Chambers Academy got off to an impressive start in their critical region game last week against Lakeside. In a rare Thursday night game at Tolbert Field here in LaFayette, the Rebels appeared to have the advantage on both sides of the ball after driving down field for a score on their opening possession, then forcing the Chiefs to punt after three plays on the ensuing possession. But that early momentum soon disappeared for CA, and after a big third quarter, Lakeside withstood a late fourth quarter charge to hang on for the 19-16 win.
The loss snapped the Rebels four game win streak, and dropped them to 2-2 in Region 1 play.
“Our kids played extremely hard and did all that we asked them to do,” CA Coach Jason Allen said. “We started the game out really well on offense and defense, but we didn’t execute quite as well in the second quarter. We stalled in their territory once and we really needed those points. I think that really changed the complexion of the game.”
Chambers opening drive spanned 66 yards and consumed the first three minutes of the game. It ended when Quadarius Tinsley scored on a seven-yard touchdown run. Tae Henry ran the ball in for the two-point conversion giving CA a quick 8-0 lead.
They forced a three and out on Lakeside’s next possession, but were forced to punt on their next drive.
The Chiefs finally moved the ball when they got it back and after a long pass, completed a fourth and goal pass from the eight yard line for their first touchdown. The PAT kick was no good, allowing CA to hold on to an 8-6 lead.
CA mounted a drive on their ensuing possession, but four penalties eventually forced a punt. Lakeside threatened again just before the half, driving deep into Chambers’ territory, before the Rebels forced a big fumble to regain possession. They would run the clock out and carry the two-point lead into halftime.
It was all Lakeside in the third quarter. The Chiefs opening drive featured a long run, then a Johnny Manziel-like escape by their quarterback, who then completed a pass to the one-yard line. A quarterback sneak for the score followed to give Lakeside their first lead of the night 12-8 after the failed conversion attempt with 8:15 left in the third.
After a Chambers punt, Lakeside went back to work and scored on another one-yard quarterback sneak with 2:13 left in the quarter. Their lead was now 19-8 after the PAT kick.
Lakeside began to drive again early in the fourth quarter, but a big pass break-up by Tinsley saved another touchdown with eight minutes to play.
With the ball back, the Rebels finally began to move and drove all the way to the Chiefs 20 yard line. But facing a fourth and eight, they turned the ball over on downs after an incomplete pass. It looked bleak for the Rebels at that point.
That changed when Lane Hodges ripped the ball away from a Lakeside back to regain possession for CA with just over three minutes to play. The Rebels capitalized and quarterback Cord Dodgen connected with Tinsley in the back left side of the endzone for a 19-yard touchdown pass. Corey Bolt ran the two-point conversion in and CA trailed 19-16 with 2:22 to play.
After recovering a pooch-kick, the Chiefs were set to run the clock out, but CA had three timeouts to use. After a quick first down, it appeared Lakeside would be facing second and long, but the Rebels were inexplicably called for a facemask, effectively ending the game.
“I thought we played hard,” Allen added, “we just didn’t come up with enough plays to come out on top.”
This week the Rebels will face No. 2 Restoration in another Thursday night game. Kickoff will be at 7:30 pm CST rather than the normal 7 pm. The game will be played at Birmingham-Southern College’s Panther Stadium.
*For full story see this week’s edition of The Sun.