In their brief six-year history of varsity football, the Lakeshore High School Titans have never started a season 4-0.
Craig Jones and his squad will look to change that this Friday night when Lakeshore (3-0) travels to Napoleonville to take on Assumption (3-0).
Coming off of wins over rival Fontainebleau in the season opener (27-7) and on the road at E.D. White (44-42) and Northshore (21-20), Jones said the formula to his team’s fast start is simple.
“Hard work — plain and simple,” Jones said. “We have been building a foundation for this program for three years and the kids are starting to see the results of the hard work they put in every day in practice, during the spring and summer. We returned a lot of starters this year and they worked extremely hard in the offseason.
“They know when the opportunity is there to make a play, they have to do it. Through the first three games we have done exactly that.”
Having to replace current LSU fullback David Ducre in the backfield, the Titans offense has seemed to actually get even better. Senior quarterback Nathan Faciane has rushed for 406 yards on 56 carries for four touchdowns and has thrown for 585 yards and four more touchdowns.
“A lot of people thought we weren’t going to be able to throw the ball heading into the season,” Jones said. “We knew differently. We saw Nathan in 7-on-7 practices that he was going to be very good in the passing game for us. We built on that heading into fall camp and pairing it up with a veteran offensive line and a tough running back gives us a very tough offense to stop.”
That tough running back is senior Randy Raymond. The soft-spoken 6-foot-0, 250-pound junior has rushed for 296 yards through the first three games and scored four touchdowns.
“My approach heading into the season was to just try and be the best Randy Raymond I could be and not worry about replacing David Ducre,” Raymond said. “I know these first three games have been so much fun to be a part of because being a running back out on the field you can just see your squad wearing down opposing defenses. It is very fun to be able to make that happen.
“The other big thing which helps us running the ball so well is it opens up the passing game. We see defenses slide that safety and bring other people into the box. As a team we love that because we know Nathan can drop back and hit a group of talented wide receivers for big plays. It makes us just that much better.”
Crediting a new administration for igniting the fan base and helping build up the excitement level around the school, Jones said he and his team enjoy the excitement their winning has brought to the Mandeville campus.
“We embrace it,” he said. “It was interesting to see how we would handle the rivalry win over Fontainebleau but we did great. I think we have a mature group of kids with hard goals they want to reach. They want to make sure nothing stops them from achieving that.
“Our administration has been awesome in helping build the support and the fan base is growing daily. Winning obviously helps that.”