- Evening, Weekend & Online Programs
- ALUMNI RELATIONS
- GIVING TO LAKELAND
- ABOUT LAKELAND
Carthage picked off Lakeland's two-point conversion pass in overtime to hand the Muskies a disappointing 35-34 loss at Taylor Field on Saturday.
The play, made by Carthage's Josh Brennan, capped a wild non-conference game that saw the teams combine to score 38 points in the final 3:30 of regulation and overtime.
The Redman (2-0) grabbed a 35-28 lead just one play into OT when Evan Jones connected with Tim Lukas on a 25-yard touchdown pass. It was one of three TD passes for Jones on the day, as he finished 20-for-36 with 234 yards and one interception.
The Muskies (0-2) responded. Facing a third-and-9, senior quarterback Jake Dworak hit sophomore receiver Logan Hughley with an 11-yard pass to keep the drive alive. Two plays later, junior Jeremy Williams scored on a five-yard TD run, to bring Lakeland within one and set up Brennan's game-saving heroics.
Lakeland head coach Kevin Doherty said the muddy conditions on the rain-soaked field and the burst of momentum from Lakeland's OT score led him to go for the win instead of the tie.
"I looked at the kids' eyes and was reading their body language and I could hear a lot of guys saying, 'We're at home, let's go for two and go for the win,' and I agreed," Doherty said. "I didn't want to put a lot of pressure on our kicker to make an extra point, because a miss or a botched snap would be a horrible way to lose a game.
"We're at home, it's a muddy field and we had some momentum and decided to go for two. They made a nice play on us."
Carthage led 18-6 with 3:55 left in the third quarter, but both teams erupted offensively. Lakeland junior receiver Roberto Flores had a big day, finishing with 13 catches for 175 yards and three touchdowns. The 13 catches ties him with MacArthur White for fourth in receptions in a single game.
One of Flores' biggest catches came with 6:30 to play and Lakeland trailing 18-13 and facing a fourth-and-6 deep in Carthage territory. Flores caught a pass over the middle for eight yards between a pair of Redmen defenders.
"He just willed that ball to himself," Doherty said. "His last touchdown catch (which gave Lakeland a 28-21 lead with 1:08 to play) was a converted route. Roberto was supposed to run a stop, make the catch and get out of bounds with the first down, but he had the defender beat and just took off. Jake saw it and Roberto made a great catch in the end zone.
"We were in a position at the end to win and that's all I can ask of our guys."
Dworak finished 20-for-39 with 235 yards, three TDs and three interceptions. Williams had 76 yards on 22 carries with a pair of TDs.
Defensively, junior Tony Faller led Lakeland with 11 tackles, including two for loss, and senior Joey O'Brien added nine. Faller and senior Keith Woodson each broke up four pass attempts.
Lakeland has a bye the weekend of Sept. 18-19 and returns to action on Saturday, Sept. 25, with its road opener at Hope College in Holland, Mich. Doherty said he'll encourages his players to be proud of each other and keep faith in the progress they're making.
"If we play like we did in the second half the rest of the way, we're going to be very happy come mid-November," Doherty said.