L/P loses season opener
Turnovers on the first four possessions Friday night led to a lopsided loss in the season opener for the Lye/Austin Pacelli football team.
The visiting Grand Meadow Superlarks converted those turnovers into points and led 25-0 at the end of the first quarter. In the second half, the Lyle/Pacelli Athletics eliminated their turnovers and hit a couple of big pass plays to make the final score more respectable in a 45-16 loss at Art Hass Stadium.
"We're still a young team and showed our inexperience with all of those mistakes in the first half," L/P coach Reid Olson said. "We have to stop digging such a huge hole in the first quarter. It's a work in progress, but the guys played a lot better in the second half."
Disaster struck for the Athletics almost immediately with a bad shotgun snap and a fumble on the third play of the game. Grand Meadow recovered the ball inside the 10-yard line of L/P and Landon Jacobson scored just two plays later.
On the next series, L/P quarterback Jordan Hart threw an errant pass out in the flat and Cole Hartman had a 21-yard interception return for a touchdown. Another bad snap and fumble by L/P led to a short touchdown run for Perry Stejskal as the Superlarks led 20-0 only four minutes into the game.
Repeated bad snaps out of the shotgun buried the Athletics. This time the recovery came out near midfield, but the Superlarks scored again in rapid fashion. Trenton Bleifus broke a couple of tackles and dashed through the L/P defense for the fourth GM touchdown of the first quarter.
"We did a good job of capitalizing on their mistakes and got off to a quick start," Grand Meadow coach Gary Sloan said. "I wanted to work more on the passing attack, but the nature of this game didn't really allow for it. We want to be more diverse offensively this season."
With the big lead, a lot of the substitutes for the Superlarks got their chance to see some extended playing time. Cameron Gomer scored three touchdowns in the second quarter and the Superlarks pushed their lead to 45-0 at halftime.
In the second half, the Athletics showed signs of life and gave their fans a few reasons to cheer. Stopping the Superlarks on downs with just under three minutes left in the third quarter, the Athletics took over on their own 24-yard line.
After picking up a first down, the Athletics were in position to take a shot down the field. Hart hooked up with David Diang on a 61-yard pass play. Sean Shapiro capped the drive off on the next play with a short touchdown run.
"Jordan put some air under the ball and I was just telling myself that I had to get there for the catch," Diang said. "I hauled in the ball and then managed to stay in-bounds, before taking off down the sidelines. I ran out of gas at the end, but we got down there for a touchdown."
Late in the fourth quarter, the L/P defense again held on downs and got the ball back with 2:43 to play. After a running plays lost two yards, the Athletics went back to the air as back-up quarterback Matt Kasel let if fly.
Daniel Bollingberg of L/P got beyond the defense and Kasel found him for a touchdown. The long pass play covered 44 yards and once again, the Athletics were successful on the two-point conversion.
"We did some good things in the second half and that's what I want to see is the kids playing all four quarters," Olson concluded. "We can build on the success of those long passes in future games."
Lyle/Pacelli (0-1) opens the Southeast Conference schedule next Friday night with a road game against Glenville-Emmons.
GRAND MEADOW 45, LYLE/PACELLI 16
GM — Landon Jacobson 2 run (Trenton Bleifus kick), 10:24.
Drive: 2 plays, 8 yards.
GM— Cole Hartson 21 interception return (kick blocked), 9:32.
GM— Perry Stejskal 1 run (kick blocked), 8:05.
Drive: 2 plays, 13 yards.
GM— Trenton Bleifus 44 run (kick missed), 5:28.
Drive: 2 plays, 38 yards.
GM — Cameron Gomer 2 run (kick missed), 11:57.
Drive: 9 plays, 58 yards.
GM— Gomer 8 run (Bryce Benson pass from Blake Olson), 9:21.
Drive: 5 plays, 62 yards.
GM— Gomer 5 run (kick missed), 7:26.
Drive: 3 plays, 12 yards.
LP — Sean Shapiro 6 run (Daniel Bollingberg run), 1:05.
Drive: 5 plays, 76 yards.
LP — Daniel Bollingberg 44 pass from Matt Kasel (Bollingberg pass from Kasel), 1:33.
Drive: 2 plays, 42 yards.
Total Net Yards#278#66
RUSHING — Grand Meadow: Blake Olson 14-66, Trenton Bleifus 2-56, Terrell Rieken 9-30, Cameron Gomer 4-28, Landon Jaocbson 4-23, Perry Stejskal 3-22, Michael Stejskal 5-8, Trent Tangen 1-5, Cole Hartson 1-5, Dylan Bathke 1-3, Tyler Sloan 1-2, Cameron Turner 4-1. Lyle/Pacelli: Garrett Lester 5-6, Sean Shapiro 8-6, Jordan Cotter 1-1, Matt Kasel 2-(-3), Daniel Bollingberg 1-(-10), Andy Davidson 3-(-10), Jordan Hart 7-(-103).
PASSING— Grand Meadow: Trenton Bleifus 1-for-1, 4 yards; Landon Jacobson 2-for-3, 25 yards. Lyle/Pacelli: Jordan Hart 7-for-16, 113 yards, int.; Matt Kasel 2-for-2, 66 yards, TD.
RECEIVING— Grand Meadow: Mike Ojulu 1-13, Cole Hartson 1-12, Bryce Benson 1-4. Lyle/Pacelli: Daniel Bollingberg 3-81, David Diang 3-77, Garrett Lester 2-20, Sean Shapiro 1-1.