Athletics look for revenge on Wolverines

A pair of losses to Glenville-Emmons last season will be motivation for revenge by the Lyle/Austin Pacelli Athletics in Friday night's home opener.

Last week the G-E Wolverines lost to Grand Meadow and Lyle/Pacelli beat LeRoy-Ostrander. The 20-8 win on the road by the Athletics matched their victory total from last season, which also came against L-O, so it's time to beat somebody else.

"This is our first home game and the kids always get fired up to play G-E," said coach Mark Buntje of the Athletics. "It's been an even series in this rivalry with G-E holding a 10-9 edge over the last 20 years."

In the season opener, the Athletics were able to move the ball on the ground with sophomore running back Damian Haugen gaining 132 yards on the night. L/P quarterback Carter Guthmiller also threw a touchdown pass and ran in a touchdown to secure the road win.

"Our conditioning was good last week and we wore L-O down in the second half," Buntje said. "We have to keep the game close this week. That was a plus the way we ran the ball last week. Now, that we know can do it, the offense can ride the running game. We also need to tighten up the pass defense and not let them make big plays."


Nick Winsky, a senior lineman, is eligible for the Athletics after missing the the first game because of a lack of practice time due to serving on a military commitment. His presence on the field will help the offense. With more of their players getting healthy and a few more regaining eligibility, the Athletics have a little more depth.

"We have to be balanced on offense," the coach said. "Carter looked good last week and we think we'll have to use the air game more against G-E. We were able to use our speed against L-O and break some plays. Haugen wants the ball and he knows now he can carry the load. We have some athletes, they just need to show up and play."

A win in their home opener would keep the Athletics undefeated and heighten the hype for week three against Grand Meadow. G-E and L/P swept each other in the home-and-away series over the last two seasons, now there's just one game for bragging rights.

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