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MUSKIE FOOTBALL TEAM RECOGNIZES
ALL-CONFERENCE PLAYERS; TAFF OUTSTANDING RECEIVER
The Lakeland College Football Team recently announced the 2002 all-conference award winners for the Illini-Badger Football Conference.
Seventeen Muskies made the team after Lakeland finished 6-4 overall and 4-3 in the IBFC (4th place). One player received recognition for being the top player in the conference at his position. Wide Receiver Jeff Taff was named the Outstanding Wide Receiver of the IBFC after catching 48 passes for 581 yards and 6 touchdowns.
1st Team All-Conference
Junior quarterback Brent Luebke received 1st team honors after tossing for 2004 yards and throwing 15 TD's. Luebke also led the Muskies in rushing with 266 yards, including a TD. Despite missing two games due to injury, Luebke still racked up impressive numbers.
As mentioned above, Junior wide receiver Jeff Taff not only received 1st team honors, but also was voted Most Outstanding Wide Receiver in the conference. Taff led all Muskie receivers with 48 receptions for 581 yards and 6 TD's.
Senior defensive linemen Ryan Kalcich tackled his way to 1st team honors. Kalcich totaled 36.5 tackles and led the Muskies pass rush with 9.5 sacks.
Junior offensive linemen Nick Fox received 1st team
honors as he anchored the pass protection for the Muskies air attack.
2nd Team All-Conference
Senior wide receiver Chris Zablocki totaled 39 receptions for 462 yards and 2 TD's. Zablocki rejoined the Muskies after missing the 2001 season with a knee injury.
Junior wide receiver James Hayes grabbed 44 receptions
for 447 yards and 5 TD's.
Senior defensive back Charlie Larsen totaled 29.5 tackles, 1 pickoff and forced a fumble.
Junior linebacker Roosevelt Moore racked up 65.0 tackles as he forced 2 fumbles and had an interception.
Senior offensive linemen Mike Hansen teamed with Fox to lead the offesive line.
Kyle Anderson, senior, offensive line
James Larkin, senior, offensive line
Santino Laster, senior, defensive line
Matt Gunville, senior, defensive line
Shaun Behrend, junior, wide Receiver
Kevin Cox, junior Quarterback
Mike Gregory, junior Linebacker
Jacob Vigliante, sophomore Defensive Back
Jeff Hynes, the Muskies head football coach for the past four seasons, resigned Wednesday to become the new head football coach at Concordia University in River Forest, Ill.
"We leave with a great deal of excitement for the new challenge ahead," Hynes said. "But we also leave with a heavy heart, because we're saying goodbye to a lot of family and friends. It's very difficult to leave the wonderful kids that make up this program.
"Lakeland College is a tremendous place. It's a huge part of the lives of my whole family."
Hynes' wife, Tina, is the administrative assistant to Lakeland Athletic Director Jane Bouche.
Bouche said a national search for a new coach would begin immediately, and she hopes to find a new football coach as quickly as possible.
"Jeff has contributed many positive things to Lakeland athletics during his time here, and we're thankful for his work," Bouche said. "He's leaving our program in a good position to attract a quality new head coach."
Hynes, the 13th head coach in Lakeland history, guided
the Muskies to a 19-21 record during his tenure. Lakeland finished 6-4
this past season.
"We were coming off a turning point season that I feel will lead to bigger and better things in the years to come," Hynes said. "I'm going to a situation that is struggling right now, but it's an institution and a program with a ton of promise."
Before being named head coach in 1999, Hynes served six seasons as Lakeland's assistant head coach, offensive line coach and strength coach under Randy Awrey (1994-1998) and Fred Reese (1993).
During Awrey's tenure, Hynes helped lead the turnaround of a Muskie program that was respected throughout the Midwest. Through intensive recruiting efforts, the Muskies substantially upgraded their talent and became a force in the Illini-Badger Football Conference, culminating with a perfect 10-0 record in 1997.
Hynes developed schemes in the renowned Lakeland run-and-shoot style during the Awrey years. He was a key reason Lakeland was ranked among the nation's leaders in offensive production for several years, and remained the team?s offensive coordinator when he became head coach until this past season.
Hynes graduated from Concordia University in Mequon, Wis., in 1992 with a degree in psychology. He was a two-time, unanimous All-Illini-Badger Conference offensive lineman and the Offensive Lineman of the Year in 1991, when he served as team captain. He played on the 1990 team that advanced to the NAIA Division II playoffs and finished undefeated in conference.
Concordia is also where Hynes broke into the coaching ranks, serving as offensive line and tight ends coach for the 1992 season.
Hynes, a native of Houston, Texas, where he was an All-State offensive lineman in high school, recently earned his Master's of Education degree at Lakeland. Jeff and Tina have two young children, Madison and Cooper.
The Muskies play in the Illini-Badger Conference, of which Concordia is also a member.TURNOVERS SPELL VICTORY FOR MUSKIE FOOTBALL
Players To Watch: Lakeland - Kevin Cox, Sr. QB, (44-69, 695 yards, 6 touchdowns), Jeff Taff, Jr. WR, (43 catches, 545 yards), Mike Gregory, So. LB, (63.5 tackles). Colorado College - Jay Macias, Jr. QB, (52.3 yards rushing per game, 103.6 yards passing), Jake Craig, So. WR, (35 catches, 423 yards), Tafari Lamumba, So. LB, (51 tackles)
Outlook: Lakeland finished up their conference season a week ago with a 27-14 victory over Benedictine. With the win, the Muskies finished in sole possession of fourth place in IBC with a 4-3 record. The Muskies are in search of their third straight win this week as they travel to Colorado College. The defensive unit has come alive for the Muskies allowing an average of only 206 yards of total offense in their last two games. As usual, Lakeland finds themselves atop the IBC in passing offense with 309.1 yards per game. Leading that explosive offense this week will be experienced senior Kevin Cox. Cox has filled in admirably for the injured Brent Luebke going 30-48 for 474 yards and four touchdowns in the last two weeks. The Tigers are coming off their lone win of the season. Turnovers have been a problem for them this year as they have lost 12 fumbles and throwing 14 interceptions.
Conference Standings (Final):
1.) MacMurray 7-0
2.) Concordia-WI 6-1
3.) Aurora 5-2
4.) Lakeland 4-3
5.) Benedictine 3-4
6.) Eureka 2-5
7.) Greenville 1-6
8.) Concordia-IL 0-7
Coaches: Lakeland coach Jeff Hynes (18-21 overall) in his fourth year. Colorado College coach Greg Polnasek (8-26 overall) in his sixth year.
Last Year: Did not play
Up Next: This is Lakeland's final game of the season.FORMER MUSKIE FOOTBALL COACH BEOMES ALL-TIME WINNINGEST AT SHEPARD COLLEGE
Cater was Lakeland's head coach from 1981-1986 and finished 30-24-1 (.555) during his tenure. In his last four years at Lakeland, the Muskies won three conference titles and Cater was honored as the Coach of the Year twice during that time. Cater currently ranks fourth on Lakeland's football coaching list for most wins behind John Thome (78 wins from 1967-1980), Marinus Kregel (40 wins from 1937-1942 and 1946-1950), and Randy Awry (35 wins from 1994-1998).MUSKIES USE FOURTH QUARTER SURGE TO DEFEAT BENEDICTINE
In a game which wind was a major factor, both passing-style teams took advantage and scored all their points with the wind at their back.
"We knew we had the wind in the fourth quarter
and wanted to use that to our advantage," said head coach Jeff Hynes.
"We also changed quarterbacks to see if Kevin Cox could maintain
the hot hand he had last week in the Greenville game?which he did. We
may have rushed Brent Luebke back a little too soon from his injury."
In the first quarter the Muskies scored on a 10 yard fumble return by Erich Voight at the 13:36 mark to jump out to an early 7-0 lead following Matt Cook's extra point.
"The defense was the story of the game for us,"
said Hynes. "They made great plays all day long, especially when
our offense put us in bad field position. The defense just keeps getting
better every week under the direction of defensive coordinator Randy Zimmerman."
Benedictine took advantage of the wind in the second and third quarters to jump out to a 13-7 advantage. First, J. McLaughlin scored on a three yard run nine seconds before halftime to lock the score at 7's. This completed a nine play, 53 yard drive that took 3:05 off the clock.
