With its high-powered offense out of synch, Lassiter turned to its defense, shutting out Walton in the second half on the way to a 21-9 victory.
The victory avenged a loss in last year’s Class AAAAA state semifinal game. Lassiter improved to 6-0, 3-0 in Region 5-AAAAAA. Walton dropped to 4-2, 2-1.
Lassiter, which came in averaging more than 40 points a game, trailed 9-7 entering the second half, but took the lead on its first drive when quarterback Eddie Printz ran for a 10-yard score midway through the third period. The Trojans’ final points came on a 1-yard run by Hakim Shahid with 9:30 left in the game.
Printz completed 15 of 30 passes for 173 yards and was intercepted once.
Walton’s Tyren Jones led all rushers with 189 yards on 32 carries, but the Alabama commitment was held in check in the second half, rushing for 53 yards. Lassiter lined up with eight or nine men near the line of scrimmage, and even the elusive Jones had little room to maneuver. Trenton Gantt (two sacks), Ryan Gildea, John Corey and Josh Danforth led the charge up front for the Trojans, who have held three consecutive opponents to less than 10 points. The defense is allowing12 points per game.
The Trojans forced three turnovers. Chris Murphy recorded an interception in the first quarter, and Billy Meredith’s fourth-quarter interception in the back of the end zone killed a Walton drive and effectively ended the game. Walton missed out on an earlier scoring opportunity when Jones fumbled inside the Lassiter 5-yard line, and Danforth recovered in the end zone.
Lassiter marched 80 yards in nine plays on its first drive, with Lane Jackman scoring on a 7-yard run. But the Walton defense forced two three-and-outs and an interception on the Trojans’ next three possessions. Printz and his receivers were unable to connect because of pressure from the Raiders and a few drops by Lassiter receivers. Printz finished the first half 12-of-25 for 106 yards.
Quarterback Price Wilson scored Lassiter’s only touchdown on a 1-yard run in the second quarter. Anthony Price kicked a 51-yard field goal later in the quarter.
Jones ran for 132 yards in the first half on 17 carries, including a 53-yarder.
LASSITER – 7 – 0 – 7 – 7 – 21
WALTON – 0 – 9 – 0 – 0 – 9
L – Lane Jackman 7 run (Luke Hardin kick)
W – Price Wilson 1 run (kick missed)
W – Anthony Price 51 FG
L – Eddie Printz 10 run (Hardin kick)
L – Hakim Shahid 1 run (Hardin kick)