The official recognition of the ‘Jacket Stadium Project donors planned for Friday’s season opener against Waynesville was rescheduled for Sept. 14 to avoid heavy rainfall forecasted for the area.
But that’s okay.
The ‘Jackets broke it in anyway with a 40-7 pounding of the Waynesville Tigers.
Lebanon senior running back Brock West rushed for 217 yards on 17 carries and four touchdowns — in the first half — as the ‘Jackets built a 33-0 lead in the first half.
Lebanon (2-0 overall, 2-0 Ozark Conference) did not throw a pass in the first half, and gained 304 yards of offense while holding the Tigers scoreless.
Waynesville broke up the shutout late in the fourth quarter, but not before the ‘Jackets amassed 409 yards of total offense.
“No, I didn’t think 40-7 would be (the final),” Christian said. “But our kids came out and played well. I thought we played outstanding defense and in the first half the offense was electric.
“And the special teams were outstanding as well. We are doing some really nice things.”
Now Lebanon will get ready for a week 3 showdown with the Camdenton Lakers on Sept. 7 in Camdenton. The Lakers are 1-1 after a 39-15 win over West Plains on Friday.
“I can’t wait for Camdenton because they are our arch rival,” Lebanon sophomore Elza Evans said. “We are going to put it on them.”
The second half saw both teams running out the clock as neither team scored in the third quarter. Lebanon capped its scoring late in the fourth quarter when quarterback Hayden Brackett found the end zone on a 20-yard run to give LHS a 40-0 lead.
His run was followed by a big return by Warren Womack, who later scored the Tigers only points with a two-yard run with 3:14 remaining.
“In the second half I thought we managed things well,” Christian said. “Anytime you are coming out leading 33-0 you deal with all kinds of different things, with motivation and trying to get different folks on the field and sometimes it can be kind of sloppy. But I thought for the most part the second half was pretty clean and we finished things like we should.
“I am very pleased, but it is week 2 and there are plenty of things to get better at and fix and we have lots of work to do, but it is an outstanding victory.”
For Waynesville, senior tailback Warren Womack finished the contest with 110 yards rushing, and the Tigers finished the game with 172 total yards.
“They are extremely athletic,” Christian said of the Tigers. “You are talking about having a wide receiver on the field (Aren Martin) who is the fastest kid in the OC (Ozark Conference) and a running back who was a good sized kid who can run well, and of course (Dylan) Newcomb is a returning all-state defensive back.
“They scare you to death, but I thought (defensive coordinator) Jon Franks and our staff had our kids ready to go and I thought our kids were physical in all facets, and that is what we wanted.”
Lebanon attempted just one pass in the contest, and did not have any yards through the air. The ‘Jackets entered Friday’s contest averaging 6.9 yards per carry, and had nearly 400 yards on the ground in its opener.
Waynesville used three quarterbacks in the contest, starting with senior Dylan Newcomb, who was later replaced by senior Alex Tebbe on the Tigers first series in the second half. Tebbe moved the Tigers from its own 8-yard line as he completed three consecutive passes, including a 17-yard pass to sophomore Varon Martinez.
But it was as close as Waynesville would get as they threw incomplete and were forced to punt on fourth-and-long.
Waynesville finished the contest with just 63 yards passing, and threw two interceptions, both recorded by Lebanon junior Austin Knight.
The Lebanon defense forced four turnovers, including a key turnover early in the first quarter when the contest was still in doubt.
After the Tigers forced Lebanon to fumble on its first possession, the ‘Jackets returned the favor as they recovered a Waynesville on its first play on the ensuing possession.
“We did pretty well,” Lebanon senior Tyler Couch said of the ‘Jackets’ defense. “We got in the right spots and game planned really well.”