Cole Lewis made all-district last year as a linebacker who chased running backs around all day. Now he’s the guy being chased, and it’s safe to say he likes his new role a lot better than his old one.
De La Salle (5-1, 1-0) rode their stalwart running back to a dominating 35-7 win over McMain (4-2, 0-1) in both teams’ opening game in District 11-3A at Victory Field in Joe Brown Park on Friday night.
“I definitely like running back more than linebacker. I’m just having fun out there,” Lewis said. “It’s a hard transition going from running into running backs to running into linebackers. I put it all on offseason workouts. We worked hard during the summer and now it’s showing on the field.”
Lewis finished with 20 carries for 165 yards and four touchdowns — including three touchdowns by halftime. Through six games, Lewis has 805 yards and 15 touchdowns — one of the major reasons why the Cavaliers have gotten off to their surprising 5-1 start.
“My kids work hard everyday and to see the growth of the program is humbling,” said De La Salle coach Ryan Manale. “(Lewis) is such a great kid off the field and such a great leader for us.
“Great things happen to great people, and that’s Cole Lewis.”
De La Salle, ranked No. 7 in The New Orleans Advocate Small Schools Super 10, scored its first points after a nine-play, 65-yard drive that included Lewis runs of 8, 12 and 10 before he ran through several defenders for a hard-nosed 17-yard touchdown run, giving the Cavaliers a 7-0 lead.
After a bobbled snap on an attempted punt inside its 20, McMain gave De La Salle the ball back in prime scoring position. Four plays later, Lewis took advantage of the McMain mistake, running in from 4 yards out for his second touchdown. The Cavaliers led 14-0.
“We’re really excited about being 5-1, but we feel like we’ve worked really hard and we deserve it,” Lewis said.
De La Salle’s defense gave up it first touchdown in the past three weeks after McMain utilized a 16-play, 69-yard drive, which concluded with a 1-yard touchdown run by quarterback Darnell Williams. After missing on the two-point conversion attempt, McMain trailed 14-6.
After Friday night, the Cavaliers have held opponents to six or fewer points in four of their six games.
“(McMain) has a lot of weapons and a no-huddle attack, so we just wanted to bend but not break,” Manale said. “They had that one long drive in the second quarter, but we did a pretty good job of containing them after that.”
After a short punt and a penalty gave De La Salle another short field, the Cavaliers used five plays to go 22 yards, which ended with a 10-yard touchdown run by Lewis that gave De La Salle a 21-6 lead in the first half.
After a long Mustangs drive to open the second half ended in a turn over on downs, De La Salle marched 90 yards in 12 plays and capped it off with a 7-yard touchdown run by Lewis to take a 28-6 lead late in the third quarter.