On an explosive night for the Eagles offense, it was the Lake Ridge defense that held off the Tigers 24-20 in the District 10-5A opener for both teams at Newsom Stadium in Mansfield.
Lancaster drove from its own 40 to the Lake Ridge 7 with just over a minute remaining in the fourth quarter. Following a penalty, the Tigers faced third-and-goal from the 12. A pass from Trevor Hatton to Latrell Caples sailed high. Then on fourth down, a possible game-winner hit the turf.
Lake Ridge trailed 14-0 in the first half before a second-quarter pick six by David Wilson cut the Lancaster lead to 14-7. Receiver Malik Knowles hauled in two touchdown grabs in that second quarter as the Eagles stormed ahead 21-20. The Eagles added to their lead with a 34-yard field goal by Jacob Meeks in the third quarter.
Key players: Knowles caught four passes for 117 yards and touchdowns of 20 and 62 yards. His second score, on a pass from Jason Bean in the final minute of the second quarter, gave Lake Ridge its first lead of the game. Lancaster quarterback Trevor Hatton passed for 171 yards and two touchdowns and also rushed for 83 yards.
Key stat: The teams combined for 1,006 yards of offense, but their scoring output was limited by a combined four turnovers.
Records: Lancaster 2-2, 0-1 District 10-5A, Mansfield Lake Ridge 3-1, 1-0.