Muskies look to keep momentum rolling
Athletics - posted on 10/13/2010
The Lakeland College football team hopes to keep its positive momentum rolling when it heads to Wisconsin Lutheran for an important Northern Athletics Conference matchup this Saturday at 1 p.m.
The Muskies (2-3, 1-1 NAC) are coming off a dominating 42-0 win over Rockford College and hope to continue that success. The Warriors (3-2, 1-1 NAC) are coming off a 38-21 loss to preseason NAC favorite Concordia University Chicago, and will look to get back on track in conference play.
"The win was good for the team and our morale," said Lakeland head coach Kevin Doherty. "We need to refocus now and have a good week of practice. We can't lose focus against a good team like Wisconsin Lutheran."
WLC looks to sophomore quarterback Zach Shaw to lead a balanced offense that is averaging 27.6 points and 341 yards per game, 174.6 rushing and 166.4 passing. Shaw has completed 61 of 144 passes for 820 yards, 13 touchdowns and five interceptions. The Warriors' receiving corps is led by junior Matt Lopata who has a team-high 16 catches for 290 yards and four touchdowns. Sophomores Josh Stodola and Vince Fraumeni are Shaw's two other go-to guys. Stodola has 14 catches for 235 yards and four touchdowns while Fraumeni has seven catches for 103 yards and two touchdowns.
The Warriors feature three backs in their rushing attack, led by junior Jesse Muldrow, who leads the team with 468 yards on 67 attempts with two touchdowns. Freshman Donavin Tucker and senior Larry Hairl have combined for 309 yards on 71 carries and three touchdowns.
Lutheran will face a Lakeland defense that is allowing 252.2 yards per game, 96.2 rushing and 156 passing. Lakeland leads the nation's Division III teams in third down conversion, allowing teams to convert just 19 percent. The Muskies are led by its senior cornerbacks Keith Woodson (Evanston, Ill) and Isiah Calhoun (Pontiac, Wis.). Woodson leads the nation with 15 pass break-ups, while Calhoun is tied for 11th nationally with four interceptions. Nickelback Tony Faller is eighth in the country in tackles for loss, averaging 2.1 per game.
"Our defense has been playing really well," said defensive coordinator Colin Bruton. "We have improved each week and are going to be tested this week. Wisconsin Lutheran is a very balanced offense and they lead the conference in rushing, but we lead the conference in rushing defense. We have to tackle well, be aggressive and not give up the big plays."
Lakeland senior QB Jake Dworak (De Pere, Wis.) leads an offense that's averaging 26.2 points and 332.2 yards per game, 97.8 rushing and 234.4 passing. Dworak has completed 88 of 188 passes for 1,172 yards, nine touchdowns and 10 interceptions. The big three in the passing attack for Dworak are senior wide receiver Roberto Flores (Milwaukee, Wis.), senior tight end Eric Zuelsdorf (Cedar Grove, Wis.) and sophomore wide receiver Logan Hughley. Flores leads the team with 39 catches for 604 yards and 9 touchdowns. Zuelsdorf is second on the team with 17 catches for 177 yards and two touchdowns while Hughley has 14 catches for 199 yards and one TD.
The running game has become a one-man show featuring junior Jeremy Williams (Zion, Ill.). Williams as rushed 85 times for 268 yards and six touchdowns. Freshman Tyler Muzzy (Ironwood, Mich.) played well late against Rockford as he rushed 13 times for 64 yards and one touchdown. The Muskies will look to improve their running game against a stout WLC defense.
"This week will be a test for our offense," said Doherty. "We need to run the ball with more consistency and protect our quarterback. Wisconsin Lutheran has a solid defense with eight returning starters and great team speed. The keys will be to control the ball, sustain long drives, and limit turnovers. If we can do those things, we will have a chance to win the game."
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