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Gauchos' QB switch turns tables on Lancers
LAKEWOOD – For one half, at least, Lakewood High School had a chance at a huge victory heading into Moore League play. And then Narbonne quarterback Eban Jackson took over.
The 6-foot-3 senior quarterback, returning from a broken left wrist suffered four plays into the season opener, came off the bench late in the first half and led the Gauchos to a come-from-behind 33-15 nonleague victory Friday night at Lakewood High. Jackson completed 14 of 16 passes for 155 yards and two touchdowns to lead Narbonne from a 15-12 halftime deficit.
“This is a big victory for us,” said Narbonne coach Manuel Douglas, whose team improved to 3-1 and shook off a rare one-sided loss to Alemany. “We made the decision to put him in. Roman (Ale) is just a sophomore and he was doing a great job, but we wanted to get Jackson in there.”
“I thought we had a chance to win this game (at halftime),” Lakewood (1-3) coach Kenric Jackson said, “but we didn't sustain the momentum. We know Eban's a good quarterback. He played well.”
With Ale at quarterback, Narbonne jumped to a 12-0 lead. Johnell Jackson (19 carries, 122 yards) scored on a 1-yard plunge and Ale's 31-yard pass toIkenna Ohari made it 12-0 (both PATs failed) with 8:18 left in the first half.
And then momentum changed on a fourth-and-5 pass by Lakewood's Kyle Parra at the Narbonne 40.
Unable to find his primary receiver, Parra looked to the end zone and found junior wide receiver Claudell Anderson, who made a nice catch in the end zone. The extra point cut Narbonne's lead to 12-7 with 5:36 left in the first half.
The Lancers' Jameson Lee then recovered a fumble at the Lakewood 40. They capitalized with a nine-play drive that featured the running of Jason Floyd, who had 66 yards on eight first-half carries. He scored from the 5, then ran it in for a two-point conversion to put Lakewood up 15-12 with 58 seconds left in the half.
The Lancers just missed taking a bigger lead into halftime after a 33-yard punt return by Jarod Stevens gave them the ball at the Narbonne 21, but Parra's toss into the end zone was caught inches out of bounds by Nick Anderson.
But the Gauchos dominated the second half.
Eban Jackson's 5-yard pass to DJ Young put Narbonne ahead 19-15, then a sharp 14-yard pass to wide receiver Vincent Heard made it 26-15 early in the fourth quarter. Lakewood never really countered, and Jackson tacked on an 11-yard TD run to put the game away with 2:45 left.
Floyd finished with 80 yards on 11 carries for Lakewood. Parra completed 16 of 28 passes for 139 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions.
“We made some adjustments at halftime,” Douglas said, “and we finally started playing better defense. Give Lakewood credit. They really exploited our alignments in the first half.”
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