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The Lakeland College football team lost its sixth straight home opener, falling to Hope College, 28-14, on Saturday afternoon.
The Muskies (0-3) got off to a solid first-half start and led 14-7 at halftime. But the Flying Dutchmen's offense came to life in the second half and scored 21 unanswered points to earn the win.
Hope (2-2) scored first, driving 88 yards on 12 plays, to take an early point lead. After Lakeland fumbled deep inside Hope territory, the Muskies defense forced a three-and-out, and following Hope's punt, Lakeland sophomore quarterback Dylan Van Straten (Shiocton, Wis.) kept a ball on the option for a 39-yard touchdown to tie the game.
The Muskies scored again in the first half after a botched Hope punt gave Lakeland the ball on the Hope two-yard line. Van Straten again ran it in for the score and the completed a two-point conversion to senior wide receiver Justin Groeneveld (Kingsford, Mich.)
The Muskies were shut out in the second half, while Hope got its ground game going.
Late in the fourth quarter, the Muskies lost Van Straten to injury after he was hit from behind while trying to complete a shovel pass. He was taken to the hospital for precautionary reasons and his status for next week's game is uncertain.
Overall, the Muskies finished with a season-high 273 yards of offense, 159 rushing and 114 passing. Van Straten played well in the first half, completing 3 of 6 passes for 56 yards and rushing seven times for 57 yards and two touchdowns. Hope made the adjustments at halftime and Van Straten finished 6 of 14 passing for 114 yards and one interception, while rushing 18 times for 51 yards.
Freshman running back Tarrel Jackson (Detroit, Mich.) led the Muskies with 19 carries for 76 yards rushing, while Groeneveld led the Muskies with three catches for 61 yards receiving.
Lakeland's defense played well, allowing 286 total yards of offense, 156 rushing and 130 passing. Junior linebacker Bruce Romagnoli (Iron Mountain, Mich.) led the Muskies with 17 tackles and two sacks. Senior safety Tony Faller (Oostburg, Wis.) added 11 tackles, one for a loss.
To see what Lakeland head coach Kevin Doherty thought of the teams' performance, click here.
The Muskies shoot for their first win on Saturday, Oct. 1, when they begin Northern Athletics Conference play by hosting Aurora University. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. at Taylor Memorial Field.