Then in the third quarter, the Eagles moved ahead 13-7 when McLaughlin ran it in from 26 yards out with 3:51 to go in the quarter. But the Muskies blocked the extra point attempt after the short, four play, 42 yard drive that took just 1:45 off the clock.
With little offensive success throughout the first three quarters, Hynes turned to Cox to lead the Muskies. Cox, who had filled in well last week for the injured Luebke in the Greenville game, picked up right where he left off.
Cox connected with tight end Jed Manders on a nine yard pass to complete a six play, 47 yard drive with 12:50 to go in the game. The drive took just 2:10 to complete, but the extra point was blocked and the game remained tied at 13.
But Cox came back on the next possession and hit freshman wideout Brandon Greer on a 28 yard touchdown pass to give the Muskies a lead they wouldn't relinquish at 20-13. The six play, 56 yard drive came at the 9:18 mark and took just 1:48 to complete.
Lakeland completed the scoring when Jeff Taff scampered in from two yards out to make it 27-13 with 7:40 to go in the game. The Muskies remained true to form with another short, six play 46 yard drive that ate just 1:10 off the clock.
Though the game was close until the fourth quarter, the Muskies dominated the statistics. Lakeland had 24 first downs to Benedictine's 16, and had 370 total yards compared to the Eagles' 182. Lakeland rushed the ball 38 times for 96 yards and completed 28 of 48 passes overall for 274 yards and two touchdowns. Benedictine carried the ball 40 times for 69 yards and completed 13 of 34 passes for just 113 yards and had two fourth quarter interceptions.
With the Muskies defense holding the Eagles to short possessions, Lakeland dominated the time of possession 44:56 to 23:25. The most impressive statistics on the day were the seven sacks Lakeland's defense had along with an amazing 14 tackles for loss against an overmatched Benedictine offense.
Individually, Eric Fritz led the way for Lakeland with 14 rushes for 83 yards and seven receptions for 46 yards. Chris Zablocki added seven catches for 65 yards, while James Hayes caught six passes for 46 yards, and Greer caught four passes for 76 yards and the touchdown.
Cox finished 10 of 17 for 160 yards and two touchdowns in his short stint, while Luebke was 17 of 30 for 94 yards.
"Eric played great today filling in for our injured backs," said Hynes. "He ran hard and caught the ball very well out of the backfield."
The Muskies conclude their season next Saturday
on the road at Colorado College. Kickoff is scheduled for 12:00pm Mountain
Players To Watch: Lakeland - Brent Luebke, Sr. QB, (162-272, 1691 yards, 14 touchdowns), Jeff Taff, Jr. WR, (48 catches, 633 yards), Mike Gregory, So. LB, (54 tackles). Benedictine - Sebastian Singleton, Jr WR, (48 catches, 648 yards), Rob Speigel, Sr. DB (8 interceptions), Michael Robinson, Sr. QB (155-317, 2000 yards, 15 touchdowns), Pat Ryan, Sr. DE (28 tackles for loss, 8 sacks)
Outlook: This is a pivotal game for both teams as they are tied for fourth place in the IBC with 3-3 records. Lakeland looked unstoppable in their last game racking up 513 yards of total offense as senior quarterback Kevin Cox filled in for injured Brent Luebke by throwing for 314 yards and two touchdowns. The Muskie offense has been impressive all season averaging 410.1 yards per game and 313.5 yards in the air. The defense also played well a week ago, giving up only 230 yards of total offense. Benedictine is coming off a 32-13 victory over Concordia-IL. The Eagles are a pass oriented team as well, throwing the ball 336 times, tops in the IBC. Benedictine is lead by senior defensive lineman Pat Ryan, who was named a D3 Football first team All-American last season.
Coaches: Lakeland coach Jeff Hynes (18-21 overall) in his fourth year. Benedictine coach Mike Murray (8-11) in his second season.
Last Year: Benedictine beat Lakeland 17-10
Up Next: Lakeland faces Colorado College on November 16th. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:00 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.MUSKIES MAKE GREENVILLE FEEL EXTRA GREEN; WIN 39-7
The Muskies controlled all aspects of the game from offense, to defense, to special teams in a thorough domination of their opponents.
"We really wanted to try to play the perfect all around game," said 4th year head coach Jeff Hynes. "Although that's impossible I think we did pretty good. The kids played hard and with enthusiasm, and we really made the big plays when we had too."
Lakeland jumped out to an early 7-0 lead with 4:44 to go in the first quarter when quarterback Kevin Cox connected with wide out Jeff Taff on an eight yard pass over the middle. The drive was set up by an interception return of 19 yards by Michael Gibson, which allowed Lakeland to start on the Panther's 26 yard line. The short, three-play drive took just 1:04 to complete.
The second quarter was also won by the Muskies and provided a historic, record breaking kick as well. First, the Muskies scored on Taff's one yard run with 4:22 to go in the half to complete a solid, nine-play, 73 yard drive. After holder Shaun Behrend ran in the two-point conversion following a bumbled snap, the Muskies led 15-0.
But right before halftime sophomore kicker Matt Cook nailed a 46 yard field goal, the longest in Lakeland College history to give the Muskies a 18-0 lead and loads of momentum entering the break. It was an excellent job of clock management that saw Lakeland get the ball on the 50 yard line with just 18 seconds left in the half. After three plays, including a 28 yard completion to receiver Joe Huber, Cook came on to put it through the uprights with no time left on the clock.
The third quarter started out in unbelievable fashion as Gibson scored on an 85 yard kickoff return to expand the Muskie lead to 25-0. But not to be outdone, Greenville's Danny Donaldson returned the ensuing kickoff 93 yards to make it 25-7.
"We really had two bright spots on special teams with Cook and Gibson's spectacular play," said Hynes.
Things were just getting bright for the Muskies as they scored again in spectacular fashion in the third quarter to make it 32-7. This time Taff got the hat trick by completing a beautiful catch and run touchdown from 44 yards out after Cox hit him on the right sideline. The three-play, 52 yard drive took just 55 seconds to finish.
Lakeland completed the scoring in the fourth quarter when Huber caught a 32 yard pass catch from back up quarterback Ryan Maiuri to make it 39-7. The drive covered 99 yards in eight plays and took 3:55 to manufacture.
The overall and individual statistics heavily favored the Muskies as the score would indicate. Lakeland racked up 513 yards of total offense, including 377 yards passing and 136 yards rushing. Greenville managed just 230 yards of total offense on 173 yards rushing and just 57 yards passing. The Muskies had 21 first downs compared to Greenville's 12.
Individually, Cox filled in admirably for the injured Brent Luebke (back) with 314 yards passing and two touchdowns by completing 20 of 31 attempts. Taff led the receivers with five catches for 88 yards and two receiving touchdowns, while fellow wide out James Hayes had five catches for 72 yards. Taff also led the Muskies' rushing attack with 77 yards on 7 carries. Greenville's D. Harriel led all rushers with 163 yards on 39 carries.
"Due to Luebke's injury, Cox stepped up by playing well and leading us offensively," said Hynes. "He stayed in the pocket, stayed patient, executed his reads, and found his receivers."
"The offensive line, anchored by Mike Hanson, played well as a whole. You can't pass and rush for all those yards without protection," said Hynes. "We also had nice contributions today from several players including Mike Christian."
The defense had a stellar day as well with the only touchdown coming on the kickoff return and allowing just 3.7 yards per play. Santino Laster led the way with five tackles for loss, including three sacks, while Matt Gunville added two tackles for loss and one sack.
"Santino and Matt were putting pressure on their quarterback all day and stuffing the run without much blitz protection, something our entire defense did a great job of today," added Hynes. "We're getting better and better each week."
Lakeland will host Benedictine University next
week at 12:00 in their final home contest of the year.
Players To Watch: Lakeland - Brent Luebke, Sr. QB, (162-272, 1691 yards, 14 touchdowns), Jeff Taff, Jr. WR, (38 catches, 457 yards), Mike Gregory, So. LB, (46 tackles). Greenville - Dontrell Harriel, Jr. RB (198 carries, 909 yards, 129.9 ypg.), Joey Kallal, Fr. QB, Dave Rigalli, So. DB
Outlook: The Muskies have a lot to prove this week as they face the 1-7 Greenville Panthers. Greenville has stuggled to move the ball this season averaging only 211.2 yards per game. However, the Panthers do have the IBC's second leading rusher in Dontrell Harriel who contributes 129.9 yards of the teams 152 yards on the ground per game. The Muskies enter the game in fourth place in the IBC with a 3-4 record. The offense remains solid, and is ranked third in the conference in yards per game with 399.0. The Muskies also ranked the number one pass game in the conference averaging 304.4 yards per game. Lakeland's defense has also been impressive of late, forcing five turnovers in the last two games.
