By Austin Bishop
The Winston County Journal
For 18 minutes Nanih Waiya head football coach Tate Hanna was having the time of his life last Friday night. But the depth and experience of homestanding Lake High School began to pay dividends as the half drew near and the Hornets broke open a close game to take a 45-13 win over the Warriors.
“For the first quarter and a half we played as good as we have all year, maybe in a long time,” Hanna said. “But we just started making mistakes and they took advantage of them. They have got a bunch of seniors and I think half of them are three-year starters.”
Nanih Waiya opened the game with a bang, as Jamarlo Smith returned the opening kick off 85 yards for a touchdown to put the Warriors up 6-0. Lake came back to take the lead at 7-6, but Nanih Waiya responded with a 40-yard run by Smith later in the first quarter and went up 13-7 following the extra point kick.
Lake came back to tie the game at 13-13 and from there the Hornets just took over, reeling off three more touchdowns in the last six minutes of the second quarter to take a 32-13 halftime lead.
“They returned a fumble 47 yards for a touchdown, then we had a three-and-out and they scored again,” Hanna said. “After that, things just went down hill.”
He said the fumbling woes his team dealt with in its week one loss to Union returned against Lake.
“It was basically mental stuff,” Hanna said. “The biggest then we have to be able to do is to overcome the situation when something bad happens.”
This week’s game against league foe East Oktibbeha is something of a mystery for the Warriors.
“They haven’t played a game yet this season, so we really don’t know what to expect,” Hanna said. “They have a new coaching staff, so we really don’t know what they will be trying to do. The one advantage we have on them is that we should be in better shape.”
The game against visiting East Oktibbeha is the first of eight consecutive Region 3-1A contests. The Warriors have an open date on Sept. 20, and then visit Pelahatchie on Sept. 27.