By TIM CLEVELAND
A jersey snafu forced Hubbard running back L.J. Scott to wear number 30 instead of his normal 3. The way Scott played Friday night against Lakeview, he might as well have been wearing a red “S.”
The 6-foot-1, 219-pound junior treated the Bulldogs’ defense like his personal tackling dummies, rushing for 326 yards on 23 carries with four touchdowns in a dominant 49-12 victory.
“I just left my jersey back in the locker room — not using my head,” he said. “It don’t matter the number on the jersey, it matters who’s in it.”
Hubbard coach Brian Hoffman said after a terrible scrimmage it was good to get the team back on track.
“It’s a great way to start the season,” he said. “I think we got humbled in our scrimmage last week (against Minerva) and it was a wakeup call. Our kids responded. We played 17 or 18 kids defensively tonight that contributed.”
Overall, Hubbard rushed for 515 yards on 40 attempts.
“We made up our mind we were going to come out and impose ourselves from the offensive standpoint with our running game and we were successful,” Hoffman said.
Scott’s most impressive run was an 85-yard touchdown in the second quarter that gave Hubbard (1-0) a 28-3 lead. Lakeview had just turned the ball over on downs on the Hubbard 15, and Scott ran for the score on the next play virtually untouched.
“He’s a dynamic back,” Hoffman said. “He breaks tackles and runs hard. He kept it going throughout at crucial points and that gave our offense momentum.”
Ten of Scott’s 23 rushes went for double-digit yardage. It seemed at times that the only thing that could stop Scott was Scott himself, as he had a couple slips in the backfield and suffered a calf cramp at the end of the first half.
“A couple trip-ups,” he said. “Every time I got up, I told coach send it at me again.”
Making his first varsity start, Lakeview quarterback Angelo Marino did his best to produce offense for his team, but Hubbard’s underrated defense stymied the Bulldogs (0-1) time after time.
Marino was 20-of-36 passing for 245 yards with a touchdown. A scoring opportunity went by the wayside in the first half as Marino was intercepted in the Hubbard end zone by Scott.
“I try to help out my teammates as much as I can and get us turnovers and whatever else we need,” Scott said.
After taking the ball on the Hubbard 43, Marino passed to Ryan Pishotti for 38 yards, then connected with Jake Pishotti for the score to make it 42-12 with 10:57 to play.
The touchdown followed a safety for Lakeview, as a bad snap over punter Vlassios Pizanias’ head went out of the back of the end zone.
Next Friday, Hubbard hosts Girard while Lakeview is at Struthers.