SCOTT TOWNSHIP ‚?? After losing two straight seasons to GAR in the district playoffs, the Lakeland Chiefs ended the Grenadiers‚?? streak of two straight District 2 Class 2A championships with a 35-17 victory at home Friday in the semifinal round.
All I can say is our kids played their rear ends off tonight and Lakeland did what they do best, GAR coach Paul Wiedlich Jr. said. The kids tried to maintain and adhere to the game plan the best they could.
The Grenadiers marched down the field on their first possession of the game. Luke Height put GAR on the board with a field goal to give the Grenadiers an early 3-0 lead.
After stopping the Chiefs, GAR faced a fourth-and-two in its own territory. The Grenadiers decided to go for it, but Lakeland stopped Lucas Benton before the first down marker and swung the momentum in the Chiefs‚?? favor.
If I had it back again I wouldn‚??t have gone for the first down, Wiedlich said. We thought we had momentum going.
On the ensuing possession, Chris Roche scored on a four-yard touchdown run to give the Chiefs a 7-3 advantage.
After forcing the Grenadiers to punt, Kyle Kiehart connected with Gavin O‚??Donnell on two passes for a total of 78 yards including a 23-yard touchdown to give Lakeland a 14-3 lead.
He‚??s (Kiehart) a three-year starter so that experience really helps him, Lakeland coach Jeff Wasilchak said. He made the plays when he had to and he‚??s been doing well for us all year.
GAR answered when Corey Moore threw a strike to Rich Sickler in the middle of the end zone to decrease the Grenadiers‚?? deficit to four points.
The Chiefs responded with a minute remaining in the first half on a 10-yard run by Roche to give Lakeland a 21-10 advantage heading into the half.
Lakeland received the kickoff at the start of the first half and put together a 77-yard, six-minute touchdown drive to give the Chiefs a 28-10 lead.
A minute later, GAR responded on a 38-yard touchdown pass from Moore that bounced off the hands of a Lakeland defender and fell into the arms of Sickler for his second touchdown of the game.
Despite the quick touchdown, Lakeland ended any hope of a comeback with a touchdown drive on its ensuing possession. Roche capped off the drive with a five-yard touchdown run. Roche finished with 170 yards rushing on 25 carries and three touchdowns.
He‚??s been doing it for the last six weeks, Wasilchak said. Earlier in the year he wasn‚??t a starter and through some injuries he got an opportunity and he seized that opportunity.
The Grenadiers clawed back into the season, winning seven of their last eight games after starting 0-2, but failed to continue their run.
Our kids showed a lot of heart and the will to persevere, starting the season 0-2 and then rattling off six in a row, Wiedlich said. We wanted to be playing next Friday but we just didn‚??t have it tonight.
GAR: Luke Height field goal,7:47
LK: Chris Roche 4 run (Kyle Kiehart kick),1:01
LK: Gavin O‚??Donnell 23 pass from Kiehart (Kiehart kick),7:42
GAR: Rich Sickler 10 pass from Corey Moore (Height kick),5:22
LK: Roche 10 run (Kiehart kick),1:06
LK: Kiehart 1 run (Kiehart kick),6:24
GAR: Sickler 38 pass from Moore (Height kick),5:10
LK: Roche 5 run (Kiehart kick),2:02
‚??Rushing: GAR: A.J. Mouzone 8-62, Moore 15-41, Sickler 2-1, Lucas Benton 1-1; LK: Roche 25-170, Tyler Brady 9-27, Kiehart 6-17, Cody Gonsauls 1-3, Billy Thomas 3-13, Tim Hackenberg 2-7, Christian Selvenis 1-1, Jake Noldy 1-2, Brandon Domonoski 2-1, Bryce Petrunich 2-(minus 5).
Passing: GAR: Moore19-26-2-208, Rashaun Mathis 0-1-0-0; LK: Kiehart 6-11-0-160.
Receiving: GAR: Benton 7-67, Mathis 2-12, Sickler 6-98, Mouzone 1-7, Rashaun Jackson 2-11; LK: O‚??Donnell 4-118, Cody Delfino 1-31, Roche 1-11.
INTS: LK: Joey Natale, Chet Anuszewski
MISSED FGs: none