WEST CHESTER, Ohio – Lakota West was able to fight off Glen Este, 21-18, Friday night in the Firebirds home opener at Firebirds Stadium.
Lakota West senior running back Mikel Horton’s 52-yard touchdown run with just over two minutes left, which was his second touchdown of the night, gave the Firebirds the 10-point cushion they needed to secure their first win of the season.
“What we did in the second half of last game against Winton Woods helped us in this game,” said Lakota West head coach Larry Cox. “We just need to keep improving each week.”
Neither team generated a plethora of offense until the fourth quarter, when the teams combined for 29 points. Lakota West took a 14-3 lead with 11 minutes left in the game when quarterback Malik Grove threw a 49-yard TD pass to junior wide receiver Keon Tillman.
Glen Este cut the deficit to three, 14-11 with just over three minutes left when sophomore quarterback Tyler Pilcher found Tyler Flanigan for a 21-yard touchdown reception. That capped off a seven-play, 70-yard drive.
Senior running back Robbie Cann ran in the two-point conversion.
Following Horton’s late score that made it 21-11, Pilcher found Flanigan again late in the fourth quarter on a 15-yard touchdown reception with just under two minutes left, but the Trojans ran out of time.
“We would have one good play and then a penalty,” Cox said. “So I had the coaches talk to the players to handle the ups and down of the game. I felt like we eventually controlled the tempo.”
Lakota West opened up the scoring in the first quarter when Pilcher threw an interception to senior defensive back Tyler Jones, which helped setup a 15-yard touchdown run by Horton. The senior running back, committed to the University of Kentucky, finished the game with 117 rushing yards on 10 carries.
After rushing for 285 yards last week against rival Amelia, Glen Este finished with 171 yards, which 132 came in the first half. The Trojans also dominated the time of possession for the second week in a row, as they were on offense for just over 31 minutes.
The offense was in Lakota West territory for the majority of the night as it totaled 391 total yards, but the Firebirds missed two field goals, as one was blocked as time expired in the first half.
Senior Jordan Harris was the workhorse for Glen Este, totaling 168 total yards, including 112 on the ground.
Last week’s star, running back Pilcher who rushed for 207 yards against Amelia, went from the backfield to under center and he finished 14-for-28 with 220 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.