Southern Sports & Travel
The Lamar Raiders took their 2-0 record and #5 Class AA ranking into Louisville on a soggy and humid Friday night and earned a tough fought 55-27 win over the Winston Patriots.
Senior tailback Corey Skinner continued his quick start to the 2012 season with a 219 yard rushing performance that included two touchdowns behind a make-shift offensive line that has been ravished by injuries this season.
"We started four sophomores and a senior who had never started before on our line against Winston," said Lamar head coach Mac Barnes. "We had some guys out and we were pretty thin."
Lamar took an early 6-0 lead on Corey Skinner's 3 yard plunge with 8:51 remaining in the opening quarter but Winston answered quickly and tied the game at 6-6 on an Orien Dailey 58 yard dash one minute later.
Lamar capped a wild opening five minutes of the game with a Lee Martin 81 yard kickoff return to regain the lead at 13-6 just seconds after Winston had knotted the contest at 6-6. Winston finished the quarter on Zach Taylor's 3 yard touchdown run with 25 seconds remaining and followed that up with a successful 2-point conversion to take a 14-13 lead into the second quarter.
Lamar fired back with a strong second quarter as senior quarterback Barrett Dudley connected with Corey Skinner for a 40 yard touchdown strike at the 8:44 mark and the Raiders extended that lead to 21-14 following a successful 2-point conversion.
The Raiders increased the margin to 27-14 on a Chase Davis 8 yard reverse with 4:43 left in the half.
Winston got back into the game less than two minutes into the second half when Logan Webb hit Taylor Moody with a 23 yard pass to trim the deficit to 27-21 but Lamar was about to explode.
Lee Martin scored from 6 yards out and Corey Skinner added an 8 yard burst to give the Raiders a 41-21 cushion to close out the third quarter.
Lamar quarterback Barrett Dudley's 17 yard run with 5:09 remaining in the game pushed the lead to 48-21 and sealed the win. "It was a battle against Winston, they really took it to us," said Mac Barnes who is in his 12th season at Lamar. "We've had a rash of injuries and wound up playing guys Friday night that we hadn't worked with on defense and on top of that it's been a really chaotic week, we didn't even practice Thursday. Our skill players did well and that was the difference in the game."
Lamar racked up 329 yards rushing on the night and for Barnes that's not a stat that most of his past Raider squads have been known for. "When they're healthy this is the best offensive line that we've had in a long time, we average around 250 lbs," said Barnes. "We have only thrown the football 39 times this season and I can't remember that ever happening while I've been here."
Barnes says he's pleased with his team three games into the season and thrilled with the production of his senior quarterback Barrett Dudley and senior tailback Corey Skinner. Dudley was 6/11 for 147 yards and a touchdown passing and rushed for 76 yards and a score. "Barrett played free safety and was our backup quarterback last season," said Barnes. "I feel really good about him."
Lamar will look to improve to 4-0 next Friday night when they host much improving Central Hinds who shocked Class AAA Copiah 13-7 behind 257 yards rushing from tailback Bryan King. "Central Hinds has a big offensive line and a good running back," said Barnes. "Mitch Mitchell is an excellent coach and it will be a challenge for us."