WILKES-BARRE ‚?? Fourth down. One more stop and GAR could have escaped into the locker room, wounded but recovering.
Fourth down. Taking the snap and rolling right, Kyle Kiehart found his man open in the front corner of the end zone, sending Lakeland into halftime with a three-score lead.
The play sunk the Grenadiers, who dropped their 2012 opener 34-7 on Friday night at Wilkes-Barre Memorial Stadium.
Unable to come up with a play on defense on fourth-and-goal with 23 seconds left, the script changed entirely for the Grenadiers for the second half.
‚??Oh God, yeah. Most definitely,‚?Ě GAR coach Paul Wiedlich Jr. said. ‚??We get that stop, we‚??ve got momentum going. But it is what it is. Lakeland did a hell of a job coaching up their players. I got outcoached tonight. That‚??s the bottom line.‚?Ě
The late touchdown made it 20-0 at the break. And though the Grenadiers forced a Lakeland punt to open the second half, the Chiefs (1-0) put the game away on the next possession with a Jon Sekelsky pick-six that came deep in GAR territory.
The Grenadiers‚?? lone score came at the end of the third quarter, as A.J. Mouzone and Rich Sickler covered 75 yards in two plays, with Sickler scoring from 33 yards out to make it 27-7.
Lakeland‚??s Tyler Brady went over 100 yards on the night with his 20th and final carry, a 10-yard touchdown with 2:51 to play.
Led by new quarterback Corey Moore, GAR drove to the Lakeland 30 on each of the first two drives before the offense stalled.
The Grenadiers had four first downs on those opening two possessions but would not earn another until the final minute of the third quarter.
Brady opened the scoring for Lakeland with a 3-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. Kiehart hit Gavin O‚??Donnell and Joey Natale for passing scores to open up that 20-0 lead.
GAR turned the ball over five times on the night, losing four fumbles. Wiedlich vowed after the game to have things changed up for next week‚??s showdown against Dunmore.
‚??We gotta get back to basics,‚?Ě Wiedlich said. ‚??We just gotta change our way that we approach practice. We‚??re going back old school. We‚??re going to start hitting a hell of a lot more.
‚??It‚??s tough with the numbers that we have ‚?? 39 on the roster and a lot of guys dinged up ‚?? but we‚??ve gotta start being more physical in practice. It was evident tonight we weren‚??t as physical as we should have been.‚?Ě
Lakeland 34, GAR 7
LAK ‚?? Tyler Brady 3 run (Kyle Kiehart kick), 1:05
LAK ‚?? Gavin O‚??Donnell 26 pass from Kiehart (Kiehart kick), 7:16
LAK ‚?? Joey Natale 5 pass from Kiehart (kick failed), 0:23
LAK ‚?? Jon Sekelsky 5 interception return (Kiehart kick), 6:47
GAR ‚?? Rich Sickler 33 run (Luke Height kick), 0:04
LAK ‚?? Brady 10 run (Kiehart kick), 2:51
RUSHING ‚?? LAK, Tyler Brady 20-108, Cody Gonsauls 4-38, Billy Thomas 4-28, Kyle Kiehart 7-14, Tim Hackenberg 7-14, A.J. Rupp 2-5, Bryce Petrunich 2-5, Brandon Domonoski 1-(minus-2), Cody Delfino 1-(minus-3); GAR, A.J. Mouzone 5-47, Rich Sickler 2-33, Rashaun Mathis 2-18, Lucas Benton 4-12, Corey Moore 11-0
PASSING ‚?? LAK, Kiehart 9-15-0-114, Chet Anuszewski 0-1-0-0; GAR, Moore 12-21-1-102
RECEIVING ‚?? LAK, Delfino 4-40, Joey Natale 3-17, Josh Natale 1-31, Gavin O‚??Donnell 1-26; GAR, Benton 7-57, Mouzone 2-20, Mathis 2-15, Sickler 1-10
INTS ‚?? LAK, Jon Sekelsky
MISSED FGS ‚?? None