Fired-up Lake Clifton pulls out stops in rout of North County, 58-30 Lakers pile up record 52 points in 1st half, score on first 7 series

November 16, 1996|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,STAFF WRITER

What a postseason debut!

Lake Clifton scored a state-record 52 points in the first half and coasted to a 58-30 romp over North County in the Class 4A quarterfinals played in Ferndale last night.

Making their first appearance in the state playoffs, the No. 5 ranked Lakers (10-1) scored on their first seven possessions and threw in a 78-yard interception return for a touchdown by Terril Lowery on the final play of the half.

"They had more athletes on defense than we had on offense, and we just got out-horsed," said Knights coach Chuck Markiewicz.

The Lakers' 52-14 halftime lead was too much for the No. 9 Knights (9-2), making their fifth playoff appearance in six years, to overcome.

The two teams didn't shake hands afterward.

"We've never been insulted like that," said assistant coach Dave Coward, who was stopped from explaining by Lake Clifton head coach James Monroe.

Said Monroe: "It was a personal thing that's all. We came out real positive, focused and disciplined and ready to play football.

"Coach Coward scouted them early in the season and we executed well. We were blessed for today, just celebrating the joy."

Offensive linemen Harry Blackwell and Oliver Taylor opened gaping holes as junior running backs Darnell Pearsall, who had 21 rushes for 223 yards, and Robert Carrothers (14 carries, 92 yards) ran wild. Pearsall gained 141 of the Lakers' 236 yards rushing in the first half (310 total yards).

Pearsall scored three touchdowns and Carrothers two.

"We came in here confident because we heard they said we were a mediocre team," said Pearsall.

Shortly after Chris Mangum caught a 16-yard touchdown pass from Mike Evans on the Knights' initial possession, the Laker stampede commenced.

A 72-yard jaunt by Pearsall gave the Lakers a first-and-goal at the 2, and guard Allence Hance picked up a missed exchange and took it into the end zone to make it 7-6. The Lakers' conversion run failed, but they would take the lead for good a couple minutes later after North County went three and out with a short punt.

Carrothers raced 41 yards to the 4 and took it in from there on the next play for a 12-7 Lake Clifton lead with 7: 19 left in the first period.

An interception by Lowery set up his own 36-yard scoring pass from quarterback Joseph Able (2-for-3, 74 yards in first half). Carrothers' conversion run made it 20-7.

Kiki Ellis took a flare pass from Evans and dashed 21 yards for six points and Bobby Lincoln's kick made it 20-14. That would be the closest the Knights would get the rest of the night as the Lakers scored 32 unanswered points to close the first half.

Trying to put six points on the board before intermission, Evans drove the Knights to the Lakers' 32 before Lowery got his second interception of the half and scampered 78 yards on the final play to give Lake Clifton the commanding 52-14 lead.

The mercy rule (35 points or more lead) was invoked to start the second half. North County couldn't stop the running clock until Corey Wright grabbed a 20- yard touchdown pass from Evans with 5: 52 left in the third period.

"Our defense was outstanding too," said Monroe. "We owe it all to a lot of praying and a lot of discipline."

The Lakers intercepted Evans four times -- Lowery (2), Carrothers and Guy Lancaster.

Lake Clifton 28 24 0 6 -- 58

North County 14 0 8 8 -- 30

Pub Date: 11/16/96

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