Coaches: Lakeland coach Jeff Hynes (17-21 overall) in his fourth year. Greenville coach Scotty Kessler (1-7) in his first year.
Last Year: Lakeland beat Greenville 24-17
Up Next: Lakeland faces
Benedictine on November 9th. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:00
MUSKIES FALL TO AURORA IN ILLINI-BADGER FOOTBALL CONTEST
Oct. 26, 2002
The Lakeland College Football Team fell 23-13 to Aurora University Saturday afternoon in Aurora. The loss moves the Muskies to 3-4 overall and 2-3 in the Illini-Badger Football Conference, while the Spartans improved to 4-3 and 4-1, including four straight wins.
The game was a battle from the opening quarter that ended with Lakeland in front 7-6. Aurora got on the board first at the 6:44 mark on a Kyle Schrader six yard run to cap a short, three play, 17 yard drive to make it 6-0 after a blocked extra point attempt.
Lakeland responded immediately with a quick two play, 67 yard drive that culminated with a 37 yard touchdown pass from Brent Luebke to wideout Brandon Greer. The quick score came at the 6:09 mark of the first period.
Aurora had the only scores in the second quarter to make it a 16-7 game at the half. First, Ryan Glab connected on a 36 yard field goal to cap a 6 play, 29 yard drive with 11:50 to go in the period to push Aurora ahead 9-7.
The Spartans took momentum into the lockeroom right before the break when they scored with just 22 seconds to go in the half. This time quarterback Kyle Daniels hit wideout Rich Bigham on a 25 yard pass to complete a long, 11 play, 80 yard drive.
Aurora started the third quarter right where they left off by scoring at the 10:54 mark to make it 23-7. Daniels connected with Nate Fincham on a 23 yard pass to finish off a nine play, 59 yard drive. It was the only score of the quarter and the last of the day for the Spartans.
Lakeland answered in the fourth quarter with 1:32 to go when wide out Jeff Taff caught a 10 yard pass from backup quarterback Kevin Cox (in for the injured Luebke) to complete the scoring. The Muskies went for two in the hopes of converting and then recovering the ensuing on-side kick. Unfortunately, Cox's pass failed and the Muskies ran out of time.
The overall stats favored Aurora in a hard-nosed, but sometimes sloppily played game. Aurora finished with 416 total yards on 84 plays compared to Lakeland's 374 yards on 64 plays. The Spartans controlled the clock with a solid rushing game by racking up 121 yards on 53 carries and holding the ball for 34:12. Lakeland rushed 24 times for 57 yards and held the ball for 25:48. The Muskies won the passing game by connecting on 26 of 40 passes for 317 yards while Aurora faired well too with a 21 of 31 performance for 295 yards. Aurora managed just three more first downs than Lakeland at 22-19.
The game's momentum changed several times however on numerous turnovers by both teams. Lakeland lost three fumbles and two interceptions while Aurora also lost three fumbles.
Individually for Lakeland, Luebke had a stellar day before leaving the game late in the fourth quarter due to an injury. He connected on 24 of 38 passes for 305 yards and a touchdown, but had the two interceptions. Nick Hunter led the receivers with nine catches for 45 yards, while Taff had five receptions for 75 yards, Shaun Behrend had five catches for 53 yards and Greer had three catches but they were for 81 yards.
Hunter also led Lakeland's running attack with 26 yards on six carries, while Luebke added 24 yards on 11 carries.
Head Coach Jeff Hynes clearly thought this was a game that could have gone a different way.
"We did enough good things to have been able to win the game, but we can't turn the ball over five times and expect to beat a good team. Furthermore, we allowed them to convert too many third and longs after stuffing them on first and second down," said Hynes.
Hynes pointed out a couple of
other shortcomings in Saturday's game too.
"We couldn't sustain our run game and they won the time of possession battle, and we also missed two excellent scoring opportunities by missing two field goals."
Lakeland is back at home next week when they take on the Panthers of Greenville College with kick-off set for 12:00pm.Football Preview
Players To Watch: Lakeland - Brent Luebke, Sr. QB, (138-234, 1605 yards, 14 touchdowns), Jeff Taff, Jr. WR, (33 catches, 382 yards, 2 touchdowns), Mike Gregory, So. LB, (47 tackles). Aurora - Geary Pryor, Jr. RB, (133 carries, 963 yards, 15 touchdowns), John Ingram, Sr. LB, (63 tackles, 7 for loss), Andrew Gerhardstein, Sr. DL, (43 tackles, 18 for loss, 7 sacks).
Outlook: Lakeland is coming off perhaps their best performance of the year in a 51-19 thrashing of Concordia-IL. The Muskies figure to have a tougher game this week as they travel to perennial Illini-Badger Conference contender Aurora. The Spartans struggled early on this year dropping their first three games but have rebounded to win three in a row, all in conference. The Muskies main concern will be stopping the nation's fourth leading rusher Geary Pryor and the Spartan running game, which has produced 296.7 yards of offense per game. Aurora's downfall this year has been turnovers. The Spartans have put the ball on the ground 21 times this season, and thrown nine interceptions. Lakeland had their most balanced offensive attack a week ago, running for 195 yards and throwing for another 358 yards. The balance figures to take some of the pressure off of quarterback Brent Luebke, who has been counted on heavily this season to provide offense. Luebke is currently ranked sixth nationally with 308.3 yards of total offense per game.
Coaches: Lakeland coach Jeff Hynes (17-20 overall) in his fourth year. Aurora coach Jim Scott (89-59-3) in his seventeenth year.
Last Year: Aurora beat Lakeland 32-3.
Up Next: Lakeland returns
home to face Greenville November 2nd. Kickoff is scheduled for 12:00 noon.
Lakeland opened the scoring on their first possession
of the game as Brent Luebke found tight end Jed Manders on an eleven yard
touchdown pass to cap off a twelve-play, 85 yard drive. Matt Cook tacked
on the extra point as the Muskies pulled ahead 7-0.
Concordia responded quickly, as their defense forced a Muskie turnover (downs) setting up the offense, which scored two plays later on a 48 yard touchdown pass from Mike Young to Jermaine Kinermon with 4:56 remaining in the first quarter. Lakeland blocked the extra point attempt, as the Muskies remained in the lead 7-6.
Quarterback Brent Luebke then led the Muskies down the field going 4-5, for 65 yards and finding receiver Shawn Behrend in the end zone on a 38 yard touchdown strike. The drive, which was 10 plays and 79 yards long, took nearly four minutes off the clock.
On the ensuing kickoff, Concordia return man Jack Vandiver fumbled the ball and the Muskies recovered it on the Concordia 22 yard line. Three plays and 1:16 seconds later Nick Hunter ran it in from seven yards out to make it a 21-6 game early in the second quarter.
The Cougars tried to keep it close, scoring once again on a Bernard Norah five yard touchdown run that capped off a seven-play, 59 yard drive. Joel Aromi added the extra point to make it a 21-13 game.
From there it was all Muskies. Kevin Cox replaced Luebke at quarterback and immediately found Nick Hunter out of the backfield for a 39 yard gain, setting up another Hunter touchdown run, this one from eleven yards out. Hunter finished the game with a team high 74 yards rushing.
"Nick carried the load for us the whole day. He ran hard, and the offensive line played extremely well," said head coach Jeff Hynes.
After the Muskie defense forced a Concordia punt, Cox found Jeff Taff on completions of 37 and 21 yards setting up a 27 yard field goal by Matt Cook, as the Muskies took a 30-13 lead into the locker room.
The second half was more of the same as the Muskies continued to put points on the board. Luebke once again found Jed Manders on a four yard touchdown completion on Lakeland's opening drive of the second half. Cook added the extra point, to make it a 37-13 Lakeland lead.
Two possessions later, Lakeland's Matt Swain intercepted a Cougar pass and returned it 17 yards to the Concordia 39 yard line. The Muskies then ran the ball down the field, as Eric Fritz, Sal Prieto, and Jeff Taff all had rushes of over ten yards. Fritz capped off the drive with a one yard touchdown plunge to make it a 44-13 game midway through the fourth quarter.
