Nunnery, Deep Ball Doom Warriors; Muskies Dominate, 62-14
Charl’Tez Nunnery threw four touchdown passes of at least 45 yards as the Lakeland University Muskies dominated Wisconsin Lutheran College on Saturday, 62-14. Nunnery finished with 450 total yards of offense and the defense scored 14 points in the victory, moving Lakeland to an undefeated 3-0 record through the “regular season.” The Warriors dropped to 1-2.
Lakeland took the opening kickoff and moved to the WLC 37, but the drive stalled when the Warriors recorded back-to-back sacks as the Muskies turned the ball over on downs. Mykael Ignaszak and Cody Lopez recorded the sacks. Ignaszak would add another sack later in the game as Wisconsin Lutheran recorded four on the afternoon.
The Warriors had the ball at their own 36, but were unable to keep the drive going, forced to punt after just three plays. Nunnery made them pay right away. On the fourth play of the drive, a broken coverage sent Christian Chatman down the left side lines all alone. Nunnery hit him for a 50-yard touchdown to put Lakeland on top, 7-0.
Two possessions later, the Muskies were back on the board. After a first down carry for 6 yards by Larry Rivers put the ball at the Lakeland 44, Nunnery found Jaylen Rido over the middle at about the 10-yard line. Rido finished off the catch and run for a 56-yard touchdown reception, his second touchdown catch of the year.
Just before the first quarter ended, Lakeland would add another score to take a 21-0 lead. Starting from their own 38, the team looked like their drive was going to come to an end quickly when Nunnery was sacked by Ignaszak to create a third and 13. However, the Lakeland quarterback found Avery Luckett for a 29-yard pass completion down to the Wisconsin Lutheran 36 for a first down. Two plays later, he hit Brice Kensey for 14 yards and another first down, With first and 10 at the 16, Rivers carried the ball on consecutive plays, scoring from 9 yards out for his second rushing touchdown of the season.
It had been a very tough first quarter for the Warriors. Not only were they trailing by 21, but the team was having very little success moving the ball. In their first six possessions, the Warriors had just 19 yards on 20 plays.
It got even worse for Wisconsin Lutheran College to start the second quarter. With the ball at their own 44, quarterback Nick Yockey went back to pass. He was sacked by Otis Watts, who knocked the ball out of the quarterback’s hands and into the air. The ball landed right in the mitts of star defensive lineman McNemon Vincent, who raced 36 yards for the touchdown.
The Lakeland staff opted to go for the jugular following the defensive score, going for the onside kick, but it was recovered by the Warriors, giving them the ball at the 47. However, as they had all day, the Muskies defense continued to deliver. Shazon Crutcher sacked the WLC quarterback for a 10-yard loss on the opening play and Augustin Diaz forced an intentional grounding penalty on the next play that set up a third and 20. The pass fell incomplete and Wisconsin Lutheran was forced to punt once again.
It took just one play for Lakeland to get back into the end zone. On first and 10 from their own 48, Nunnery went up top to Kensey for a 52-yard touchdown strike to extend the lead to 34.
After producing just eight total yards to their first eight possessions, the Warriors would mount a six-play drive that resulted in a touchdown. The offensive line held, giving their quarterback some time, and he completed three straight completions for first downs, including a 15-yard strike to Trevion Green that put the ball at the Lakeland 19. After a pass interference call moved the ball to the 12, Yockey found Mike DuPree for a 12-yard touchdown strike to cut the deficit to 27.
Wisconsin Lutheran was building a little momentum, as they started their next drive from their own 23 and quickly moved out to the 45 where they faced a third and four. Yockey went back to pass, but Max Ramminger read he pass play perfectly, intercepting the ball and racing 54 yards for the pick six.
On their next possession, Lakeland found the end zone for the seventh time. The coaching staff once again dialed up the deep ball, as Nunnery connected with Mason Prunick on a 45-yard touchdown strike on third and 10 to give the Muskies a 48-7 lead. That would be the score heading into the half.
WLC scored on their first drive of the second half. After the defense forced a turnover on downs, the Warriors had the ball at the Lakeland 49. Yockey completed three straight passes. A roughing the passer penalty helped the team earn another first down, but knocked Yockey out of the game. Matt Davis came in and rushed for 3 yards before completing an 11-yard touchdown pass to Green for the second Warriors touchdown of the game.
The Muskies were content to burn the clock after that, producing too long drives that led to touchdowns. The first was a 4:18 drive that went 41 yards on 13 plays. Nunnery scored from 3 yards out on fourth and goal to complete the drive, his fifth rushing touchdown of the season.
On their next possession, Lakeland moved 48 yards on eight plays. This time, backup quarterback Lane Sobieski threw his first touchdown pass of the season, hitting Jesse Meyrick for a 21-yard touchdown completion to make it 62-14. That would be the final.
The Muskies rolled out 594 yards of total offense. Nunnery threw for 336 yards and four touchdowns. He also carried the ball 17 times for 114 yards and a score. Rivers gained 93 yards and a touchdown on 25 carries. Prunick led the way with two catches for 76 yards and a score. Three other receivers had at least 61 yards receiving, including Kensey, who had three receptions for 68 yards and a score.
The defense was outstanding, allowing 180 total yards of offense to the Warriors. Andrew Cardiel led the team with nine tackles and Crutcher had seven tackles, a sack, and a forced fumble. Ramminger finished with two interceptions on the day giving him a conference leading three this season.
It was a tough day for Yockey, who completed 20 of 37 passes for 157 yards and a touchdown. Davis was six of 12 passing for 28 yards and a score. The Warriors ground game was grounded, recording -5 yards on the day. Green had nine receptions for 66 yards and a touchdown.
The WLC defense was led by Ignaszak with nine tackles and two sacks. Kyle Kubacki had eight tackles.
The NACC moves to the playoff round starting next Saturday. Both Lakeland and Wisconsin Lutheran advance. The Muskies (3-0) finished as the top team in the North Division and will take on Benedictine (2-1) next Saturday at 1 PM. Wisconsin Lutheran (1-2) will take on the top team in the South Division, Aurora (3-0). That contest is slated for 5 PM on Saturday.
By Robert Pannier