Joel Lazaro knew something few others believed.
“I knew we’d get the ‘dub’ (win),” said Lazaro after Carlsbad stunned No. 4 St. Augustine 22-14 Friday night in a non-league game at San Diego Mesa College.
“I want to thank everyone who doubted us.”
Lazaro said that with a wide grin after being the workhorse of the Lancers’ (2-0) offense, rushing for 161 yards on 31 carries — personal records for the small but quick and hard-running 5-foot-4, 135-pounder.
It was the senior’s first 100-plus yard game and the Lancers needed every yard to keep the offense moving, especially when St. Augustine jumped on top 14-0 after Deandre Daniels returned the opening kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown and doubled the score on a 2-yard Daniels run five minutes later.
That certainly didn’t surprise Carlsbad defensive lineman Cole James, who was pivotal in keeping the Saints (1-1) outside of the end zone the rest of the game.
“They were supposed to do that,” said James of St. Augustine, which opened the season with 51 points against North Las Vegas Canyon Springs. “OK, we were a little down, but we’re well-coached and we executed. We fired off the ball and were able to get their running back before he could get going.”
Indeed, Daniels, who had 131 yards last week, could muster just 51 on 16 carries, being completely overshadowed by the diminutive Lazaro.
Once Carlsbad got its offense going, the defense jumped in, collecting an interception and two fumble recoveries, one by Davis Hancock with 1:52 to play that clinched the victory.
Brand is a freelance writer.