Concordia would fight back as quarterback Mike Young would connect once again with receiver Jermaine Kinermon on a 56 yard completion. On the next play Young ran it in from four yards to make it 44-19.
The Muskies would add one more score as Kevin Cox found Brandon Greer in the back of the end zone on a 16 yard completion for the final 51-19 score.
The Muskie defense was impressive all day as they allowed only 317 yards, and forced two turnovers. They were led by Mike Gregory who had seven tackles, and Ryan Kalcich who had five tackles, four of them for losses.
"The defense played solid," said Hynes. "For the first time all year we were able to get them into third and long situations and close the door on them."
Offensively, the Muskies rushed for a season high 195 yards, and also threw for 358 yards.
"We didn't have to rely on the pass so much," said coach Hynes. "We ran the ball much better. It was nice to control the tempo of the game."
Lakeland was playing the game in honor of teammate Devon Jones who passed away earlier this week. "Playing the game was a release for the team after a long, emotional week," said Hynes. "The team wanted to play for Devon, and they played with a lot of emotion and intensity."
The Muskies return to action next Saturday at Aurora.Football Preview
Players To Watch: Lakeland
- Brent Luebke, Sr. QB, (120-207, 1393 yards, 11 touchdowns), Jeff Taff,
Jr. WR, (29 catches, 294 yards, 2 touchdowns), Mike Gregory, So. LB, (40
tackles), Roosevelt Moore, Sr. LB, (32.5 tackles).
Concordia - Mike Young, Fr. QB, Nick Anzalone, So. DB
Outlook: Lakeland is coming off a disappointing loss to rival Concordia-WI. The Muskies were unable to stop the Falcon ground game as they racked up 339 yards and four touchdowns. However, what appears to be the tough part of Lakeland's schedule is now over. They begin the second half of their season with a Concordia-IL team that has yet to win a game. This figures to be a high scoring game as the high-powered Muskie offense should be able to move the ball against a Cougar defense that hasn't been able to stop anyone, allowing 518 yards per game, and being outscored 377-54 this season. The Muskies will be playing this game with heavy hearts as they play this game in the memory of teammate Devon Jones, who passed away earlier this week.
Coaches: Lakeland coach Jeff Hynes (16-20 overall) in his fourth year. Concordia coach Brian Baker-Watson (1-24 overall) in his 3rd season.
Last Year: Lakeland defeated Concordia-IL 47-21.
Up Next: Lakeland battles Aurora University on October 26th. Game time is 1:30 PM at Aurora.
MUSKIES FALL TO CONCORDIA
IN WET HOMECOMING
Oct. 12, 2002
The Lakeland College Football Team suffered a 29-7 Homecoming loss to Concordia (WI) Saturday afternoon at Taylor Field in Sheboygan. The loss drops the Muskies to 2-3 overall and 1-2 in the Illini-Badger Football Conference while Concordia improved to 5-1, 3-0.
Concordia started the scoring on their opening possession with 10:04 to go in the first quarter when Cedric Simmons ran it in from 11 yards out to cap a ten-play, 65 yard opening drive that took 4:41 off the clock. The Falcons missed the extra point to make it 6-0 at the end of one period of play.
The Muskies responded in the second quarter when quarterback Brent Luebke connected with James Hayes on a six yard pass to make 7-6 following Matt Cook's extra point. The lone touchdown drive took 11 plays and covered 72 yards but took just 2:47 to complete.
This is where the score remained until midway through the third quarter. Simmons scored again on a 35 yard pass from quarterback Luke Knuppenbur but failed on the two-point conversion to make it just 12-7 entering the fourth quarter.
However, the Falcons scored three times in the fourth quarter to put the game out of reach for Lakeland. First, Dan Liebmann kicked a 24 yard field goal with 14:13 left on a 13 play, 66 yard drive that milked 6:17 off the clock for Concordia. But at 15-7 Lakeland was still just a touchdown and two point conversion away from knotting the ballgame.
Concordia added another score on their next possession with 10:42 to go when Knuppenbur connected with Jon Ziegler on a nine yard pass to complete an eight play, 68 yard drive to make it 22-7.
The Muskies still had ample opportunity to make a comeback but gave up a 49 punt return to Simmons to make it 29-7 with 3:37 left in the game. Simmons picked up the ball and made like Richard Simmons by putting on some fancy moves before breaking outside and running down the right sideline for his third touchdown of the day.
On the day Concordia outgained Lakeland 470-293 yards and outrushed the Muskies 339-56 on 57 attempts compared to Lakeland's 23 rushes. Lakeland outpassed the Falcons 237-131 but Concordia attempted just 11 passes compared to Lakeland's 46.
Despite the yardage difference the Muskies racked up 20 first downs while the Falcons had just two more at 22. Concordia won the time of possession battle 34:09 to 25:51.
Individually, Luebke led Lakeland with 219 passing yards after completing 19 of 42 passes with one touchdown and one interception. Jeff Taff led the receivers with eight catches for 99 yards while Shaun Behrend added four catches for 54 yards. Luebke was Lakeland's leading rusher with 45 yards on 13 attempts.
Marc Wadzinski led Concordia's rushing attack with 176 yards on 30 carries while Simmons contributed 123 yards on 16 rushes. Knuppenbur completed nine of 11 passes for 131 yards and two touchdowns.
The Muskies next game is this Saturday at 1:30
when they travel to Concordia of River Forest, Illinois for another Illini-Badger
Football Conference matchup.
Football Preview -
Oct. 10, 2002
Lakeland (2-2, 1-1) vs. Concordia-WI (4-1, 2-0)
Game Time: Saturday Oct. 12, 1:30 PM
Where: Taylor Field, Lakeland College
Players To Watch: Lakeland - Brent Luebke, Sr. QB, (101-165, 1174 yards, 10 touchdowns), James Hayes, Sr. WR, (23 catches, 253 yards, 4 touchdowns), Mike Gregory, So. LB, (32 tackles), Ryan Kalcich, Sr. DE, (17 tackles, 3.5 sacks). Concordia - Cedric Simmons, RB, (46 carries, 439 yards, 3 touchdowns, 20 catches, 227 yards), Marc Wadzinski, Sr. RB.
Outlook: The Muskies will try to keep their conference title hopes alive this week as they face Concordia-WI in the annual "Cheese Bowl". The Muskies currently trail both the Falcons and MacMurray by one game in the IBFC. For the first time this season the Muskies offense struggled a week ago gaining only 222 yards against a stingy MacMurray defense. Concordia, on the other hand, is leading the conference with 405 yards per game and put 67 points on the board in a victory against Concordia-IL. Lakeland is led by senior quarterback Brent Luebke who ranks 5th in the NCAA in total offense per game at 331.3 yards per game, and also leads the team with 151 rushing yards.
Coaches: Lakeland coach Jeff Hynes (16-19 overall) in his fourth year. Concordia coach Jeff Gabrielson (76-43) in his twelfth year.
Last Year: Concordia defeated Lakeland 17-14.
Up Next: Lakeland travels to River Forest, IL to battle Concordia-IL on October 19th. Game time is 1:30 PM.
MUSKIES FALL TO MAC MURRAY
October 5, 2002
The Lakeland College Muskies Football team fell to the MacMurray Highlanders 16-6 Saturday afternoon in Jacksonville, IL. The loss dropped the Muskies to 2-2 overall and 1-1 in the Illini-Badger Football Conference while MacMurray, the defending IBFC champions improved to 4-0, 2-0.
The Muskies fell behind 16-0 before getting on the scoreboard early in the fourth quarter on a 26 yard pass from quarterback Brent Luebke to wide out Eric Fritz. Fritz failed to convert the two-point attempt when he tried to rush it in.
The first quarter was a series of back and forth drives by both teams that seemed to stall out until MacMurray took a slim 3-0 lead with 1:10 to go. Kicker Steve Lowe knocked one in from 28 yards out to cap an eight-play, 74 yard drive that took 3:09 off the clock.
In the second quarter it was more of the same as the Highlanders scored their first touchdown with 12:30 to play in the half for the only points in the period. This time Terry Davis caught a 27 yard pass from Jonan Tiarks to complete a six-play, 84 yard drive that took 2:19 to finish.
