Muskies look to rebound after tough loss in NAC opener
Athletics - posted on 10/5/2010
The Lakeland College football team will be seeking its first Northern Athletics Conference win during homecoming weekend when the Muskies host Rockford College on Saturday, Oct. 9. Kickoff is 1 p.m. at Taylor Field.
The Muskies (1-3, 0-1 NAC) and the Regents (0-4, 0-1 NAC) are both coming off losses in their NAC openers. Lakeland dropped a 23-7 decision to Aurora in a game which saw the Muskies turn the ball over seven times, while Rockford was shut out, 23-0, by Concordia, Wis.
Junior quarterback Tyler Baran leads a Rockford offense that is averaging just 9.5 points and 145.2 yards per game. Baran has completed 31 of his 100 pass attempts for 329 yards, three touchdowns and five interceptions. His two favorite targets in the passing game have been senior wide receiver Koree Blackful and sophomore Dana Apel. Blackful has 10 catches for 115 yards and two touchdowns, while Apel has nine catches for 133 yards and one touchdown.
The Regents split carries in the backfield between seniors Cameron Carter and Jason Hosey. Carter has rushed 49 times for 116 yards, while Hosey has 31 carries for 90 yards. The Regents have yet to score a rushing touchdown this season.
Rockford will face a Lakeland defense that played well in the loss at Aurora. The unit is limiting opponents to 21 percent on third down conversions, which is ranked fourth in NCAA Division III. Junior defensive back Tony Faller (Oostburg, Wis.) leads the NAC in tackles for loss per game, is second in tackles per game and third in passes defended. Senior DB Keith Woodson leads the NAC in passes defended.
"We have played really well the last two weeks and continue to make strides in the right direction," said defensive coordinator Colin Bruton. "We need to shore up some mistakes and do the little things right. We need to take advantage of the opportunities that are presented to us and help take some pressure off the offense."
Senior quarterback Jake Dworak (De Pere, Wis.) leads a Lakeland offense that averages 22.2 points and 305 yards per game, 237.8 passing. Dworak has completed 74 of his 162 pass attempts for 951 yards and seven touchdowns and nine interceptions. The receiving corps is led by senior Roberto Flores (Milwaukee, Wis.) with 33 receptions for 476 yards and five touchdowns. He currently leads the NAC in receptions per game and is second in receiving yards per game and touchdowns.
Junior tight end Eric Zuelsdorf (Cedar Grove, Wis.) and sophomore wide out Logan Hughley (Oshkosh, Wis.) are also having solid seasons. Zuelsdorf is second on the team with 14 receptions for 146 yards and one touchdown, while Hughley has 12 receptions for 180 yards and one TD.
Junior running back Jeremy Williams (Zion, Ill.), who had 24 of the team's 34 carries last week, will shoulder the running game for the remainder of the season.
Coming off their worst offensive performance of the season, the Muskies addressed several things in practice this week which need immediate attention if the team hopes to contend for the NAC title.
"After last week, we need to limit our turnovers," said head coach Kevin Doherty. "We need to make smarter decisions with the football. We can't continue putting the ball on the ground and giving our opponents good field position. The key is winning the field position battle."
Lakeland will honor its three newly-inducted members of the college's athletic hall of fame during the pre-game coin flip. Baseball standout Jason Bartelt (1996), two-sport star Stephanie (Sprenger) Damrow (1997) and football standout Brandon Lawson (1998) will be inducted in the hall during a banquet on Friday night.
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