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The Lakeland College football team improved to 2-0 in Northern Athletics Conference play with a 32-0 win over host Rockford College on Saturday afternoon.
The Muskies (2-3, 2-0 NAC) used a balanced offense attack, and the defense notched its first shutout of the year.
Senior wide receiver Justin Groeneveld (Kingsford, Mich.) caught three touchdown passes from sophomore quarterback Dylan Van Straten (Shiocton, Wis.). The two connected on a 56-yard scoring play early in the first quarter to set the tone.
Groeneveld finished with five catches for 142 yards, and he has 269 receiving yards and five TDs in the last two games. Van Straten finished 10 of 19 for 217 yards.
Lakeland's two freshman running backs, Kendrick Burks (Pontiac, Mich.) and Tarrel Jackson (Detroit, Mich.), both scored rushing TDs. Burks had 63 yards on 15 carries, while Jackson added 45 yards on 11 carries. Lakeland had 333 total yards.
"We were able to make some big plays on offense and Dylan did a great job of taking what the defense gave us," said Lakeland head coach Kevin Doherty. "While we played well, we still haven't played a complete game. Today we struggled in the second quarter. We had some miscues, some poor special teams plays, and things just didn't go our way. The guys did a great job responding in the second half and finishing strong."
Rockford had the edge in time of possession, but never got into the red zone. Senior defensive back Tony Faller (Oostburg, WIs.) led the Muskies with eight tackles, including two for loss, one sack and an interception. Lakeland's defense had eight tackles for loss.
"I was proud of our defense tonight," said Doherty. "We gave up a few big plays, but they stuck with it and we didn't let it impact our game. We put them in short fields all night, but they held on and were able to preserve the shutout."
Lakeland returns to action on Saturday, Oct. 15, when the Muskies host Wisconsin Lutheran College for Homecoming. Kickoff is 1 p.m.