With a 10-0 cushion at the half the Highlanders relied on their power running game to milk the clock starting early in the third quarter. One of their drives took a whopping 8:42 off the clock and led directly to a Nehemia Parker one yard touchdown run. The drive covered 81 yards in 16 plays. The extra point attempt was blocked and the score remained 16-0 until Lakeland's touchdown early in the fourth quarter.
The key statistics of the day favored the Highlanders as they controlled the ball for 38:32 compared to Lakeland's 21:28. MacMurray racked up 433 yards of total offense, including 266 rushing yards on 50 carries and 167 passing yards on 15 completions of 28 attempts. The Muskies rushed the ball well with 91 yards on 24 carries but managed just 131 yards passing after connecting on only 15 of 38 attempts. The 222 total yards on 62 plays was Lakeland's lowest output of the year.
Other key team stats included MacMurray connecting on seven of 17 third down attempts while the Muskies converted just three of 14. The Highlanders also rang up 22 first downs on the day compared to the Muskies 12.
Individually, quarterback Brent Luebke, who entered the game number 3 in total yardage for the NCAA, was held to a tough 15 of 38 performance for the 131 yards. He also was Lakeland's leading rusher with 53 yards on 16 carries but was sacked three times. Shaun Behrend led the receiving corps with four catches for 39 yards.
Defensively, Jacob Vigilante had a huge day for Lakeland with two interceptions and eight tackles, including two for losses. Mike Gregory also had a spectacular day with 14 total tackles while Roosevelt Moore added eight total tackles.
The big story of the day was the defense shutting down all-world running back Steve Ballinger, holding him to just 36 yards on seven carries. Unfortunately, Parker picked up his slack and rushed for a staggering 187 yards on 30 carries.
"Our defense played solid football but didn't stop them in key situations," said fourth year head coach Jeff Hynes. "And our offense just didn't catch the ball today," added Hynes. "We had way too many dropped passes."
Hynes was disappointed in the outcome but knows how close they were to winning this game.
"This was truly a game we lost. They did not beat
us," said Hynes. "This team knows we were not beaten, but that
we didn't take advantage of opportunities on the field. For example, twice
in the first quarter alone we were inside their 30 yard line but came
away with no points," added Hynes.
"As far as conference goes we know this is a MacMurray team that can be beat, so we just have to take care of our business and rebound next week against a strong Concordia (WI) team," concluded Hynes.
The Muskies finally have another home game after
three weeks on the road and host Concordia of Mequon (WI) next week at
1:30. Concordia (WI) is currently 4-1 overall and 2-0 in the IBFC, including
an impressive 20-10 win over Aurora and an easy 64-3 win over Concordia
of River Forest (IL) earlier today. Concordia's only loss was to UW-Oshkosh
35-25, a team that Lakeland fell to 33-14 earlier this season.
Oct. 2, 2002
Lakeland (2-1) vs. MacMurray (3-0)
Game Time: Saturday October 5th 1:30 PM
Where: Jacksonville, IL (MacMurray Stadium - 3,000)
Players To Watch: Lakeland
- Brent Luebke, Sr. QB, (86-127, 67% completion, 1043 yards, 9 touchdowns),
James Hayes, Sr. WR, (20 catches, 229 yards)
MacMurray - Steve Ballinger, Jr. RB, (62 - 442, 7.0 yards per carry, 6 touchdowns), Danny Hernandez, Sr. LB, (26 tackles), Brandon Mobley, So. DE, (4 sacks)
Outlook: The Muskies enter this weekend's game coming off perhaps their finest performance of the year in a 35-0 victory over Eureka. Things will most likely not be that easy this week as they travel to defending IBFC champion MacMurray, who has outscored opponents 115-24 this year. The matchup of the day will be the Lakeland offense against the MacMurray defense. The Muskies are averaging 442 yards per game, and are 7th in the nation in passing offense, while the MacMurray defense is one of the best giving up only 189 yards per game good for 8th in the nation. Lakeland will again lean on quarterback Brent Luebke who is third in the nation in total offense per game at 380.5 yards per game. The MacMurray offense is led by running back Steve Ballinger. Ballinger ranks amongst the nation's leaders in rushing yards, and average yards per carry.
Last Season: MacMurray defeated Lakeland 35-7
Coaches: Lakeland coach Jeff Hynes (15-18) in his fourth year. MacMurray coach Bob Frey (50-24 overall) in his eighth season.
Up Next: Saturday October
12th Lakeland hosts Concordia-WI in Lakeland's homecoming game. Game time
is set for 1:30 PM at Taylor Field on the campus of Lakeland College.
EUREKA! MUSKIES POUND THE
Sept. 28, 2002
The Lakeland College Muskies visited the Red devils of Eureka Saturday afternoon and demolished them in a 35-0 victory. The Muskies now stand at 2-1 and 1-0 in the Illini-Badger Football Conference while Eureka dropped to 0-3, 0-1.
As of posting time (9:00pm), statistics had not been received from Eureka, but happy Head Coach Jeff Hynes relayed the news and some of the numbers while on the bus ride home.
Lakeland demolished Eureka in total yards 503 to 220, including 398 yards passing and 105 yards on the ground. The Muskies' quarterback duo of Brent Luebke and Kevin Cox completed a whopping 32 of 42 passes with three touchdowns. Lakeland had 28 first downs while running 75 offensive plays.
Eureka managed just 146 yards while completing only 13 of 36 passes and was picked off three times, including a 55-yard interception return by Sam Scharinger. The Red Devils also managed just 74 yards rushing on 25 attempts and 12 first downs.
The Muskies were led by the standout play of Luebke who completed 29 of 38 passes for 353 yards and three touchdowns. Twelve of his completions went to wideout James Hayes who had 123 receiving yards and one touchdown. Shaun Behrend had five catches for 98 yards while Chris Zablocki added three receptions for 97 yards.
Nick Hunter led the Muskies' running attack with 58 yards on 13 carries, while Luebke scrambled for 27 more yards on 8 attempts.
Coach Hynes was happy with the victory but thought Lakeland needs to be much sharper to be successful against next week's opponent - MacMurray College, the defending IBFC champions.
"We moved the ball well but weren't able to capitalize and score all the time," said Hynes. "We had some nice drives but tripped ourselves up."
"We also need to improve our running game so we can control the clock," added Hynes. "Our defense played well but we had them on the ropes with third and longs and third and mediums but let them off the hook."
Hynes summed it all up by simply stating "we must play better next week against a tough MacMurray team in order to come away with a victory."
Lakeland hits the road for the third straight week and takes on MacMurray at 1:30pm in Jacksonville, IL.
UW-OSHKOSH RUNS PAST THE
Sept. 21, 2002
The Lakeland College Football Team fell 33-14 to the Titans of UW-Oshkosh Saturday night in Oshkosh. The loss dropped the Muskies to 1-1 overall while Oshkosh moved to 2-1.
Oshkosh got on the board first with 7:58 to go in the first quarter on an eight-play, 79-yard drive capped off by a Matt Kaufman one yard run. The extra point attempt was wide left and Lakeland only trailed 6-0 at the end of one period of play.
The Titans responded with two big plays midway through the second quarter to take a 19-0 lead. First, Nick Carlson returned a punt just 28 yards to make it 12-0 with 5:02 to play in the half. Carlson added another touchdown less than a minute later when he returned a Brent Luebke interception 38 yards for a touchdown at the 4:07 mark.
Lakeland answered with an eight-play, 58-yard drive to make it 19-7 at halftime. Luebke scrambled to his left and hit Jeff Taff in the back corner of the end zone.
The third quarter had only one score, but unfortunately it was for UW-Oshkosh. With 3:27 to play in the period, Nick Weber ran it in from one yard out for a short, five-play, 18-yard drive to make it 26-7 entering the final quarter.
The Titans expanded their lead to 33-7 when Chad Lindsey caught a two-yard pass from quarterback Nick Wara to complete a ten-play, 48-yard drive with 7:01 to go.
The Muskies answered back with a ten-play, 70-yard drive to complete the scoring with 2:14 to go in the game. This time Luebke hit James Hayes on a five-yard pass in the right corner of the end zone.
Lakeland had more total yards than Oshkosh at 296-285, but Oshkosh controlled the clock by running the ball for 253 yards on 60 carries compared to the Muskies 38 yards on 26 carries. The Titans game plan was clearly to wear down Lakeland as they passed the ball just nine times for 32 yards and had just five completions. Lakeland on the other hand, relied mostly on the pass and after the first quarter rushed 16 times for a negative 16 yards.
