TURNER — For all the talk this week about forfeits and the need for 1-versus-8 playoff games, Lake Region showed up at Libby Field on Friday night carrying the back pages of the playbook inside the kitchen sink.
The Lakers threw it all at top-seeded Leavitt and stayed within reach for almost a half. But the Hornets, too deep and too good, sped away to a 60-28 Class C West quarterfinal victory.
“They onside kicked every time. They ran the play clock down to zero almost every time. They ran the ball and mixed in a pop pass here and there,” Leavitt coach Mike Hathaway said. “They played pretty well in the first quarter.”
Leavitt (8-1) turned it around with Isaiah Calder’s interception in Hornets’ territory. That led to a drive and a 2-yard Julian Kirouac touchdown run for a 14-6 lead.
It was 14-9 until late in the second quarter, when Levi Craig launched 21-yard touchdown passes to Max Green and Mitchel Davis to send the Hornets on their way.
Leavitt will host Yarmouth, a 14-12 winner Friday over Cape Elizabeth, in the semifinals.
The Hornets put it away with two Calder TD runs of 36 yards and 1 yard in the first three minutes of the third quarter.
“We had 30 unanswered points, and our JVs played the rest of the game after that,” Hathaway said.
Craig was 19 of 29 for 294 yards and two touchdowns for Leavitt.
Lexus Rodriguez had scoring runs of 1, 12 and 2 yards for the Lakers (2-7). His first TD gave the Lakers a surprising 6-0 lead.
Billy Bedard pulled Leavitt even with a 10-yard TD scamper.
Lake Region closed the gap with a field goal in the second quarter prior to Craig’s aerial attack.
Christian Callahan and Tyler Green each tacked on a scoring run for Leavitt in a wild fourth quarter. Two Rodriguez runs and a TD pass by Cole Jakobs provided the Lakers’ offensive outburst.
Leavitt rolled 58-14 in the regular-season meeting.
“You know everyone’s going to play better in the playoffs,” Hathaway said. “They gave it their best shot. We kind of turned things around after that interception.”
Yarmouth and Leavitt have never met in the postseason. The Clippers gave the Hornets two tough games in their only prior meetings, 14-7 last year and 20-12 in Week 2 at Turner.
“They’re tough. They have some skilled kids on offense. They’re solid on defense. Both games next weekend should be really good,” Hathaway said, alluding to the other semifinal between Wells and Spruce Mountain.