Defense Shuts Down Falcons, Muskies Roll, 44-0
The Lakeland University Muskies jumped out to a 34-0 halftime lead, then rolled behind their defense on their way to a 44-0 victory over Concordia-Wisconsin. The defense allowed the Falcons just 193 total yards and recorded four sacks, while the Muskies running game rushed for 267 yards. Larry Rivers gained 132 yards, giving him over 2,000 yards in his Lakeland career, and Dezmon Eddie gained 113 yards and two touchdowns.
Things went terribly wrong for the Falcons from the start. On their second play, James Linn fumbled and McNemon Vincent recovered at the Concordia 19. Larry Rivers carried the ball three straight times, moving the ball to the two. On the next play, Chalt’Tez Nunnery threw a little pass out to Dezmon Eddie who raced into the end zone for the touchdown to make it 7-0.
On the next possession for Concordia, Trevion Smith stripped Linn of the ball, with Vincent recovering again. Lakeland would be unable to take advantage, turning the ball over themselves when Nunnery was sacked and fumbled.
The Falcons looked like they would get on the scoreboard as back-to-back completions by Linn which yielded 39 total yards, moving the ball to the Lakeland 41. However, the drive stalled there, and they would be forced to punt. The ball went just 12 yards before being downed. On the next play, Nunnery hit Jaylen Rido, who made the catch, then raced the remaining distance for a 73 yard touchdown to extend the lead to 14.
The Lakeland defense continued to dominate, as Johnathan Hagerty forced a fumble on the next Falcons possession. That was recovered by Smith at the Muskies 40. Lakeland then went on a 10 play, 60 yard drive before extending their lead to 20-0. The big play of the drive was a 14 yard completion to Rivers on third and 10. Nunnery scored from one yard out to cap off the drive.
Jerry Stokes would force a fumble on the second play of the next possession, as Andrew Cardiel recovered. that gave the Muskies four fumble recoveries and the first quarter was not even over yet. Lakeland capitalized once again, as Nunnery scored his second one yard touchdown of the game to make it 27-0.
To add insult to injury, the Falcons would fumble for the fifth time in six possessions when Linn was sacked by Washington Vivanco. He stripped the ball, recovering the fumble as well. The Muskies would turn the ball right back to Concordia when Nunnery was intercepted on the third play of the drive. However, the Falcons would miss a 34 yard field goal to keep the score at 27-0.
Lakeland would add one more score just before the end of the half. After Concordia turned the ball over on downs at the Muskies 30, the team mounted an 11 play, 70 yard drive that took 4:30 off the clock. Eddie scored his second touchdown of the game to complete the drive, bursting through the line and simply refusing to go down before reaching the end zone. His 15 yard touchdown run made it 34-0.
Lakeland University took the second half kickoff, but would be forced to punt. A 19 yard punt gave Concordia the ball at their own 30, but they would turn the ball over on downs when Linn was sacked on fourth an 3 at his own 48. The Falcons would get the ball back when Brandon Hargis intercepted a Nunnery pass and returned it 30 yards to the 43. The Muskies defense was up to the task again, forcing a turnover on downs for the second straight possession.
Taking over at the Falcons 49, Lakeland would not be denied. The Muskies would go to the ground on five of the six plays of the drive, with Eddie scoring from nine yards out to make it 41-0.
The Muskies would add a field goal on their next possession. Andrew Colley connected from 39 yards out to make it 44-0.
The Lakeland defense was absolutely dominating in this contest. The Falcons had the ball 14 times, turning it over on fumbles on five of those possessions and turning it over on downs on four other occasions. McNemon Vincent led the Muskies with two sacks and he recovered two fumbles.
The Muskies offense had a big day. Larry Rivers rushed for 132 yards on 26 carries, giving him over 2,100 yards rushing in his Lakeland career. Dezmon Eddie had 17 carries for 113 yards and two touchdowns. He also made four catches for 39 yards and another score. Charl’Tez Nunnery was 21-28 passing for 254 yards and two scores. He also scored two rushing touchdowns. Jaylen Rido was the leading receiver, making two catches for 92 yards and a score.
The Lakeland University Muskies (2-3) head to the road next weekend to take on Rockford University. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:00.
By Robert Pannier
Featured image courtesy of Lakeland Football