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The Lakeland College football team hopes to retain the Cheese Bowl trophy for the fourth straight season when it faces rival Concordia University Wisconsin on Saturday at noon in Mequon, Wis.
The all-time series is currently tied at 17 after 34 meetings.
Lakeland will also be playing for a .500 record, as the Muskies are 4-5 overall, 4-2 in the Northern Athletics Conference, after a 33-7 win over Maranatha Baptist last Saturday. The Falcons (3-6, 3-3 NAC) are coming off a 31-14 loss to Concordia University Chicago.
The Falcons' offense is averaging 306.1 yards per game, 121.9 rushing and 184.2 passing. They are led by freshman quarterback Austin Damaschke, who has completed 110 of 201 passes for 1,370 yards, 14 touchdowns and eight interceptions.
The Falcons' receivers are led by junior Erik West, who has 35 catches for 442 yards and three touchdowns. Sophomore James Saunders has 33 catches for 278 yards and three TDs, while freshman Garret Wenzelburger has 18 catches for 188 yards and seven TDs.
The Falcons' running game is led by sophomore Joseph Paul who has 488 yards on 100 carries, scoring three TDs. Junior Carlton Austin has rushed for 373 yards on 97 carries and six TDs.
Lakeland's offense, which has continued to improve each week, is averaging 287.3 yards per game, 149.9 rushing and 137.4 passing. Sophomore QB Dylan Van Straten has completed 90 of 196 passes for 1,227 yards, 10 TDs and 10 interceptions.
The Muskies' receivers are led by senior Justin Groeneveld, who has 39 catches for 681 yards and nine touchdowns. Senior tight end Eric Zuelsdorf has 12 catches for 152 yards and junior Justin Laack has 11 catches for 135 yards.
Freshman running back Tarrel Jackson leads all Muskies running backs with 393 yards on 109 carries and three TDs. Van Straten has added 374 yards on 149 carries while scoring five TDs, and freshman Kendrick Burks has added 325 yards on 88 carries and scored twice.
Lakeland knows that in order to win this week they need to take advantage of any scoring chances. "We have struggled inside the red zone this year," said Lakeland offensive coordinator Peter Hahm. "When we are given those opportunities, we need to capitalize. We are missing assignments and we don't have the will to score. We need to change our mindset and fix our mental mistakes."
The Cheese Bowl began in 1992 and, as the only true rivalry game for the Muskies, it's a special event for the program each season. "The Cheese Bowl is a big game for this program," said Lakeland head coach Kevin Doherty. "It's the last game of the year and the final game for our seniors. We will play with a lot of emotion, and hopefully we can get that fifth conference win."
To hear defensive coordinator Colin Bruton's thoughts on this week's game, click here.
To see what Doherty believes are the keys to the game, click here.
To see what the Hahm has to say about this week's matchup, click here.
Live video of the 2011 Cheese Bowl will be available here: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/cuw-falcons