Sep. 18—FRANKFORT — It was a coming out party for Lebanon's Kaden Lark and the rest of his Tiger teammates on Friday night at Frankfort.
The Tiger freshman scored three touchdowns of more than 45 yards, and the Lebanon routed the Hot Dogs 47-6 on Friday night.
It was the second-win in a row for the Tigers, who are now 2-3 on the year. After being severely depleted from contact tracing the past couple of weeks, the Tigers are getting guys back and showing what a difference having bodies makes.
"It's a huge difference," Lebanon head coach Jeff Smock said. "With guys out you have to alter practice and use guys both ways a lot more than we want to do. It really wears on you. We got a couple back this week, and are going to be getting more back next week. We are being able to execute the way we are capable of."
Lebanon wasted little time in getting themselves, and Lark, going.
After converting a 4th-and-3 on the opening drive of the game, Lebanon quarterback Landon Fouts connected with Lark for a 48-yard touchdown to put the Tigers up 7-0.
After a Frankfort 3-and-out, Lebanon needed just one play to nearly double their lead, with Trevor Winkles scoring from 49 yards out to make it 13-0.
The Hot Dogs got some momentum at the end of the first quarter, getting the ball deep in Lebanon territory after a bad snap on a punt. Frankfort scored on the opening play of the second quarter, but Lark blocked the extra point to make it 13-6.
Lark made sure the momentum didn't stay with the Hot Dogs long. He returned the ensuing kickoff about 90 yards for a score, and Lebanon saw it's lead grow to 19-6.
"He's coming along," Lebanon head coach Jeff Smock said. "We have had to kind of thrust him into playing both ways, when ideally he's not a 2-way guy for us. He has really learned when to picked his spots. He has had a couple opportunities in the early weeks, but we were able to take some deep shots today."
After another Frankfort punt, Lark made his presence known again. Fouts found him for another score, this time from 78 yards out, to make it 25-6.
Lark had four receptions for 140 yards and two scores.
Lebanon pushed the lead to 41-6 at the half.
Getting short fields on back-to-back possessions thanks to interceptions from Mason Crew and Makai Smith, scored on a 1-yard run from Brayton Bowen and a 17-yard pass from Fouts to Hunter Crew.
"Our defense is really coming around and we are getting some guys back," Smock said. "We had some lapses early in the game, but we settled down. We haven't had the same two starting safeties yet, and as we start getting guys back, we are just looking for that consistency."
Fouts was 8-of-9 for 185 yards and three scores.
"He is always going to make his reads," Smock said. "He found the open guys today. We didn't have that early turnover which has hurt us this year, and that allowed him to get in a good rhythm. He is growing into his voice and understanding that he is a leader for us."
Trevor Winkles added 128 yards rushing.
The Tigers also got a touchdown from Vincent Laney in the fourth quarter.
The Tigers travel to Tri-West on Friday.
"One thing I liked about Tony Dungy when he was with the Colts, he talked about breaking the season into quarters, Smock said. "We talk about breaking it into thirds. The first third, we were 0-3 and not very good. Now we are 2-0 in the second third and have a chance to go 3-0. We have to make sure we execute on both sides of the ball. We can't allow any big plays and make them earn everything they get. If we do that, we will give ourselves a chance."
Will Willems is the Sports Editor of the Lebanon Reporter. Follow him on Twitter @Will_Willems.