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The Lakeland College football team could not muster enough offense in the second half, losing to Benedictine University, 46-21, at home on Saturday.
Lakeland falls to 2-6 overall, 1-4 in Northern Athletics Conference play. NAC leader Benedictine improves to 6-2, 5-0 in the NAC.
The first half looked promising as Lakeland took its opening drive 42 yards on six plays, capped by a touchdown pass from senior quarterback Jake Dworak to junior running back Jeremy Williams.
Benedictine answered with a 13-play, 55-yard scoring drive. After an interception gave the Eagles a short field, they would score on an 18-yard pass from Preston Earl to running back John Borsellino, one of four TDs on the day for the sophomore running back.
The Muskies' offense continued to play well as it put together its own nine-play, 55-yard drive, capped by a two-yard Williams TD run. The teams were tied at 14 at the half.
Dworak flashed his running skills on Lakeland's final scoring drive, which included a 40-yard TD run to tie the game at 21.
Miscues would cost the Muskies in the second half, as two fumbles and an interception led to 21 more points, and the Eagles' defense shutout Lakeland for the final 23 minutes. Williams and Dworak each had fumbles that led to touchdowns and Lakeland freshman QB Brandon Paulson threw a late interception that the Eagles returned for a touchdown.
Four of Lakeland's five turnovers (three interceptions, two fumbles) led to 28 points for the Eagles.
"I thought we played better this week, but we didn't finish drives," Lakeland head coach Kevin Doherty said. "We gave up some big plays on third down. We had too many dropped passes. The mistakes in the second half came at critical times, and a good team like Benedictine will take advantage of those mistakes."
Benedictine had 332 total yards, 128 rushing and 204 passing. The Muskies had four players with double-digit tackles, led by junior Jason Bruggink with 14. Sophomore Bruce Romanoli added 13 and senior Bryan Groshek had 10. Junior Tony Faller had a big day with 11 tackles, 1.5 for a loss, one interception and one pass break-up.
Offensively, the Muskies had 266 yards, 112 rushing and 154 passing. Dworak completed 14 of 31 passes for 154 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. He was the team's leading rusher with 56 yards on eight carries and a touchdown. Williams was the team's leading receiver with three catches for 38 yards and a touchdown. He added 45 yards rushing on 15 carries and one touchdown.
Lakeland continues NAC play at Maranatha Baptist on Saturday, Nov. 6, a 12 p.m. start.