Luebke completed 27 of 43 passes for 258 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions to lead the Muskie attack. Taff caught eight passes for 65 yards while Chris Zablocki had seven catches for 53 yards and Nick Hunter added six receptions for 83 yards.
Lakeland had just two penalties for 16 yards on the day while Oshkosh racked up ten penalties for 91 yards. The Muskies and Titans both accumulated 15 first downs in the game while Oshkosh won the time of possession battle 34:08 to 25:52.
Defensively for Lakeland, Mike Gregory and Santino Laster each had 11 total tackles while Ryan Kalcich added nine tackles and two sacks.
Lakeland's next game is this Saturday at 1:30pm
at Eureka College.
Sept. 19, 2002
Lakeland (1-0) vs. UW-Oshkosh (1-1)
Game Time : Saturday Sept. 21, 6:00 PM
Where : Oshkosh (Titan Stadium 10,000)
Players To Watch:
Lakeland - Brent Luebke, Sr., QB, (432 yards passing, 4 touchdowns, 0
interceptions, 73 yards rushing); Shaun Behrend, Jr., WR, (10 catches,
153 yards, 1 touchdown); Roosevelt Moore, Jr., LB, (13.5 tackles)
Oshkosh - Nick Wara, So., QB, (134.5 ypg, 5 touchdowns, 1 interception); Steve Wagner, Sr., WR, (5.5 catches per game, 98.0 ypg); Nick Carlson, Sr., DB, (2 interceptions, 15 tackles, 1 touchdown)
Outlook: Lakeland enters
the games coming off a emotional, last second win agianst Carthage. The
Muskies offense was near perfect as they amassed 527 yards and didn't
turn the ball over once. Brent Luebke, who was directly responsible for
505 of Lakeland's yards a week ago, figures to lead the team once again.
Wide receivers Shaun Behrend and Jeff Taff each gained over 100 yards
receiving a week ago for the Muskies. Oshkosh comes into the matchup at
1-1 after losing to #24 Wartburg, then beating Lakeland's IBFC rival Concordia-WI.
Quarterback Nick Wara leads a Oshkosh team that has been less than spectacular
on offense, gaining only 224.5 yards per game. Wara's favorite target
is wide receiver Steve Wagner who is leading the team in catches and yards.
The defense has been solid for the Titans allowing only 253 yards and
forcing three turnovers a week ago.
Last Year: Did not play
Coaches: Lakeland Coach Jeff Hynes (14-17 overall) in his fourth year. Oshkosh Coach Phil Meyer (6-14) in his third season.
Up Next: Lakeland travels to Eureka September 28th at 1:30. The Muskies next home game is October 12th against Concordia-IL.
Thriller in Season Opener!
37-34 Win on a Last Second Field Goal
Sept. 14, 2002
On Saturday the Muskies opened the 2002 season
at home with a 37-34 win against the Carthage Redmen. Lakeland gained
revenge from last season's opening day 21-15 loss to the Redmen in Kenosha.
Going into the game the Muskies knew they would be able to put up points,
but the key would be in stopping the Carthage running game.
The home opener saw no lack of offense as Lakeland racked up 527 total offensive yards and Carthage pounded out 438 total yards of their own. Despite the huge offensive day both teams had slow starts. Don Zuniga booted a 29-yard field goal to give the Redmen a 3-0 lead in the first quarter. Carthage added to their lead in the second quarter with a 5-yard touch down run by Randal Baker. The Muskies would answer on their next possession when quarterback Brent Luebke hooked up with wide receiver Shaun Behrend for a 47-yard touch down pass. Don Zuniga drilled a 42-yard field goal to give Carthage a 13-6 lead going into the locker room at halftime.
"We moved the ball well in the first half, we just couldn't put up the points. There was a touch down pass called back and that was huge at that point, because then we go into halftime with a 14-13 lead or at worst a 13-13 tie," said Head Coach Jeff Hynes.
Lakeland's offense opened the third quarter firing on all cylinders. The Muskies started the drive with Luebke hitting wide receiver Jeff Taff for a 21-yard gain. Lakeland drove down to their own 5-yard line, as Luebke was able to connect with three different receivers. Luebke topped off the 6-play 65-yard drive with a strike to senior wide receiver James Hayes. Coach Hynes decided to roll the dice and attempt a 2-point conversion. The gamble paid off as Luebke found sophomore tailback Nick Hunter out of the backfield to give the Muskies their first lead of the ball game at 14-13.
Things looked up for Lakeland as their defense held Carthage to three plays and out. Not to be outdone the Redmen defense forced a fumble on the Muskies next possession. Carthage was able to capitalize on the turnover as quarterback Patrick Brown hooked up with wide receiver John Warnecke for a 45-yard score giving them a 19-14 lead.
It only took 3 plays for the Muskies to answer with a 53-yard touch down reception by James Hayes giving Lakeland a 21-19 edge at the 8:24 mark in the third quarter. Carthage fought back with a 3-play touch down drive of their own as Randal Baker ran in from a yard out making the score 27-21 in favor of the Redmen. Continuing the seesaw battle the Muskies scored on a 4-yard quarterback keeper as Luebke punched it in the end zone. The following extra point kick attempt was tipped wide leaving the Muskies tied at 27-27. The two teams combined to score 35 points in the third quarter, but remained tied.
Kicker Don Zuniga who was good from 29-yards and 42-yards
earlier in the game missed a 31-yard attempt on Carthage's opening drive
of the fourth quarter. The game was stilled tied at 27-27, until midway
through the quarter when Warnecke broke for a 48-yard touch down reception
putting Carthage on top 34-27.
On Lakeland's next drive they were forced into a 3rd down and 22 situation after Carthage's Marc Lang and Ray Hartmann sacked quarterback Brent Luebke. The Muskies would convert as wide receiver Shaun Behrend made a great leaping grab for a 30-yard first down reception.
"Shaun made a tremendous play on that ball. It
was a great all around effort, which kept the drive alive. Luebke put
the ball where only Behrend had a shot at it and the offensive line gave
him time to throw," said Hynes.
On the next play, senior wide receiver Chris Zablocki was in the right place at the right time as he hauled in a 34-yard touch down reception, which had been tipped by fellow receiver James Hayes. Lakeland knotted things up at 34-34 with a Matt Cook extra point kick. Lakeland forced Carthage to punt on their next possession.
The stage was set for a dramatic finish as Lakeland got the ball back with only 1:52 remaining in the game and fans would not be disappointed. The Muskies drove to Carthage's 9-yard line and took two shots at the end zone, but where stopped at the 2-yard line with time running down. Lakeland setup for the game winning field goal attempt as Carthage burned their last two timeouts trying to ice the Muskie kicker. With only 2 seconds on the clock Matt Cook drilled a 19-yard field goal giving the Muskies a three-point victory 37-34.
"That was a clutch kick under pressure. Matt is a perfectionist. He is his own worst critic and I think it helps him prepare for situations like today. What may get overlooked about his performance today was his punting. He did a great job putting Carthage deep in their own territory late in the game," said Hynes.
Quarterback Brent Luebke led the offense with 73-yards rushing, 432-yards passing (5th most passing yards for a game in the schools history) and threw for 4 TD's.
"Brent played the way we knew he was capable of playing. The QB Coach Jared Amell did a great job preparing him for this game. He was able to make great reads and look off the safetie," said Hynes.
Wide receiver Shaun Behrend had a huge day. He pulled in 10 catches for 153-yards, and had a TD.
"The receivers did a great job today. They blocked down field, ran good routes, and most importantly made good runs after they caught the ball," said Hynes.
Lakeland's defense had a great day as well. They had 21 tackles for losses, led by All-Conference Linebacker Roosevelt Moore, who had 4 tackles for losses.
"Roosevelt did a great job for us. He was flying to the ball all day," said Hynes.
The Muskies travel to UW-Oshkosh next week to take on the Titans on September 21 at 6pm.
Sept. 13, 2002
Carthage (0-0, 0-0) at Lakeland (0-0, 0-0)
Game Time: Saturday, Sept. 14, 1:30pm
Location: Taylor Field on the Lakeland campus
ON THE LINE: This is the season opener for both teams and both are looking to get off on the right foot. Because of their opponents in their next games, this could prove to be a turning point for both programs even though it's early in the season. The Muskies face UW-Oshkosh in week number two, and although they're picked last in their conference, an opponent from the WIAC always presents a challenge. So the Muskies must beat a team that has escaped with a win the previous two years. Carthage follows up with an easy opponent in Benedictine University and a win verses Lakeland could mean a great start to their season.
