Muskie Football Blanks Eureka In Conference Opener
Sept. 27, 2003
Lakeland's offense was firing on all cylinders Saturday at home as they rolled over the Eureka Red Devils 51-0. The win comes a week after a heartbreaking loss in 4-OT's at UW-Oshkosh. The Muskies improved to 3-1 and 1-0 in the Illini-Badger Football Conference. Eureka remains winless at 0-4 and 0-1 in the IBFC.
In the first quarter Lakeland jumped out to a 7-0 lead after a 13 yard touchdown reception by Jeff Taff from Brent Luebke.
The Muskies defense would step up as Mark Edmond picked off a deflected pass at Lakeland's own 32 yard line setting up Lakeland's next drive. Lakeland would take advantage of the turnover as Muskies running back Marcus Denham punched it in from 3 yards out making it 14-0.
The touchdown was set up by a 43 yard reception by Courtney Gatlin from Luebke, which gave the Muskies a 1st down at the Eureka 17 yard line. Denham scored with time running out in the 1st quarter.
Early in the 2nd quarter the Muskies were faced with a 4th and 11 from Eureka's 33 yard line. With a 14-0 lead and being just out of field goal range the Muskies would go for it. Backup quarterback Ryan Maiuri would pick up the 1st down and then some, as he hooked up with James Hayes for a 33 yard touchdown pass giving Lakeland a 21-0 lead.
On Lakeland's next possession Luebke found a wide open Taff for a 63 yard touchdown strike putting Lakeland up 27-0 as the two-point conversion failed. The Muskies would take that lead into half.
The Red Devils tried to turn the tide with an onside kick recovery to start the second half. Eureka drove down to the Lakeland 16 yard line, but the Red Devils turned the ball over again on a Paul Daniels interception.
With 8:06 remaining in the 3rd quarter Lakeland's defense put the game out of reach when Sheboygan Falls' native, sophomore linebacker Ryan Van De Loo, recovered a fumble in the end zone making the score 34-0.
The Muskies would add to their lead in the 4th quarter. Lakeland's kicker Gerald Starner booted a 22 yard field goal giving the Muskies a 37 point lead. Sixty-three seconds later Eric Fritz scored another Muskie touchdown as he ran in from 2 yards out. And wrapping up the scoring for Lakeland was Aaron Barrie as he broke a run for a 23 yard touchdown giving the Muskies a 51-0 victory.
The Muskies demonstrated a balanced attack on offense Saturday. Lakeland picked up 21 first downs on 249 rushing yards and 239 passing yards. The offensive was lead by Luebke completing 7-15 passes for 168 yards, 2 TD's, and he had 4 rushing attempts for 37 yards. Taff grabbed 3 receptions for 93 yards and 2 TD's, including a 63 yard touchdown strike in the second quarter. The work horse was Denham who rushed 19 times for 87 hard fought yards and a touchdown.
Lakeland's defense led the way for the Muskies by only allowing Eureka 189 yards of total offense. Three different Muskies had interceptions: Paul Daniels, Erich Voight, and Mark Edmond. The Muskies recorded 5 sacks, led by Nick Zeck (2), Johnnie Ferguson, Ryan Van De Loo, and Mike Novotny. The Muskies also had a fumble recovery for a touchdown.
Next Saturday the Muskies are at home against MacMurray. Kick-off is scheduled for 1:30 pm.