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After taking a 13-0 lead early in third quarter, the Lakeland football team surrendered their upset bid of #15 Carthage when junior halfback Namon Johnson gave the Redmen a 20-16 lead on a six-yard draw with 12:19 left to play. The score of 20-16 would be the final as neither offense was able to muster another drive at Art Keller Field in Kenosha.
"It was a great college football game," said head coach Jim Zebrowski. "I think everyone in the stands got their money's worth. It was two great teams really going at it and eventually it came down to mistakes, like most games do. Overall, I thought our kids gave unbelievable effort."
With 20.5 seconds left in the first half the Muskies were able to get on the board 7-0 after a 38-yard pass from senior Ryan Maiuri to sophomore Eric Bayerl set up a one-yard touchdown run by junior Aaron Barrie.
In a game of turnovers and great defense, the Muskies and the Redmen traded interceptions in the first minute of the second half. On the first play of the second half, senior Ryan Van De Loo intercepted the ball, giving the Muskies possession on the Redmen 15-yard line. However, two plays later, Maiuri threw an interception in the back of the end-zone.
"The defense played great, offensively we didn't give them a chance to rush very much," said coach Zebrowski. "Momentum turn when our defense created a turnover and I decided to try for the jugular and we throw a pick right back to them in the back of the end-zone.
"There were moments where there were five freshmen on the field. The best part of this game was watching the young kids step to the table in the game."
It wouldn't take long for the Muskies to get the ball back when three plays later, freshman Blaine Hornes recovered a fumble on the Redmen 13-yard line setting the stage for another Lakeland score.
After the Muskies moved the ball to the one-yard line Maiuri pitched the ball to senior Travis Gervais on a quarterback option to the right side putting the Muskies up 13-0 with 10:21 remaining in the third quarter. After a penalty was assessed against the Muskies on the extra point attempt they decided to try for two but failed, keeping the score at 13-0.
On second down, with 8:38 left in the third quarter, the Redmen scored when backup quarterback, junior Michael Sharp, threw a six-yard pass to junior BJ O'Donnell on a fade in the back of the end-zone.
With 7:29 left in the third quarter Carthage was able to knot the game up 13-13 when junior Steve Rucks recovered blocked punt by Lakeland freshman Billy Hughes and ran it into the end-zone.
The Muskies would take the lead once again when junior James Daul fumbled the ball at the 24-yard line for the Redmen. The ball bounced all the way back to the five-yard line before freshman Brent Miller recovered the ball for the Muskies. Lakeland was forced to kick a field goal after a defensive stand by the Redmen. With the game tied head coach Jim Zebrowski decided to send out freshman Dan Lucchesi to kick a 30-yard field goal which put the Muskies up 16-13 with 38.7 seconds left in the third quarter.
After the Redmen took their first lead of the evening 20-16 they tried to kick a field goal with 3:56 remaining to extend the four-point lead to seven. The Muskies were able to block the 23-yard Redman field goal kick keeping the score 20-16. The Muskies were unable to put together a sustained drive following the block however, and with 3:16 left they gave up the ball on downs sealing the victory for the Redmen at 20-16.
Maiuri led the team in rushing with 38, while freshman Tyson Mengel led the Redmen with 107. Maiuri also threw for 148-yards on 38 attempts, while the O'Boyle and Sharp combined for 131-yards for Carthage. Defensively Cleveland Pierce and Ryan Van De Loo each had eight sacks. Pierce collected two fumbles, while Van De Loo returned an interception 22-yards. Mike Pelkowski and Jim Cichon led the Redmen with 6.5 tackles.
The Muskies will return home to face the #17 UW-Whitewater War Hawks on Saturday Sept. 17 at 1p.m.