LAST YEAR: After a scoreless first quarter Carthage jumped out to a 14-0 halftime lead. The Redmen scored at the 13:00 minute mark on a Randal Baker 24 yard run that ended a 9-play 60 yard drive. Carthage added a touchdown at the 2:05 mark on a 15 yard run by Patrick Brown to complete a short, 3-play, 15 yard yard drive to make it 14-0. Carthage expanded their lead in the third to 21-0 on a 12 yard pass from Brown to Rob Garnes at the 7:33 mark. The Muskies offense finally clicked in the fourth quarter when they scored all 15 of their points. Lakeland scored 2 points on a team safety to make it 21-2 at the 11:51 mark. At the 10:28 mark Lakeland quarterback Brent Luebke punched it it from 1-yard out t make it 21-9. Lakeland completed the scoring with 2:16 to go when quarterback Kevin Cox connected with wide receiver James Hayes from 14 yards out to make it 21-15.
LAKELAND PLAYERS TO WATCH: Junior Quarterback Brent Luebke is expected to get the nod at quarterback in the season opener. Luebke is coming off an impressive 28 of 44 showing for 362 yards and 4 touchdowns in last year's season finale verses Wisconsin Lutheran. His main targets include junior Jeff Taff (62 catches for 632 yards and 3 TD's last season), junior James Hayes (57 catches for 608 yards and 4 TD's in 2001). Taff also averaged 9.2 yards per punt return and 25.8 yards on kick-off returns last season. On defense look for Roosevelt Moore to lead the way as he accumulated 13 tackles-for-loss last season
CARTHAGE PLAYERS TO WATCH: Tailback Randal Baker rushed for 1,256 yards on 245 carries last year, second most in school history. Defensive end Ray Hartmann led the team with 68.5 tackles last season, including a team high 12 tackles-for-loss and a team high eight sacks. Quarterback Patrick Brown is Carthage's career leader in passing yardage with 2,836 yards. Another standout for the Redmen is offensive lineman Gerrit Nagarwalla. Cathage returns 32 of 61 letterwinners from 2001, seven of 11 offensive starters and six of 11 defensive starters.
Coach Jeff Hynes 13-17 overall) is in his fourth year. Carthage coach
Tim Rucks begins his 8th season at Carthage and is 31-33-1. Overall in
his career Rucks is 40-66-4 in 12 years as a head coach.
MUSKIE FOOTBALL 2002 PREVIEW
Sept. 12, 2002
The Lakeland offense has high expectations for the 2002 campaign despite losing three All-Conference selections in David Wulff, Jason King, and Jason Inghram from the 2001 squad. The 2001 Muskie offense finished 2nd in passing offense in the pass happy Illini-Badger conference amassing 272 passing yards per game. The high-powered attack returns 8 starters (including three All-Conference selections), along with numerous others who saw considerable time in 2001. These returnees coupled with a wealth of new talent bring high expectations to the perennial passing powerhouse.
Entering the 2002 campaign, all eyes will be on the promising group of talented quarterbacks. Brent Luebke and Kevin Cox have split duties throughout 2001, accounting for 2,723 passing yards (4th in school history) and 21 touchdowns. The duo also set a record against Concordia-WI with 43 pass completions. The duo will again be battling for control of the high-powered Muskie attack along with talented newcomers Ryan Maiuri, Matt Behringer, Eric Mahler, and Eric Royal
The high-powered Muskie attack will look to lean on the experience, talent, and depth of their wide receiver corps which is returning 11 members of the 2001 squad, including two All-Conference selections in Jeff Taff and James Hayes. The talented duo accounted for 119 catches, 1,240 receiving yards, and 7 touchdowns in the 2001 season. The Muskies are also looking forward to having the experience of senior Chris Zablocki back after a season ending injury in 2001. The Muskie attack will look to stretch the field with the speed and talents of returnees Shawn Behrend, Joe Huber, Eric Fritz, Jesse Ashauer, Jeff Koepsell, Sal Prieto, Jeff Harding and Brian Moser. Newcomers Brandon Greer, Mike Christianson, Jon Gilmore, Steve Flanigan, Derrick Sykes, Ryan Hauser, Brian Buggs, and Courtney Gaitlin will also bring a great deal of talent and big play ability to the receiver unit.
The Muskie offensive line will return four of its top five starters from a year ago. The offensive line will be anchored by three seniors, James Larkin, Kyle Anderson, 2001 All-Conference performer Mike Hansen, and junior Nick Fox. Juniors Shane Straseske and Mike Neuhaus will be looking to fill the void left by Jason King at the center position. Straseske started for the second half of the season after King went down with a season ending knee injury. Ryan Barnes, who started nine games for Mt. Senario in 2001 also brings additional experience to the Muskie line. Lakeland is blessed to have a wealth of freshmen who will be looking to contribute greatly on the offensive line. The coaching staff is confident in the future offensive line with this group: Andy Argall, Bryan Baldwin, Matt Benson, Chris Burdick, Brian Eder, Eddie LeMay, Rich Lembcke, Justin Lyman, Shane Schrimpf, David Vanderheiden, and Bryon Vandlen.
With the graduation of three time All-Conference player Dave Wulff, the Muskies have a changing of the guard at the running back position. Four upperclassmen are eager to show they have the ability to lead the Muskie running attack. Senior Jayson Taylor-Dawkins whose quick and shifty running style adds excitement to the Muskie offense and junior Justin Monty, who adds an intelligent and powerful running style have been waiting patiently in the wings. Sophomores Travis Gervais and speedster Nick Hunter also have great field experience and look to fight for the starting position. Freshmen Devon Jones and LeBron Oldham provide unbelievable talent to the running back position, making it one of the deepest and most talented of all the positions.
Junior Jed Manders who made the transition from quarterback to tight end in 2001 is returning to the Muskies in 2002 bigger, faster, and stronger. Jed looks to help improve the Muskie running attack while adding a great passing threat. Newcomers Matt Maicher and 6'6 Jason Miles also look to contribute greatly to the high-powered, versatile Muskie offense.
2002 Defensive Outlook
The 2002 Muskies' defense will feature a new look throughout.. New coaches include Randy Zimmerman (NMU '81) defensive coordinator/linebackers, Paul Kinsella (IL Wesleyan '95) defensive line, and Mason White (UW-SP '97) defensive backs. The Muskies will follow a bend-but-not-break philosophy that will employ a multiple front attack, with zone coverage in the secondary, in an attempt to fill the void left by the departure of four 2001 All-Conference performers; Mario Clark (1st DL), Justin Degroot (1st LB), Bryan Dermody (HM LB), and Corey Roberson (1st DB). A strong group of returning players, mixed with an outstanding group of incoming freshmen and transfer students, will provide the exceptionally talented pool of athletes who will form the 2002 defensive unit.
Seniors Matt Gunville (Ashwaubenon), Ryan Kalcich (New Berlin), and Santino Laster (Detroit, MI), along with junior Eric Luchina (Palm Springs, FL) a 2001 Honerable Mention All-Conference performer, will be called upon to provide the leadership for the defensive line. Sophomores Rick Bowerman, Johnnie Ferguson, and Nick Zeck return additional experience to this strong unit and should see extensive playing time. Transfer Robert McCallister and freshmen David Benton, Nick Bickler, Demony Cato, Juderson Desile, Jared Johnson, Bob Kelly, Joe List, Dan Miller, Joseph Santos, and Rich Skipper add depth to this unit, with several newcomers expected to see substantial time on the field this fall.
Senior Scott Ring (Iron Mountain, MI), and juniors Terrance Kilgore (Detroit, MI) and Roosevelt Moore (Hammond, IN), a 2001 All-Conference performer, will serve as leaders among a restructured linebacker corps. The change in defensive scheme will allow for a fourth starting spot to be developed at the linebacker position. Sophomores Scott Blanchard, Paul Daniels, Mike Gregory, Scott Griep, Jacob Viglianti, and Nick Villars will be battling to round out the starting roles. Transfers Kenny Grundy and Joeseph Stachina, along with freshmen Donaster Colas, Vincent Cooper, Jemaine Cox, Rodney Ellison, Robert Issac, Pete Schoen, Jason Smith, and Steve Wainio are valuable additions to the linebacker corps and will challenge the returners for playing time.
