By Alicia Couch Payne
This past Friday night was Homecoming at the Ranch. The Lanier Longhorns hosted their first region 8-AAAAAA opponent, Habersham Central. Lanier picked up the region win 38-10.
Lanier was a bit concerned by Habersham’s offense which was led by senior quarterback Tre Luttrell. Habersham opened the scoring with a 32 yard field goal by David Escamilla. Lanier answered back when Jahkai Richardson caught a 45 yard pass from Texas A & M commit Zach Calzada.
Lanier put the first points of the second quarter on the board as Calzada tossed a 4 yarder to Richardson for the touchdown. Habersham responded with 28 yards rushing by Jackson Cloutare for Habersham’s first and only touchdown of the night. Longhorns scored their second touchdown of the 2nd quarter as Andre Watson ran the ball for 8 yards for the score.
After the Homecoming halftime festivities, Lanier’s coaching staff made adjustments to their team to better counter Habersham’s tactics. Habersham was never able to muster a comeback while the Longhorns added 17 additional points in the third quarter.
Lanier’s Decu scored the first points of the second half with a 22 yard field goal. Quarterback Zach Calzada ran the ball into the endzone for a 7 yard touchdown. The last points the Longhorns were able to make were from Nahil Perkins after he intercepted a pass from Habersham Central. He ran 47 yards for the touchdown.
Offensive standouts for Lanier were Cole Thornton who caught 5 passes for 64 yards and Jakhai Richardson caught passes totaling 49 yards and scoring two touchdowns. Taj Barnes led rushing with 52 yards while Watson rushed for 39 yards and one touchdown. Calzada was 10 for 18 totaling 125 yards scoring two touchdowns from passing with no interceptions..
Lanier’s defensive standouts were Trey Smith and Isaiah Smith who kept Habersham’s receivers to break loose for any big plays. Jacoby Sharpe, Phillip Webb, and Kameron Brown kept the pressure on Luttrell with each one of them sacking the Habersham QB.
Lanier improves to a season record of 4-2 overall and 1-0 for the region. The Longhorns will travel to Winder to take on the Winder-Barrow Bulldoggs on Friday, October 5th at 7:30 p.m.