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The Lakeland football team looks to build on its performance last week this Saturday in a Northern Athletics Conference match-up at Maranatha Baptist Bible College (0-7, 0-4 NAC) in Watertown at 12 p.m.
The Muskies (3-4, 3-1) return to action after a complete 26-0 home victory over
The win came one week after the Muskies dropped an embarrassing 35-32 decision at Concordia Chicago, in which the defense surrendered over 500 yards of total offense.
"I was very proud of our kids,"
The Muskies were lead by sophomore quarterback Jake Dworak (Denmark), who threw for 285 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions. Two of those scoring passes came to junior wide receiver Jake Heinemeyer (Shiocton), who had 93 yards receiving for the game.
Despite an eye-popping six turnovers for the offense, three of those came late in the game when the contest was already decided.
"We had some miscues where we had some turnovers, especially late," Doherty said. "We still executed our game plan, executed our offense in the red zone and our kicking game was good. I was real happy with our team to rebound from the [Concordia Chicago] loss and focus on these last three."
The Muskie offense set the tone early. On the second offensive play from scrimmage, Dworak found Heinemeyer wide open down the left sideline for a 62-yard touchdown just under five minutes into the contest.
"We had to go out there to start the game and score on our first offensive drive," freshman center Rocky Schmidt said. "We hadn't done that all season. We only had two plays, so we did it right away. We got out there, got our pads low and had great pass blocking."
This week, the Muskies take on the a winless Maranatha team, which took Concordia Chicago to the wire last Saturday in a 28-21 home loss.The Crusaders have been plagued all season by low roster numbers and injuries. Currently, Maranatha lists just 27 players on its official roster.
On Saturday, the Crusaders had the ball late in the game with a chance to win, but quarterback Nathan Chromy was picked off in Concordia territory to end it.
"Offensively, they are capable of scoring points, as we saw last week against Concordia Chicago," Doherty said. "In weeks past, they've put up some good numbers in their passing game. So they do have some good athletes that can throw and catch. We have to be aware of some formations and some certain plays they run offensively."
Defensively, the Crusaders are last in the league, giving up over 35 points per game. However, Doherty noted the passion and emotion that Maranatha players play with, which is "99 percent" of what playing defense is all about.
"They do a good job of just being persistent and changing up their looks and their personnel," Doherty said. "They have a lot of different blitzes and a lot of different fronts."
Players and coaches are also unfamiliar with the Crusaders. Maranatha enters the NAC from the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference, so no player on the Muskies' roster has ever played against Maranatha.
Despite the "0" in their opponent's win column,
"We just have to come ready to play," freshman defensive back Tony Faller said. "We kind of laid an egg against Concordia Chicago, so that can't happen again against this team. So we just have to execute like we did this past week, and we should be alright."