Senior Charlie Larson (Denmark), a 2001 Honerable Mention All-Conference performer, senior Eric Voigt (Menominee, MI), and junior Mark Edmond (Lansing, MI) will anchor a deep and talented group of defensive backs. Sophomores Malcom Banks, Rodney Rice, Sam Scharinger, Matt Swain, and Jason Tschudy will bring additional experience and ability. This athletic and experienced group is joined by an outstanding contingent of newcomers expected to challenge for immediate playing time. Freshmen Andy Dunlap, Samuel Jackson, Michael Gibson, Oscar Mayfield, James Rice, Deshun Tyus, and Tyrece Warner will also challenge for playing time.
AND NFL GREAT VISITS MUSKIE FOOTBALL TEAM TO SHARE MESSAGE
August 25, 2002
Former NFL Defensive Player of the Year, Bryce Paup, visited the Lakeland College football camp on Sunday afternoon to share a message with the Muskies. Paup, a linebacker who spent most of his eleven-year career with the Packers, stressed the importance of remembering God in all phases of life and to maximize the abilities he has given us to reach our goals.
Head Coach Jeff Hynes set up the session through Bryan
Baldwin, a freshman football player who belongs to the same church as
Paup, who still resides in Green Bay.
Hynes introduced Paup, who started out the session by giving an overview of his career in relation to God and how important it is to remember God in every aspect of life. After his talk, Paup followed up with a question and answer session with the Muskie players.
Paup connected with the players right away by letting them know he went to a small college and was from a small town in Iowa with a population of only 450. In fact, his high school team had only 19 players on it. He was recruited by many small schools and ended up going to Northern Iowa, which played at the NCAA, I-AA level. Paup told the players it didn't matter where you started, it mattered where you ended up. Further proof of this according to Paup, was that he had played against several small college players during his career who accomplished their goal of making it to the NFL.
Paup stated how, with his size and ability, it was his goal to make it to the NFL and nothing would get in his way. But it didn't come easy. Paup had a great sophomore year at Northern Iowa as a team (14-2) and individually. But both the team (5-6) and Paup suffered his junior year under Earl Bruce, the former Ohio State coach, who tried to force his system on Northern Iowa players that weren't capable of caring it out. He turned to God to help him through these tough times and help him reach his goals.
Then in Paup's senior year, an assistant from the old system took over and more team and individual success followed for Paup. This paved the way for Paup to be drafted in the 6th round by the Packers. (This was back when they had 12 rounds; there are currently 7 rounds in the NFL draft).
Training Camp Struggles; Preparing For Opportunities
But Paup had another challenge when he got to camp and there were 16 linebackers competing for just a few spots, including several veterans and two players drafted ahead of him. Paup turned to God again and realized no matter what he had to be prepared for any opportunities.
He studied the playbook and watched film just in case. Sure enough, a player ahead of him on the depth chart was injured and Paup made the most of it by making every play in a preseason scrimmage-a scrimmage he would have hardly played in before the other players' injury. Things looked even better when Paup performed well in a preseason game- until he hurt his hand on the last play of the game.
Paup finished camp the best he could physically, and still prepared mentally, hoping it was enough. When Coach Infante called him into his office at the end of camp things looked bleak. But Infante he gave Paup two choices: be put on waivers and hope someone else claims him, or be put on the injured reserve list and practice the year with the Packers. Paup chose the latter.
Being prepared and taking advantage of opportunities was Paup's goal for the season. Paup took advantage of his fresh legs and made a name for himself with the Packers during every practice and scrimmage.
Paup stressed to the young Muskies the importance of being ready. He said you never know when your opportunity will come but you could be just an injury or illness away. When the time comes make the best of it. He especially mentioned it to the newcomers who are 4th or 5th on the depth chart. Don't let anyone get in the way of your goals and keep working towards them.
Stay Focused and Level Headed
The next year Tim Harris held out and Paup had 7 ½ sacks in his first 7 games before an injury and made a name for himself in the NFL. But he got big headed.
In the following season under Mike Holmgren, Paup held out for more money because he felt slighted. He finally signed a few weeks into camp but lost his starting job 6 games into the season and was on the verge of possibly being cut.
Again Paup remembered his priorities and turned to God. He said "Help me, I ruined it." God was listening because the Packers had Detroit up next and with their running style with Barry Sanders, Holmgren was forced to start Paup. But Holmgren challenged the team by saying that some players better step up or they won't be here much longer. He was looking right at Paup when he said this.
Paup responded with a great game, which led to a strong finish of the season. He stressed to the Muskies he did it by remembering his old stand bye: get the most of his god-given abilities by staying focused through preparation and work ethic.
This newly remembered attitude led to 3 more great seasons, including his last two with the Packers and his first with the Buffalo Bills in 1995. The Packers never made Paup an offer after the 1994 season, figuring he would cost too much. The Bills were the beneficiary, as they signed Paup to a multi-year deal. Paup responded with 17 ½ sacks and was named the NFL Defensive Player of the Year.
Back to Basics
After a few years however, including another Pro Bowl season in 1996 (based on reputation-not performance according to Paup), Paup said he got a little big headed and got away from his habits of maximizing his ability. These poor habits and a career threatening injury brought him back to God.
He wasn't able to prepare for his next season running-wise until just a month before training camp. He didn't know if it was enough and realized he might not make the team. Paup turned to God again to help him prepare and work. Paups' prayers were answered, when he made the team and responded with 78 tackles and 9.5 sacks in 1997.
This new inspired work ethic allowed Paup to play three more years in the NFL. He moved from Buffalo to Jacksonville in 1998, and finished his career with Minnesota in 2000.
Paup emphasized to the team that he's now trying to keep God in his life with everything he does because ultimately, you are going to answer to him. He said that God holds us accountable for every minute of every day. He told the players they had their whole life in front of them and not to waste it; to let God direct you because your ability will only go so far.
A few times throughout his talk Paup referred to Wayne Simmons, a former teammate who was recently killed in a car accident. Paup said that it was the perfect example of someone that had the world by the tail but wasted it. Paup said he should still be playing but Simmons was wrapped up in having too much fun and wasted his talent. This is what set Paup and Simmons apart according to Paup. By allowing God into his life, Paup had the guidance necessary to maximize his abilities and be the best he could be through preparing and a strong work ethic.
Coach Hynes' Response
Coach Hynes was thrilled that Paup took the time to meet with his team and share his message.
"Bryce's message is very applicable to all phases of life whether its sports, business or your personal life," said Hynes. "He talked about how God has bestowed upon us all of these abilities and it's up to us to perfect them. It can be translated into everything we do on a daily basis," added Hynes.
"It's easy to see why Bryce was the Defensive Player of the Year and a 5-time Pro Bowl selection," said Hynes. "He was extremely realisic with himself by setting lofty but attainable goals that he was always working towards. Everyone needs to be challenged and set goals. If you don't, you just exist and aspire to achieve nothing," noted Hynes.
"It was good for our younger athletes to hear from an individual that's had great success to know it doesn't happen overnight and how much hard work goes into it," said Hynes. "It's also important to remember that even successful people like Bryce, who had an eleven year career in the NFL, had multiple setbacks while trying to reach his goals," stated Hynes.
Q & A
Paup finished out his talk with the Muskies with a question and answer session. He said for the past two years he has been catching up with his wife and 4 young kids while preparing things financially for the next twenty years. He has also started a construction company and looks to finish his first house in the next few months. Paup stated he will probably finish his degree in the future (he has one semester left) but has a couple other priorities to work on first, especially his family.
He also answered many of the "curiosity" type questions the Muskie players had for him including: best lineman he played against: Tony Boselli and Jonathan Ogden, best quarterback: Brett Farve with Dan Marino and Kurt Warner a close second, best running back: Barry sanders hands down, best pass rushers: Bruce Smith and Reggie White, biggest talkers on the field: Kevin Green, Tim Harris, John Randle, and Ted Washington, hardest hit he gave: to QB Paul Justin (was fined $12,000 by NFL for the hit), hardest hit he took: by fullback Lorenzo Neal from Tampa Bay, his favorite players growing up: Tony Dorsett and Roger Staubach, and his maximum bench: 465 pounds.
Finally, Paup was proud of the fact that Northern Iowa is the only college ever to have a NFL Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year in himself and Kurt Warner.