SHEBOYGAN, WI – The Maranatha Crusader football team held a 13-minute advantage in time of possession, and racked up 350 yards of offense, but five fumbles (two lost), a 28-point barrage by the Muskie offense in the second quarter, and four Lakeland sacks led to a 55-14 loss on Saturday afternoon.
The Crusaders opened the first quarter by driving down the field to Lakeland’s 19-yard line after freshman running back Clint Saxon (Watertown, WI) rumbled 36 yards for a 1st and 10, but on the next play, sophomore quarterback Brandon McCormick (Edwards, IL) suffered a fumble on a 14-yard sack that Lakeland took to back to Maranatha’s 34-yard line.
Six plays later, the Muskies capitalized on the turnover with a one-yard touchdown run for the 7-0 lead at 8:17 in the first quarter.
Maranatha got the ball back at 8:08, received a 22-yard rush from Saxon, but were forced to punt on a 4th and eight from their own 32-yard line. After a 17-yard punt by sophomore Bryan Standerwick (Mountain Lake, MI), Lakeland committed a personal foul that gave Maranatha the ball back at their own 47-yard line and two plays later, McCormick connect with sophomore receiver Jordan DeLay (Flint, MI) for a 19-yard gain.
But the Crusaders found themselves in familiar territory, at the Lakeland 19-yard line, where a fumble by Saxon was lost to the Muskie defense with two and a half minutes.
The Maranatha defense, led by junior linebacker Ethan Kennon (Raleigh, N.C.), who posted 14 tackles (13 solo), shut down the Lakeland offense on their final drive before the quarter.
Nothing could prepare Maranatha for the offensive explosion by the Lakeland offense in the second quarter, as the Muskies posted 28 points en route to a 35-0 halftime lead.
The surge continued for the Muskies at the beginning of the third quarter with touchdowns in two consecutive drives, one a 21-yard pass, and the other, a 53-yard scamper.
Maranatha responded with a big gain of their own, in only two plays, with a 48-yard touchdown strike from McCormick to DeLay for a 49-7 deficit. Lakeland would tack on their last touchdown on their next drive, but Maranatha once again hit pay dirt on a 14-play, 5:00 minute drive that culminated in a pass to junior receiver Joseph Manion (Watertown, WI) for their second and final touchdown of the game.
Lakeland would finish the game with 448 yards of offense and went 5-5 on their trips to the red zone.
McCormick finished the day with 281 yards passing to go along with two touchdowns, but the stars of the day were Saxon and DeLay, who finished with 108, and 117 yards respectively.
Manion also finished with a solid 63 yards receiving while senior receiver Joel Kobosh (Lake Mills, WI), turned in 80 all-purpose yards.
Maranatha looks to build on their offensive success with a home game on Saturday, October 26 at 1:00 p.m. against Rockford for Parent’s Day.