hodgson territory. But like they did most of the day, the Spartans struggled to move the ball and ended up punting it back to Hodgson.

“They (special teams) did well,” Johnson said. “They did what they were supposed to do but our offense didn’t do what its supposed to do. Hodgson did a good job with the blitzes, confusing our kids.”

Greg Tucker scored a pair of touchdowns in the first quarter to allow the Silver Eagles to build a two-score lead.

Tucker’s first touchdown was set up by a pair of third down completions by Hodgson quarterback Marc Perez. Perez added a 20-yard passing touchdown to Nahzir Billops in the second quarter which gave Hodgson a 21-12 halftime advantage.

“We had them third-and-long a couple of times early and blew pass coverages and gave them first downs,” Johnson said. “You can’t do that against a good football team.”

Hodgson only had two possessions in the second half but scored on the first one, a 1-yard run by Simian Smith, and ran out the clock on the second one to prevent Lake Forest from getting another possession in the game’s final five minutes.

The Spartans only earned one first down in the second half. They finished with 94 yards of total offense as their triple-option attack was stifled by the Silver Eagle defensive line.

“That’s a good team over there with Freddie and our kids battled them for four quarters,” said Hodgson coach Frank Moffett Jr., a Caesar Rodney High grad. “I thought we did some good things defensively in terms of stopping them and stopping what they like to do, especially that option play.”

Reach staff writer Tim Mastro at tmastro@newszap.com

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