Cameron Lazare scooped up a teammate’s fumble and sprinted 28 yards for the decisive touchdown Friday night as home standing Woodlawn High held off Denham Springs 27-21 in the season opener.
Woodlawn (1-0) was up 20-14 early in the fourth quarter when Juavon Brown took a handoff at the DSHS 30. Brown was hit at the line and fumbled, but Lazare got to the ball first and raced to the end zone untouched.
“I actually looked at the ball for a second before I realized it was on the ground,” Lazare said. “I was about to dive on it, but my brain said pick it up and run.”
Quarterback Charles Brooks led the Woodlawn attack completing 13 of 24 passes for 139 yards. He also was the leading rusher with 11 carries for 73 yards.
“We’ve been through some ups and downs with this program, and we finally had the ball bounce our way — finally,” Woodlawn coach Brett Beard said.
The Yellow Jackets Matt Erwin was 14 of 27 for 160 yards. B.J. Armstrong rushed for a team-high 61 yards while Anthony Bracy added two short second-half scoring runs.
DSHS(0-1) got within 27-21 on Bracy’s 4-yard run with 4:25 left. The Jackets got the ball back at their 20 with less than two minutes to play, but couldn’t pick up a first down.
“We had some drops and some missed assignments, but it was the first game,” Denham Springs coach Dru Nettles said. “(Woodlawn) made more plays than us tonight.”
Woodlawn’s no huddle offense controlled the first half rolling up 211 yards and 11 first downs.
Brooks triggered the assault on the Yellow Jackets defense completing 11-of- 19 passes for 124 yards. He also rushed seven times for 60 yards and a touchdown as the Panthers took a 20-7 lead at the break.
Denham Springs had 125 yards of offense, but hurt itself with five dropped passes.
The Jackets moved to a first down at the WHS 34 on their first possession, but two dropped passes helped the Woodlawn defense hold on. Woodlawn then drove 73 yards for the game’s first score.
Troy Domino somersaulted into the end zone from 4 yards out to cap the drive.
Hassan Chabayta’s extra point made it 7-0 with 4:49 left in the first.
Damian Brown recovered Erwin’s fumble on the next series giving, WHS a first at the DSHS 38.
Brooks’ 18-yard strike to Domino on a fourth-and-10 was the key play. Denham Springs’ defensive back Jabaris Thompson was flagged for a hit to the head producing a first-and-goal. Brown capped the 10-play series with a 1-yard run.
Thompson returned the ensuing kickoff to the Woodlawn 48, and an unsportsmanlike penalty moved it to the WHS 33. B.J. Armstrong picked up 15 yards around left end before Erwin found Kyandre Brooks on the left sideline for a 19-yard score.
Denham Springs drove to the WHS 30 midway through the second, but the Panthers held them on downs.
Woodlawn moved 41 yards in four plays late in the half for its third touchdown. Brooks covered the distance himself with four straight carries, the last a 10-yard run around right end.
Brooks rolled to his right on the play before tucking the ball in, bouncing off a defender at the falling into the end zone.