BELLFLOWER -- Lakewood coach Thadd MacNeal already knew it, but he was reminded of it over and over again on Friday night.
The No. 4 Lakewood Lancers have some defense -- the type that wins championships. A 27-7 win at St. John Bosco on Friday night makes MacNeal a believer.
"We can compete in the Pac-5," he said.
Through two games, the Lancers (2-0) have outscored their opponents 76-7. For those keeping tabs at home, that's one touchdown in 96 minutes. The defensive showcase got going early Friday, with safety Shane Watson picking off St. John Bosco's Raymond Medina on the game's opening drive.
It was a rough start for the Braves quarterback, who never seemed to find a rhythm with his receivers. Medina appeared hurried -- if not rattled -- by the presence of elite interior lineman Todd Barr, Lakewood's anchor up front.
"It gives me confidence that if I make a bad throw or something, they'll be there and stop them again," said Lakewood quarterback Tyler Schultz, who threw two touchdowns in what was his third varsity start.
A seven-yard touchdown run by Rashad Wadood broke a scoreless tie with just over two minutes remaining in the first quarter. Lakewood then went 64 yards on two plays to start the second quarter, with Schultz capping the drive with a scoring toss to Dupre Jordan-Roberts.
Having tried to overcome Lakewood the conventional way, the Braves (1-1) used some trickery to break through before halftime. A surprising reverse wideout pass cut the deficit to 13-7.
It was all the Lancers would surrender.
And who knows when Lakewood's defense will bend again.