With the relentless rush, the rout was on and the gap in the Laney-Josey rivalry didn’t shrink.
The Wildcats swarmed the Eagles moments after the ball was snapped, leading to sacks, incomplete passes or a turnover as the Wildcats beat Josey 41-0 on Friday night at Laney. The Wildcats have shut out Josey the past three games and have outscored the Eagles 191-6 in the past four meetings.
Laney, which overcame two turnovers, set up a critical game next week against Dublin, which is tied with the Wildcats at 4-0 in the region.
“We got caught peeking into next week. That’s understandable, though,” Laney coach Lemuel Lackey said. “We had our minds focused on next week. But I thought we pulled it together in the second quarter and the beginning part of the third quarter.”
Laney (6-2 overall, 4-0 Region 3-AA) sacked Eagles quarterback Juwan Tolbert on the first offensive play of the game and did so again two plays later when Shai Brown took him down.
The Wildcats went on to record six sacks in the first half, with the fifth leading to a defensive touchdown.
With Laney leading 20-0, Josey had the ball at its 21 when Tolbert was engulfed by red jerseys and fumbled. Laney recovered the ball in the end zone for the touchdown.
On the other side of the ball, Laney’s Vicente Thompkins threw two touchdown passes as teammates came down with lobbed passes late in the first half. Thompkins, who caught a pair touchdown passes himself, found Andre James twice in the second quarter.Laney scored 28 points in the second quarter to take a 34-0 lead at the half.
Though the Eagles (0-8, 0-4) forced a couple turnovers and had a few possessions reach Laney territory, they were held scoreless for the fourth time this season.
Josey’s best chance for points came in the final minutes. But after reaching the 3, the Eagles were stuffed, then lost nine yards as Rashad Muhammad chased down Tolbert.
Josey has lost 11 of the past 12 meetings.
Despite the tough loss, Eagles coach Raleigh Roundtree saw positives.
“I hope it builds character, where if you don’t stop fighting, good things happen,” he said. “We’re a young team, but the effort was there.”