Flyers look forward to challenge Eastwood presents

J. Patrick Eaken

        For Lake first-year coach Josh Andrews, he has to worry about which team shows up against 7-0 state ranked Eastwood — the team that is going to be on their game or the team that is not.
        For Lake, lately it’s been more and more the team that is on their game. Part of that is because he had only one returning offensive lineman at the start of the season, and now the line is starting to gel.
        To the point where the 3-4 Flyers have wins over Northern Buckeye Conference opponents Rossford (5-2), 48-21, Otsego (4-3), 45-7, and Woodmore (0-7), 20-10.
        However, there was a 22-14 loss to Fostoria (4-3) sandwiched in between, and the Flyers opened with three non-league losses, also to teams with strong playoff aspirations — Patrick Henry (6-1), 30-0, Northwood (7-0), 46-14, and Archbold (6-1), 21-7. Lake had not faced a team with a losing record until Friday’s game at Woodmore, and their first six opponents are a combined 30-8.
        “Sometimes it’s the tale of two teams and we’ve really tried to simplify it to the point where they say, ‘No kidding, Coach. We know that,’ Andrews said. “When they want to get after people they do.
        “It was a quality Rossford team, well-coached, and the same thing with Otsego — a nice team. Both offenses were potent offenses that our defense did a nice job with. Those two games, with the big return Otsego had to start the game and they took the first series down and scored.
        “Same thing with Rossford — first play from the line of scrimmage is a 56-yard buck sweep. So, it’s definitely where we start, and then we get into a Fostoria game where it is a battle, 0-0, and then at halftime we’re down six and we waited until there was six minutes to go in the game and we scored twice in 30 seconds and tried to give it a go but just didn’t have enough,” Andrews continued.
        “So, that’s what we really preach is that we just can’t start fast sometimes, but it’s how we come out of the gate. When we do, we’re definitely a pretty good football team.”
        Because of the type of competition, Lake’s returning skilled offensive players haven’t put up the kind of numbers they did last year, but they will get there, Andrews promises.
        Heading into the Woodmore game, Lake senior running back Scott Mackiewicz had 391 yards on 82 carries and three touchdowns, plus he caught three passes for nine yards.
        “He rushed for maybe 30 yards on seven carries at Otsego, and you wouldn’t have known it,” Andrews said. “He was excited that the team got a win. But not everyone is like that, especially in high school and he’s a thousand-yard back.
        “He’s a little behind to get there, but our kids want him to get back to that 1,000-yard season and obviously I do, too. The quality of kids that we have, it’s definitely a team before me type atmosphere from these kids. That’s nice.”
        Junior quarterback Tyler Saffran has thrown 33 completions in 82 passes for 437 yards and four TDs, but he has also been intercepted four times. Saffran ran for another 232 yards on 59 carries and seven TDs. His big game finally came against Otsego, throwing three touchdowns passes, running for two more and even kicking a 32-yard field goal.
        “It was kind of a breakout game for him,” Andrews said. “We hadn’t been able to throw the ball really well. He wasn’t real comfortable at times. Sometimes the pass projection was good and sometimes it wasn’t so we’re trying to figure some things out and we kind of went back to the drawing board in practice and just really slowed things down and tried to re-teach and make him feel comfortable back there.
        “He threw some great balls — one of them he had (junior) Jaxon (Delventhal) wide open on a seam route there and then another one, a smash route, we call ‘throw them open,’ and he threw a great ball to Jaxon. Same thing with him, too — he had been kind of banged up and hadn’t finished a couple games and made three touchdown grabs, and it all came together where Tyler didn’t think about everything. He is just an athlete and made athletic plays.”
        Delventhal has 11 catches for 214 yards, senior Hayden Rodgers has 15 catches for 186 yards and a TD and senior Nick Perry has four catches for 66 yards.
Linebackers love to hit
        On defense, Lake had six guys with 40 or more tackles after six games, demonstrating some depth. Perry, a 6-foot-1, 190 pound linebacker, leads the team with 57 tackles, one sack, nine tackles for a loss, and he caused one fumble.
        “We moved Nick Perry from a defensive end spot to a linebacker where he originally started in his younger days here, and he has stepped up and he is a heck of a linebacker,” Andrews said. “He’s at 57 tackles and that’s after he had only four tackles Friday. So, he had been averaging over 10 a game. One of the things we pride ourselves in, as coaches, is that we want to make sure that it’s a solid tackle — not a jump on the pile type thing, so we make sure that the kids are getting there.”
        Zack Lombardo is a 5-10, 185-pound junior linebacker with 54 tackles, including four for a loss, a sack and caused fumble and 5-10, 210-pound senior defensive lineman Ryland Morlock has 50 tackles, including four sacks and three tackles for a loss.
        The 5-11, 155 pound Saffran, from his defensive back position, has 48 tackles, three interceptions and recovered a fumble.
        “This is Saffran’s third year starting back there at starting safety, so that is definitely is something where he is comfortable being at,” Andrews said.
        Toran Schroyer, a 5-8, 140 pound senior defensive back, has 44 tackles, including two interceptions and a tackle for a loss.
        “He’s not scared of a thing — goes up and makes tackles,” Andrews said.
        The challenge against Eastwood will be stopping a wing-T offense that is averaging 331.8 yards rushing per game. Eastwood leads the all-time series 31-21, but the Flyers won last year’s contest in a blowout.
        “They’ll definitely have a target on our back after their 31-0 loss last year,” Andrews said. “They are going to do what Eastwood does. They are going to run it at you. They are a nice, physical, well-coached team and they’ve got some really, really good athletes.
        “What I always say is the best defensive game plan we can have from our side of the ball is to have that 10- and 12-play drive that keeps them off the field, which we hadn’t done earlier in the year and later here we are starting to get that. You have to block to allow that. They are starting to gel.
        “The defensive side of the ball, you start with our defensive linemen, and you tell them you have to demand a double team. Because of you demand a double team our linebackers are running around to make tackles. We’ve got some athletic linebackers with Scott Mackiewicz and Nick Perry and Lombardo and they like to run around and they like to hit people.
        “It’s a great matchup, and back when I played football, it’s that type of football. You won games 8-7. You didn’t win games with 50-plus points. So, they definitely have the big play capability of breaking a jet sweep, a trap, or a buck sweep for a touchdown. We’re excited for that challenge. That’s what we always say — you want to play teams that are good to see how good you are. And, they are definitely a nice program over there that has been a staple in the NBC for a long time.”

It appears your Web browser is not configured to display PDF files. Download adobe Acrobat or click here to download the PDF file.


The Press

The Press
1550 Woodville Road
Millbury, OH 43447

(419) 836-2221

Email Us

Facebook Twitter

Ohio News Media Association