When Jackson’s Caleb Moss returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown on Friday, Aug. 24, no one would have blamed West Bloomfield fans for thinking it would be a long night and a long season.
In the end, it was a long night — for Jackson.
The Lakers would not allow Jackson into the end zone for the rest of the night, as they cruised to a 42-7 victory at home.
“It felt great, especially having a young team because the win gave them confidence,” said West Bloomfield Head Coach Ron Bellamy.
West Bloomfield responded to its opening kick gaffe by scoring 14 points in the first quarter and 7 points in the second quarter for a 21-7 halftime lead. The Lakers then followed up with 14 points in the third quarter and 7 in the fourth.
Sophomore Michael King had six carries for 104 yards rushing and 2 touchdowns, including a 75-yard touchdown run on the Lakers’ first play from scrimmage in the third quarter.
Matthew Farrow had 108 yards rushing and 1 touchdown on 18 carries and Chris Watkins had 87 yards rushing on 15 carries.
Freshman quarterback Trishen Jackson completed 6-of-15 passes for 215 yards and one touchdown in his varsity debut. Evan Boyer and Obbie Jackson each also had a touchdown.
“We scored six touchdowns and had five different guys score. We were able to spread the ball around,” Bellamy said. “I just think the kids played fast. We had a good game plan and we were able to capitalize on some mistakes.”
Just as impressive as the Lakers’ offense was their defense, which forced four fumbles and one interception led by the strong play of Chance Monarch, Norm Burns, and Eddy Wilson.
West Bloomfield will be tested Friday, Aug. 31 when traveling to face Clarkston to start its Oakland Activities Association (OAA) Red Division schedule.
The Lakers fell to the initial OAA Red co-champion Wolves, 34-7, in Week 2 last season before West Bloomfield was awarded a victory by forfeit due to Clarkston using an ineligible player.
If not for the awarded victory, the Lakers’ losing streak to Clarkston would have stretched to 15 games, dating back to 1982.
Now, West Bloomfield is looking to prove to the Wolves it can officially defeat them on the scoreboard.
“Clarkston won’t beat themselves, so we have to play turnover- and mistake-free football,” Bellamy said.