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Junior MacArthur White caught touchdown passes of 15 and 33 yards and added an 89-yard kickoff return as the Lakeland College football team opened its Illini-Badger Football Conference schedule with a 28-13 win over Greenville Saturday at Taylor Field.
With the win, Lakeland (1-3, 1-0 IBFC) begins defense of its conference championship with its fifth straight win in conference openers after a grueling non-conference schedule that left them 0-3.
"We could have come out of the non-conference schedule at 2-1 and had momentum," said Lakeland coach Jim Zebrowski after the game. "But like I told the guys, 'If you want momentum, take it,' and they did."
After the Muskies fell behind 7-0 late in the first quarter, White grabbed the momentum as he found a hole in the right side on the ensuing kickoff and took it 89 yards to tie the game.
"I know a lot of people on the sideline probably had their heads down after [Greenville's] score, especially after the other team scored first in the first three games," White said. "I just wanted to get the momentum back on our side."
Lakeland pulled ahead just before half when junior quarterback Brad Wilk found White on a 15-yard pass on a bootleg to put the Muskies up 13-7.
Sophomore running back Brandon Erdman added a three-yard touchdown run in the third quarter, and Wilk hooked up with White again in the fourth, this time from 33 yards out.
White finished the game with 212 all-purpose yards, including 110 yards receiving on seven catches.
Lakeland's defense forced four Panther turnovers, including two fumbles inside the red zone. Greenville falls to 1-2 overall.
Wilk went 10-for-18 for 143 yards and the two touchdowns to White, while Erdman finished with 94 yards on 16 carries and a touchdown.
"I think the guys are starting to realize that we're a very good football team," said Zebrowski. "We have yet to play a complete football game, but I can't wait until we do."
Lakeland will host Benedictine, which opened its conference schedule Saturday with a win over Concordia-Chicago, next Saturday at 1 p.m.