Lakers top Northwestern with strong defense

By Tom Stephens

The Indian Lake defense has prided itself this season on its ability to stop the run, but the Lakers went over the top in a 38-14 shellacking of Northwestern in Lewistown Oct. 9. Not only did the Lakers shut down the Warrior running game, they stuffed it in a box and sat on the lid, allowing the Warriors a total of minus-one yards on 22 rushing attempts.

Indian Lake (5-2 overall, 2-0 in the CBC Mad River Division) put Northwestern (3-4 overall, 0-2 MRD) in a hole early, jumping out to a 24-7 lead at the break with quarterback Alex Jacobs running for two TDs – one from five-yards out and another one of 29 yards – and tossing for another score, a three-yard flip to Collin Coburn late in the second quarter. This, combined with the Lakers’ absolute refusal to allow the Warriors to run the ball and Connor Davis’ 32-yard field goal, kept the visitors literally scrambling the entire second half night in an attempt to keep up. Northwestern was able to rack up 224 passing yards in the game, but the Laker defense logged five sacks and was able to keep the ball to their front and inbounds all night, not allowing the Warriors break one loose for a score until late in the game when the outcome was no longer in doubt.

QB Jacobs is getting better every week, running head coach Dave Coburn’s offense with efficiency, poise and increasing confidence. Against Northwestern, Jacobs coolly connected on 14 of this 18 passing attempts for 143 yards and two touchdowns (this in addition to his two rushing TDs), hitting five different receivers, not tossing an interception, and tucking it in and running when the case warranted.

As a team, Indian Lake rushed for 150 yards on 27 carries, mixing it up well with Jacobs’ spot-on passing and keeping the Warriors off-kilter throughout the game. Cole Merritt gained 86 yards to lead the Lakers, including a 21-yard rumble in the third quarter where he broke three tackles and carried both the ball and a Northwestern defender into the end zone for a TD. The Lakers didn’t put up eye-popping numbers – they had just under 300 total yards for the game – but didn’t turn the ball over, played the clock to a T (the Lakers had the ball ten minutes less than did the Warriors), converted its one fourth down attempt and six of nine third-down attempts.

Next up for Indian Lake is a trip to play Greenon, which has yet to win a game this season, Oct. 16 in another MRD matchup for the Lakers. According to the website, the Lakers will go into the game with a hold on the #8 slot in the Division 4, Region 12 OHSAA high school football computer rankings. The top eight teams in each of the 26 regions earn the right to participate in the state tournament at the end of the season.

By Tom Stephens