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Passing will be at a premium Saturday when the Lakeland College football team hosts Concordia University Chicago.
It's a matchup of the top two passing teams in the Illini-Badger Football Conference, set for a 1 p.m. kickoff at Lakeland's Taylor Field.
Lakeland (4-4, 4-1 IBFC) leads the league at 202.1 yards per game, senior quarterback Brad Wilk leads the IBFC in passing yards per game (195) and touchdowns (15) and senior wide receiver MacArthur White leads the league in receptions per game (4.75), receiving yards per game (65.6) and touchdowns (6).
The Cougars (3-5, 2-3) counter with a pair of QBs, senior Jason Weeks and sophomore Mike Marotta, that rotate and have posted similar numbers, and a group of tall, fast receivers led by freshman Maurice Tisdale who is second in the league behind White in receptions per game (4.0) and receiving yards per game (54.4).
"They're very athletic and they will be the most pass-oriented offense we have faced all year," said Lakeland head coach Kevin Doherty. "The two quarterbacks are very similar - when you watch them on tape it's hard to tell them apart unless you really pay attention. This game is going to be a big test for our defensive secondary."
Another task for the Muskies will be getting in the right frame of mind after last Saturday's gut-wrenching 35-28 loss at Concordia, Wis. If Lakeland can win its last two games, the 6-4 record would be a one-game improvement over last season's 5-5 finish and give the Muskies sole possession of second place.
"I have been talking about finishing with a winning record, but you can't win both if you don't win the first," Doherty said. "We had our first practice Tuesday after a couple of days off, and Muskie pride is definitely there. The guys seem focused, and no one is talking about last week's loss any more."
Defensively, Doherty said Concordia Chicago uses a 3-5 front with a lot of looks when they blitz in an effort to get the opposing offense guessing.
"They're going to bring a lot of pressure," Doherty said. "They try to force you to miscommunicate. We just need to regain our focus after an emotional loss."