Laurel – The Laurel Bulldogs came into Friday night’s District 3 game looking to both keep their postseason hopes alive and defend their house with Xavier Limehouse.
Limehouse rushed for a career high 255 yards on 24 carries scoring 3 touchdowns as he led the Bulldogs to a 34-20 Class AA District 3 win over Lake Forest.
“When the playoffs are on the line then somebody has to show up and I guess tonight it was me,” Limehouse said.
Laurel began the opening drive on their own three yard line. Limehouse capped off the 10 play 97 yard drive with a two yard touchdown run. The PAT kick was no good as Laurel led 6-0 just five minutes into the game.
The Bulldogs were driving again in Lake Forest territory when Jaymeire Snell intercepted Koby Shockley’s pass at the 20 yard line and returned the ball to the Laurel 45 yard line. The Spartans capitalized on the turnover six plays later when Snell connected with Darius Miller down the left sideline for a 41 yard touchdown pass. Aiden Garey added the PAT kick as the Spartans took a 7-6 lead with 1:43 left to play in the first quarter.
Laurel answered midway through the second quarter on Limehouse’s second touchdown of the game, a two yard run off left tackle. Bradley Lopez-Vasquez’s kick was good and Laurel regained the lead 13-7.
The Spartans took the lead back late in the second quarter on a four yard touchdown run by Aiden Young. Garey’s kick made the score 14-13, a lead Lake Forest would take into the half.
On the Spartans opening drive of the second half the Bulldogs Joseph Baynard jumped on a fumbled snap giving Laurel the ball near midfield.
Laurel took advantage of the turnover after Limehouse scored on a four yard run. Limehouse converted the two point run giving Laurel a 21-14 lead.
“Xavier has just taken the torch and it’s his turn here late in the season, he is such an outstanding kid and I am so happy for him,” Laurel head coach Joey Jones said.
On the next Lake Forest possession Isaiah Miller jarred the ball loose after a completed pass and Khalid Burton recovered the fumble at the 41 yard line. Five players later Patrick Belle scored on a 27 yard run. Lopez-Vasquez’s kick was good as the Bulldogs led 28-14.
Belle scored again early in the fourth quarter picking up a fumbled snap at the three yard line and returning the ball for a touchdown. The PAT kick was blocked as Laurel extended their lead to 34-14.
“It may be cliche, but it was a total team effort tonight. We had 11 hats to the ball tonight especially in the second half,” Jones said.
The Spartans added another touchdown late in the fourth quarter when Miller hauled in his second touchdown pass of the game, this one a 15 yard pass from Hunter Hafer.
Lake Forest fell to 3-6 overall and 1-3 in Class AA District 3. The Spartans will travel to Milford for the “Battle of the Bell” next Thursday night. Kickoff is at 7:00 PM.
Laurel improved to 5-4 overall and 2-2 in AA-D3. The win kept the Bulldogs postseason hopes alive. Laurel will travel to Sussex Tech on Friday, kickoff at 7:00 PM.
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