Football Preview: Lakeland Hopes to Stop Defending
IBFC Champ, MacMurray
Oct. 2, 2003
Lakeland (3-1, 1-0) vs. MacMurray (2-1, 1-0)
Game Time: Saturday, Oct. 4, 1:30pm
Location: Lakeland College, Taylor Field
by: Corey Kempf
Players to Watch: Lakeland (stats through four games) - Brent Luebke, Sr., QB (60 for 124, 700 yards; 49 rushes, 116 yards, 3 TDs), Marcus Denham, Fr., RB (59 rushes, 208 yards, 1 TD), Jeff Taff, Sr., WR (19 receptions, 237 yards, 2 TDs), Shaun Behrend, Sr., WR (17 receptions, 195 yards, 3 TDs), Roosevelt Moore, Sr., LB (27 tackles, 1 sack), Mike Gregory, Jr., LB (26 tackles, 1 sack), Ryan Van De Loo, So., LB (22 tackles, 1 sack, 1 INT, 1 TD), Nick Zeck, So., DL (15 tackles, 5 sacks), Jacob Vigilante, Jr., LB (13 tackles, 1 sack, 1 INT). MacMurray (stats through three games) - Jarod Tapia, Sr., QB (22 for 68, 298 yards, 3 TDs), Peter Ereg, So., RB (53 rushes, 176 yards, 1 TD), Anthony Ballerino, Jr., WR (12 receptions, 165 yards, 2 TDs), Orlando Hughes, Jr., LB (20.5 tackles, 1 INT), Josh Cummings, So., LB (17 tackles, 1 INT), Larry Pirollo, Fr., LB (17 tackles, 2 sacks), Jake Kinsey, Sr., DB (13.5 tackles, 2 INTs), Aaron Black, So., DL (16.5 tackles, 1 sack).
Outlook: MacMurray enters the contest having won two straight Illini-Badger titles and have already started their season 1-0 in conference. However, the Highlanders lost an All-Conference quarterback to graduation after last season, but do return two All-Conference running backs in Peter Ereg and Nehemia Parker. Even so, the Highlanders season has not started quickly. After squeaking out a 10-6 victory over Manchester College, they lost at home to Washington University, before starting the conference schedule with a seven point victory over Concordia (IL). They have only outscored opponents 38-37 which can be attributed to a slow start for the offense.
The Muskies come in with an impressive 51-0 blowout over Eureka in which the Lakeland defense held Eureka to 189 yards of total offense, while also scoring a touchdown on a Ryan Van De Loo's fumble recovery. The offense showed the same success, gaining almost 500 total yards behind quarterbacks Brent Luebke and Ryan Maiuri. The Muskies have now outscored their opponents 121-55 on the season. The way the team is coming together, it's an excellent time for them to play the two-time defending conference champs. Expect the Muskie defense to shut down the Highlanders while the Muskie offense finishes the job in ending MacMurray's conference unbeaten streak.
Coaches: Jim Zebrowski is 3-1 in his first year as head coach of Lakeland. Brandon McCray is 2-1 in his first year as head coach.
Last Year: The Muskies fell at MacMurray 16-6.