James Holman walked around after the game with the “Mr. Wildcat” sash he won two days earlier.
The senior lineman’s week only got better.
Horatio Keller accounted for three touchdowns, the Laney defense dominated and the Wildcats rolled to a 35-2 homecoming win over Westside on Friday night.
“It’s been amazing,” Holman said. “My senior year ... this is a dream come true.”
Laney (4-2, 2-0), which took its lumps earlier this season with losses to Westminster (Atlanta) and Washington County, won its second consecutive Region 3-AA game. Wildcats coach Lemuel Lackey credits the return of four players last week, especially running back Joshua Clark and wide receiver Vicente Thompkins. Clark injured his foot in the first game of the season, while Thompkins injured his hip before the first game.
“We’re starting to jell a little bit,” Lackey said. “We’re fairly healthy. That’s been an issue all year long. So right now I just hope each week we get better.”
Laney’s defense clamped down on Westside, limiting the Patriots to 55 yards on 35 carries. The Wildcats, who twice prevented the Patriots from scoring in the red zone, became the first team to hold Westside without a touchdown this season.
“We just got outplayed. They’ve got a really good team,” Patriots coach Steve Hibbitts said. “They’re strong. They’ve got speed. We had trouble controlling the line of scrimmage. You can’t do anything when you can’t control the line of scrimmage.”
Laney scored on its first two drives, but a bad snap midway through the second quarter led to a safety. Then, Westside drove down to the 10 and had a shot to get back in the contest. But Tauris Calloway sacked Jalen Lampkin on third down. Marquis Miller followed with a sack on fourth down.
After Laney got the ball back, Keller found Thompkins in stride for a 61-yard pass play that moved the Wildcats to the 7. Two plays later, Keller punched it in from the 2 to stake Laney to a 20-2 advantage just before intermission.
Keller finished with 167 yards on 9 for 12 passing. He threw touchdown passes of 10 yards and 30 yards to Danye Washington and Curtis Hightower, Jr., respectively, in the third quarter to put the game away.