RINGGOLD, Ga. — Whatever had been missing from Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe's offense was discovered just in time for the Warriors' annual football meeting with Catoosa County rival Ringgold.
LFO improved to 2-2 and 2-0 in Region 6-AAA with a 35-17 win Friday night, using a first-time starter in the backfield and reintroducing the big play into the offense after a sluggish start to the season.
Coach Bo Campbell's team scored on a 31-yard run by Chase Rizzo, a 51-yard run by wingback Jevonnie Womble and two electric plays by wingback Jacob Brown — an 85-yard kickoff return and a 64-yard run.
"I was real proud of the offense tonight," Campbell said, "even though we had two opportunities where we didn't get any points in the first half. We just had to calm down in the second half and take care of our responsibilities and execute better. We needed to score when we had the opportunity."
Rizzo, a slightly built sophomore, ran inside and outside with consistent success against a defense that started the game with eight men in the box. He finished with a game-high 135 yards on 20 carries, with Brown adding 126 on just seven as the Warriors finished with 303 rushing yards.
The Warriors, who have won three consecutive games in the 74-year series for the first time since completing that feat in 1998, got on the scoreboard first via their defense as leading tackler Todd Thornburg picked off Ringgold quarterback Kyle White and returned the ball 35 yards.
A fourth-down stop of the Tigers, who started the game with a switch to the wing-T, set LFO's offense up at the Ringgold 40 early in the second quarter. Three plays later Rizzo went off right guard for a 31-yard touchdown run to establish a 14-0 lead.
Ringgold — 0-4 for the first time in nearly decades and 0-2 in region play — responded with an 80-yard drive that featured two big White-to-Brayden Broome hookups, the second one for a 28-yard touchdown. The Warriors led 14-7 at halftime.
"We knew got the ball back to start the second half, and I told the guys I wanted to get a big kickoff return and if we don't get a touchdown on it, the offense needs to pick us up," Campbell said. "We needed a big momentum change and we got it."
LFO needed only four plays to extend its lead back to 14, with Womble going 51 yards on a third-down jet sweep. The game-clincher came five minutes later when, after Landon Eaker hit a short field goal to close Ringgold's gap to 11, Brown went 85 yards untouched on the ensuing kickoff for a 28-10 lead.
"This team shows a lot of resiliency," Campbell said, "and they are unselfish guys who love it when teammates have success. Jevonnie had that great run and then makes a block that sprang Jacob Brown for the kickoff return."
Broome caught four passes for 132 yards for Ringgold, which travels next week to Calhoun. The Yellow Jackets had their 139-game streak of region wins snapped by North Murray on Friday.