No worries: Lancers succeed with the lead
LAKEVILLE — LaVille football head coach Will Hostrawser worried about how his team would play with a second-half lead.
The Lancers allayed their first-year skipper’s fears and then some.
Clutching a 10-0 advantage heading into the final frame, LaVille erupted for three scores in quick succession en route to a 31-0 season-opening win over South Central at Lancer Field on Friday.
“Because of the number of guys we have going both ways we were spelling guys and trying to get a good rotation,” Hostrawser said. “We had guys digging in at the end. I give all the credit to the kids; it all started with the hard work in the summer.
“These kids haven’t been in a situation where they’re ahead at halftime very often,” he added. “At halftime we were up 10-0 and I told them the question is, ‘How will you respond?’”
Defensively, LaVille responded quite well the entire evening. The Lancers held the Satellites to zero rushing yards through three quarters, notched a score itself with junior defensive back Greg Peppers’ 65-yard interception return, and preserved the shutout with a game-ending defensive stand.
“Greg Peppers had a pick 6; that was huge,” Hostrawser said. “Austin Wilson, one of our captains, played a good game on both sides of the line. Ben Norton, our nose, didn’t play nose last year, but he’s really bought into what we’re doing. Dalton Sauer did a nice job at linebacker.
“I think one of the most important things tonight was our JV defense at the end of the game,” he added. “They saved the shutout for the varsity, and the varsity kids were backing them from the sideline. It’s important for the JV kids to experience that success and contribute to this win.”
Four different Lancers crossed the goal line, starting with junior fullback Caleb Dudeck’s 1-yard plunge to cap off LaVille’s initial drive.
Freshman Ethan Kertai’s 42-yard sprint off a pitch to the right from senior quarterback Cam Gurtner started the Lancers’ fourth-quarter outburst, followed by Peppers’ interception, and senior running back Levi Lucas polished off the night’s scoring with a 16-yard blast and 31-0 cushion at the 2:31 mark.
“I was upset with our running back Levi Lucas for not running hard enough,” Hostrawser said. “He’s coming back from a torn ACL; he lived in the weight room this summer. He’s one of our captains. I took him out and Kertai scored. At that point Levi could have folded up his tent and become disgruntled. Instead, he carried us in that grind-it-out drive that ended with him scoring a touchdown. For that reason, that was probably the biggest touchdown of the night for us.”
With the outcome still very much in doubt and LaVille facing third and long from its own 41, Gurtner lofted the ball down the left sideline to 6-foot-3 Alec Baker who worked a defensive pass interference. Kertai scored on the next play, and kicker Jordan Smith knocked through his third of four extra points to put the Lancers up 17-0 with 7:45 left in the game.
“Baker’s a basketball player,” Hostrawser said. “Right now (Gurtner) throws BBs. We’re talking to him about getting over the top, especially to someone with Baker’s size. Baker made a good play.”
Gurtner finished with a game-high 69 rushing yards on 14 carries, setting up Dudeck’s touchdown with a 26-yard scamper and a 27-yard Smith field goal right before the half with a key 39-yard run.
“Hopefully this will give us a little momentum,” Hostrawser said. “One of the things I said at the school board meeting last night is we have to teach these kids how to win. What you see in the locker room is these kids trust each other; I think that comes from spending so much time working this summer.”
Dan Silverman led the Satellites with 63 rushing yards in 19 tries. Quarterback Kane Klimczak threw for 65 yards.
LaVille heads to Trinity Lutheran in a rare Saturday contest.
• LaVILLE 31,
SOUTH CENTRAL 0
Score by quarters
South Central: 0 0 0 0 — 0
LaVille: 7 3 0 21 — 31
LV — Caleb Dudeck 1 run (Jordan Smith), 6:31.
LV — Smith 27 FG, 3.3.
LV — Ethan Kertai 44 run (Smith kick), 7:45.
LV — Greg Peppers 65 INT (Smith kick), 5:43.
LV — Levi Lucas 16 run (Smith kick), 2:31.
South Central stats
Rushing: 42 carries for 43 yards (Dan Silverman 19-63, Brett Hoover 2-3, Seth Carlson 3-1, Keegan Young 1-(minus)2, Kane Klimczak 17-(minus)22.
Passing: Klimczak 5-13-1, 65 yards.
Receiving: Hoover 3-33, Robert Miller 1-19, Max Sims 1-13.
Tackles: Matt Avery 8
First downs: 9
Rushing: 31 carries 172 (Cam Gurtner 14-69, Ethan Kertai 3-48, Levi Lucas 9-46, Ben Norton 1-5, Dudeck 2-3, Mason Leed 2-1).
Passing: Gurtner 2-5, 8 yards.
Receiving: Norton 1-6, Dudeck 1-2
First downs: 8
Tackles: Norton 10, Josiah Rock 7.
Records: South Central 0-1, LaVille 1-0.