The Homecoming Game is often the biggest crowd of the season, so you want to put on a show.
Lakeview did just that as the Spartans scored early and often on the way to a crowd-pleasing win.
Lakeview defeated Kalamazoo Central, 47-0, in this Southwestern Michigan Athletic Conference East Division contest during Homecoming Week at Spartan Memorial Stadium on Friday.
A fast start for the Spartans was the key as Lakeview didn’t want to allow a struggling one-win Maroon Giants team to get any early confidence.
Lakeview scored the first three times it had the ball and led 20-0 before the end of the first quarter.
“Coming out here to get an early start, I thought it would be important. Kalamazoo Central has a lot of talent, so you want to get up on them early and not let them get going,” Lakeview coach Matt Miller said. “You want to take an early advantage anytime you can in high school football. Getting early starts is so huge in any game, and it was huge tonight.”
Lakeview opened the scoring on a quick five play drive, highlighted by a 63-yard run by Dre’On Kemp to get the ball inside the 10. From there, Spartans’ quarterback Skyler Nichols dove in from the one to make it 7-0 with 9:35 left in the quarter.
After a Lakeview interception by Roger Williams, the Spartans had the ball again and scored on a 24-yard touchdown run by Kemp to make it 14-0 at 7:02 left in the first.
Kemp added another touchdown on the next possession from three yards out and it was quickly 20-0 with 3:29 still left in the opening period.
The Spartan running game dominated the game as Lakeview’s improving offensive line and athletic backs controlled the game.
“Our offensive line played tremendously and we came up with some big runs,” Miller said. “We have some special running backs and we said it would take a while to get our young offensive line going to break them free. But they are going now and we are seeing it pay off.”
Kemp kept the offense humming with a 50-yard touchdown run to give Lakeview a 27-0 lead on the first play of the second quarter. The Spartans would go into halftime up 34-0 after a 31-yard touchdown run by Jay’Vion Settles.
In the second half, Settles added two more touchdowns, a 54-yard touchdown run and a 34-yard scoring scamper.
Settles had 153 yards rushing on 13 carries with Kemp getting 142 yards on just six carries.
“It was good for us to get up fast in this game. Our line has been coming around. We have more faith in our offensive line now and we are breaking some big runs because of it,” Settles said.
Lakeview’s defense came up big the entire night to get the shutout with William Dean, Justyn Jones and Justin Wright each coming up with big plays in the Kalamazoo Central backfield with sacks.
“Our defense has continued to improve all year. We played some pretty special teams early and gave up some points, but we played them tough. That experience has helped, we got the shutout tonight, we survived another week and we won, that’s what it is all about,” Miller said.
Lakeview improves to 4-2 on the season after two straight wins, following an early loss to Battle Creek Central.
“After we lost to Battle Creek Central, our kids focused up and we have had a pretty good couple of weeks since. Last week was a big win for our confidence over Stevensville-Lakeshore and tonight we built on that and got the job done again,” Miller said.
Bill Broderick can be reached at [email protected] or 269-966-0678. Follow him on Twitter:@billbroderick