LAGRANGE – The Churubusco football team pounded Lakeland 42-12 last week, starting the season 2-0.
“I’m happy for our kids. They played well,” said Churubusco head coach Paul Sade. “Lakeland is a good football team that is hard to defend. Our defensive staff did a great job of laying out a game plan, and the kids executed that plan. Lakeland is bigger than we are, and we were still able to move the ball well and shut down their offense.”
Lakeland started the game with momentum, driving the ball downfield, but a fumble recovery halted the momentum. Churubusco’s Gage Kelly started Churubusco’s first possession by running the ball for a 14-yard gain. Churubusco went up 7-0 with a long pass from Tom Richards to Mason Anderson for a 54-yard touchdown.
The Lakers (0-2) scored two drives later on a 75-yard run by Senior Nolan Isaacs. Lakeland did not convert the two-point conversion, and Lakeland trailed 7-6 after the first quarter.
Nathaniel Keener started the second quarter with an 18-yard and 13-yard runs, which pushed the Eagles into the red zone. A three-yard reception by Sam Wood led Churubusco to its second touchdown, and the Eagles led 14-6. Churubusco’s defense held strong, forcing Lakeland to punt on its next possession.
The Richards-Anderson duo continued to be effective for Churubusco, as the pair connected again for a 21-yard pass. The drive ended on a three-yard touchdown run by Wood to make the score 21-6.
On the next possession, Churubusco returned a punt to the Laker 46-yard line. A three-yard run by Keener led the Eagles to another touchdown, going up 28-6 with 1:56 left in the half. Lakeland had an opportunity to score before half, but was forced to punt by the Eagle defense.
To start the second half, Richards connected on a 36-yard touchdown pass to Anderson. The play made the score 35-6 early in the third quarter.
“We want to throw the ball more. We have a good slinger in our quarterback, and I’m pleased with how he threw the ball tonight,” Sade said.
Lakeland’s offense broke free for a big play in the third quarter. Junior A.J. Poe threw the ball to Isaacs for a 56-yard play. A fumble on fourth-and-2 a few plays later made the Lakers turnover the ball. Churubusco then scored on a three-yard run by Austin Lehman on the next drive to make the score 42-6.
Lakeland was able to score in the fourth quarter. Junior Adam Kreider ran the ball in from a few yards out to make the score 42-12.
Richards completed six out of his seven passes for 135 yards and three touchdowns. Keener led the Eagle rushing game with 160 yards and a touchdown. Gage Kelly had 61 yards on just six carries. Wood had 52 yards and a touchdown.
“We want to spread the ball to many of our running backs,” said Sade. “Garrett Horn (injured) is one of those guys that we could have given the ball to a lot. Now that he’s out, Keener is going to be getting many of those carries, but we do want to have multiple full backs touching the ball.”
Anderson led Churubusco in receiving with 108 yards in three receptions and two touchdowns.
Trevor Holloway and Lehman led the Eagles defensively with 5.5. tackles each. Case Lemper, Reese Wicker and Parker Curry all had three tackles apiece. Isaacs was the Lakers’ only playmaker of the night with 114 rushing yards on 12 carries. Isaacs also had 120 yards receiving in five catches.