Lakers use muscle, finesse to roll past Cardinals

By Tom Stephens

Last season, Triad made it to the 2014 OHSAA Div. VII football playoffs with a 6-4 record, thanks in large part to the Cardinals shocking Div. II Indian Lake, 20-18, in the season opener at Triad and garnering the boatload of computer points that went with the win.

The Cardinals aren’t going to get that huge bump this year.

Dominating both sides of the ball and showing off an impressive kicking game, the Lakers scored early and often against the visiting Cardinals Aug. 28, dropping a 41-0 goose egg on the visitors from Champaign County, ending a two-game losing streak to Triad.

The win marks the first time in five years that Indian Lake posted a victory in its football home opener.

Senior quarterback Alex Jacobs connected on three touchdown passes and threw for 236 yards on 12 completions. The Lakers (1-0 overall, 0-0 CBC Mad River Division) ground out another 260 yards on 39 rushing attempts, allowing the hosts to control the ball throughout the game and keep the Triad (0-1 overall, 0-0 Ohio Heritage Conference) offense off the field. The balanced attack kept the Triad defense on its heels all night, with Indian Lake scoring a touchdown in each of the four quarters, including a 20-point outburst in the second.

Six of the 20 points scored by the Lakers in the second came courtesy of a toe belonging to Connor Davis, who booted two field goals – one each from 47 and 39 yards – to give Indian Lake a 27-0 lead headed into the locker room.

The closest Triad got to scoring was on its first possession of the third quarter when the Cardinals put together a 77-yard drive, only to see it end when Andrew Hubert picked off a tipped pass in the end zone to end the threat. Joey Davidson also intercepted a pass for the Lakers.

Colin Coburn caught two touchdown passes from Jacobs, including a 36-yard pass on a fourth-and-two play in the third quarter. Davidson caught Jacobs’ other TD pass from 17-yards out in the first quarter for the Lakers’ first score. Cole Merritt capped the scoring in the final period with a 25-yard dash to the end zone and was the game’s leading rusher, collecting 139 yards on 16 carries.

Triad was the first of four teams that made it to the 2014 OHSAA playoff last year that Indian Lake will face in the first five weeks of the season. The Lakers visit Kenton Ridge in a CBC-crossover Sept. 4. The Cougars pasted Northeastern, 40-0, in their season opener Aug. 28. After that, the Lakers will host Upper Scioto Valley before playing cross-county-rival Bellefontaine and powerhouse Tippecanoe.

By Tom Stephens