The senior tailback racked up 299 yards on 18 carries and scored all four of the Wolverines’ touchdowns in a 25-20 win over Fellowship Christian that leveled both teams’ records in Region 6A (B) play to 1-1.
Walker threw only two passes against the Paladins in a concerted effort to keep the ball on the ground after an embarrassing 47-0 shutout at the hands of Mount Pigsah Christian. Lahue was the centerpiece of an effective tailback rotation that also featured J.T. Wood and Zach Eikost, ripping off four long scores when the Wolverines were backed up and helping grind down the clock.
“(On Friday) our plan was to come out and power up and try to just say, ‘You know what, we’re struggling a little bit on offense, let’s power up and let’s go and pound it and see if we can get some fresh plays,’” Walker coach John East said. “That was our gameplan, what happened (Friday).”
Lahue struggled through a minor hip injury in the first half of the season, totaling only 179 yards in the first five games, but his performance Friday brought back memories of Evan Kasian, who graduated as the school’s all-time leading rusher after leading Walker to an 11-1 campaign in 2012.
Twice, Lahue broke free for 75-yard scores, the first of which brought the Wolverines back within a point with less than a minute left in the first half.
Lahue scampered 39 yards for his second score on a fourth-down toss to the outside to cap off Walker’s first drive of the second half. On the first play of the fourth quarter, he cut back across the defense for a 40-yard touchdown run to give Walker its first double-digit lead at 18-7.
After Fellowship’s Taylor Cookston fell on a blocked punt in the end zone to make it a one-possession game, Lahue broke free one final time down the right sideline for 75 yards and a touchdown that proved decisive when Fellowship drove for its first offensive touchdown with just over a minute left to play.
“We knew he could do it,” East said of Lahue. “He’s a big strong athlete, he weighs about 200 pounds, he’s got speed, and so that was great to see. When people see it, that’s not a fluke. That’s what we know he’s capable of doing, and I think he’s over that injury. Just because of what we see in practice, we thought he could have a breakout night (Friday).”
The Paladins allowed 18 unanswered points after Jake Wise took an interception back for a touchdown late in the second quarter, and their late rally came up short when the Wolverines secured possession on a last-chance onside kick.
“They were very physical, and they beat us up front,” Fellowship coach Al Morrell said. “We tackled very poorly (Friday), and I gotta give (Lahue) some credit. He did some good things and made some great runs, but it all starts up front, and we got whipped up front (Friday).”