Football Defeats MacMurray, 42-21, on Homecoming
Athletics - posted on 10/8/2005
The Lakeland football team rewarded a Homecoming crowd of just over 1,000 people with a 42-21 victory over MacMurray Saturday, setting up a big conference showdown next week at Concordia, Wis.
Senior defensive lineman David Benton's 18-yard interception return for a touchdown with 4:02 left in the third quarter broke a 14-all tie. Just four plays later, the Muskies (4-2, 3-0 Illini-Badger Football Conference) blocked a punt in the end zone that senior linebacker Nick Hunter grabbed for a touchdown, giving the Muskies a 28-14 leads with just under two minutes remaining in the third and capping a stretch that proved to be the game's turning point.
"I knew they were going to run something tricky, so when the halfback ran past me I just sat on it and he ended up throwing it straight to me," said Benton, who had a breakout performance Saturday after missing several games earlier this season with a separated shoulder.
Lakeland's defense dominated again, racking up seven sacks, three interceptions and 16 tackles for loss. Benton led the way with four sacks and an interception, while senior linebacker Ryan Van De Loo recorded eight tackles, including four for loss, and an interception.
"Benton played great," said Lakeland head coach Jim Zebrowski. "They were unable to block him. Benton and Ryan Van De Loo just dominated this game."
Lakeland got on the board first after MacMurray senior punter Chris Crowe's foot touched the back line of the end zone to give the Muskies a safety. Senior quarterback Ryan Maiuri's five-yard run with 5:03 left in the first quarter and a missed extra point attempt made it 8-0.
But MacMurray (2-3, 1-2) answered, and when junior quarterback Michael Schmidtke found freshman Terry Martin on a 14-yard TD pass with 8:57 left in the first half, the Highlanders led 14-8.
The Muskies tied the game when Maiuri hit senior receiver Mike Christian on a 26-yard pass, giving Christian the first TD catch of his career.
"They played up on me, I went inside and then went back to the outside, Ryan threw a great ball," said Christian. "It felt great. With the Homecoming atmosphere, I was able to get into the end zone on a hot route and it was great."
With the game tied at 14, the Highlanders appeared to take the lead on a muffed extra point attempt by freshman Dan Lucchesi. A Highlander player picked up the ball and ran it back for two points, but the play was called back on a clip that was well behind the play.
"I was very happy to come out of the locker room in the second half, because we were able to grab the lead and pull away," Zebrowski said. "It was a great game in the first half. Our kids played really well in the second half and got the victory."
Lakeland's final two scores came when Maiuri hooked up with junior Matt Martin with 11:21 left in the fourth quarter, and when Maiuri found sophomore MacArthur White on an 11-yard fade pass late in the game.
Maiuri finished 9 of 19 through the air for 171 yards and three TDs. White had three catches for 62 yards and Christian had three catches for 52 yards. The Muskies had 323 total yards offensively.
The Muskies head to Mequon next Saturday to face Concordia, Wis., in a showdown between the IBFC's only unbeaten teams. Concordia beat Concordia, Ill., Saturday 60-0 to secure the matchup of league unbeatens. The winner of the game will have the inside track towards winning their second consecutive IBFC championship, as both schools were co-champions with Aurora last season.
Share This Story Help
Lakeland offers links to several popular social bookmarking services. These links help you share stories with other people or create bookmarks for future reference. The services are free, but they require a personal account. Click for more information on social bookmarking
<< Return to News