WEST CHESTER TOWNSHIP, Ohio — The Lakota West High School football team heard plenty of hype this week regarding Friday night's game against visiting Princeton.
"We didn't want to talk about it; we were just going to be about it, is what I told the kids," Lakota West coach Tom Bolden said. "We let our game speak for itself tonight. Bottom line."
The Firebirds defeated Princeton 24-0, scoring all of its points in the first half, en route to their third consecutive win this season.
Friday night was also Bolden's 150th career win, according to the Lakota West athletic department. Bolden, in his third season at Lakota West, has a 150-27 career record in 16 years.
"A lot of fun," Bolden said when asked about the career milestone. "150 - that's pretty wild. A lot of great players. A lot of great memories with those players and coaches. That's pretty cool."
Lakota West (3-1, 2-0 Greater Miami Conference) had plenty of offensive firepower to start the game. Junior quarterback Mitch Bolden – Tom's son – found junior Ben Minich for a 49-yard pass connection in the first play from scrimmage.
The drive was completed when junior Tyler Bohn made a 37-yard field goal to give the Firebirds a 3-0 lead at the 7:27 mark of the first quarter.
Lakota West forced Princeton on a three-and-out on its opening drive before Mitch Bolden scored on a 41-yard touchdown run with 2:19 left in the first quarter to help give the Firebirds a 10-0 lead.
Lakota West junior defensive back Joshua Fussell's interception early in the second quarter helped to set up the Firebirds' third score of the night.
Bolden found senior running back Cameron Goode on a 16-yard screen pass to help give the Firebirds a 17-0 lead at the 6:55 mark of the second quarter.
Goode had 16 carries for 92 yards and the touchdown reception.
"They blitzed, just rolled to the left, and I just knew I wasn't going to get touched," Goode said.
Bolden threw his second touchdown pass of the night late in the second quarter when he connected with senior Jyaire Brown for an 18-yard score to help give the Firebirds a 24-0 halftime lead.
Lakota West had 299 yards of total offense. The Firebirds' defense limited Princeton to 45 yards passing.
Lakota West senior linebacker Aden Miller had a team-high 11 tackles.
"It was a very hyped game, but we just came here and balled out and calmed down," said senior defensive back Alex Afari. "Our coaches told us, 'Don't make this a bigger game than it should be.'"
Princeton (3-1, 0-1 GMC) was led by sophomore quarterback TJ Engleman, who had 25 carries for 95 yards. Senior linebacker AJ Nunley had a team-high 11 tackles, including one sack and a forced fumble.
Princeton coach Andre Parker said after the game the Vikings would continue to improve this season and he is confident the Vikings are going in the right direction.
Parker and Bolden said their respective teams need to clean up the penalties. Princeton and Lakota West were penalized nine teams each Friday night.
Princeton plays host to Fairfield Sept. 17. Lakota West is scheduled to play at Hamilton Sept. 17.