Mansfield Sports

Lake Ridge Eagles defense praised as team advances to state football quarterfinals

Lake Ridge quarterback Jett Duffey (8) passed for 452 yards and three touchdowns vs. Mesquite Poteet.
Lake Ridge quarterback Jett Duffey (8) passed for 452 yards and three touchdowns vs. Mesquite Poteet. Star-Telegram Archive

The Lake Ridge football team continues to barnstorm the postseason and this past weekend, Mesquite Poteet was its latest victim.

Lake Ridge defeated Poteet by a score of 69-40 to advance to the state quarterfinals and will now face Longview at 9 p.m. on Dec. 5 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.

Poteet running back Walter Dawn Jr., No. 26, rushed for 127 yards and a touchdown in the game on Saturday, and coach Kirk Thor said that his team tried some onside kicks in the game because of how well Poteet ran the ball and their special teams game.

“They return the ball really well and it was hard for us to tackle 26 and all those other guys,” Thor said. “They had so many yards on returns that we thought we might as well try to onside kick it. If we don’t get it we were only going to lose about five or 10 yards. We were lucky enough to get one of them and that helped us.”

Thor said that he was especially pleased that his team was able to earn the victory against Poteet because of the team’s pedigree and the relative inexperience of the Eagles heading in.

“They’ve been here before and we haven’t,” Thor said. “I knew it was going to be a challenge for our kids. Their playmakers made the plays. We just had to hang on. Defensively, we just had to step up and play better.”

The Eagles had a big stop on a fourth-and-goal play, and Thor said it was a huge boost for his defense and the rest of the team at a critical point in the game.

“We knew that [Dawn] lines up at quarterback and that he was getting the ball and running to the right,” Thor said. “He ran there and we stopped him. We practice goal line [defense] very hard. We were ready for those situations when we got to it.”

Jett Duffey passed for 452 yards and three touchdowns in the game, and Duke Carter rushed for 156 yards and four touchdowns.

Thor said to be 13-0 0 on the season is a major achievement for his team, but said he wants to keep things in perspective at the same time.

“It’s a big accomplishment, going from 0-10 to 13-0,” Thor said after the Poteet game. “But we really haven’t done anything because we have to focus on the next game. This game is out of our heads already. We should be focusing on next week.”