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Lancaster, Braves prey on Predators for fourth straight win
Kolby Lancaster
Belmont senior Kolby Lancaster rushed 194 yards and five touchdowns while also passing for 174 yards and two more scores to lead the Braves to a 44–26 victory over Kickapoo La Farge last Friday night.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The Athlete of the Week is a web-only feature that will publish each Thursday throughout the calendar year.

By Tom Gunnell, Republican Journal

Kolby Lancaster, Sr., QB, Belmont football
VIOLA — Senior quarterback Kolby Lancaster rolled up over 360 yards of total offense and accounted for seven touchdowns to lead the Belmont Braves to a 56–26 Southern-West Conference victory over Kickapoo/La Farge on Friday, Sept. 23.

The dual-threat signal-caller rushed for 194 yards and five touchdowns while also passing for 174 yards and two more scores to lead the Braves (4–1 overall, 2–0 SWC) to their fourth straight triumph. 

“I am really proud of Kolby’s development this season and Friday night’s game was a good one for him. We knew in the off-season that he would be a big time player for us, so I am excited to see him continue on this path the rest of the season,” said Belmont head coach Brandon Wiese.

Lancaster (28 yards) and twin brother, Konner Lancaster (two), capped Belmont’s first two drive with TD runs to put their team ahead 16–0 just over seven minutes into the game.

K/L's Bryar Ledman teamed with his favorite target, Owen Wastlick, on a 14-yard scoring strike to trim the deficit to 16–6 with 2:02 remaining in the first quarter.

Kolby Lancaster pushed the lead back to double-digits with a 24-yard TD hook-up with senior Noah Fritz on the opening play of the second. Then, after Fritz recovered a Predators’ fumble, the duo teamed up again from 26 yards out this time to extend the lead 30–6. Lancaster tacked on a 1-yard TD plunge in the closing seconds of the half to put the Braves in front 37–6 at the break, and he added a six-yard scamper early in the third quarter to push the advantage to a seemingly comfortable 44–6 margin.

However, the Predators weren’t going away without a fight. Ledman tossed three TD passes over a span of three minutes and 38 seconds in the third quarter to cut the Braves’ lead to 44–26. Wastlick pulled in a 17-yard TD from Ledman, while Gage Mesner hauled in scores of five and 19 yards following a pair of Belmont turnovers to make things interesting. 

Kolby Lancaster swung the momentum back to the Braves with TD runs of four and eight yards in the fourth quarter.

The Braves return home to host North Crawford (3-2, 1-1) in a SWC contest on Friday, Sept. 30, at 7 p.m.

HONORABLE MENTION (in alphabetical order):
Braden Crubel, Sr., RB/WR/DB, River Ridge football
Crubel had a hand in five touchdowns in last Friday's 50–26 victory over Black Hawk/Warren. He caught a 61-yard TD pass from Mathew Nies less than a minute into the game, and later scored on run of 61 and 4 yards in a wild first quarter that featured 41 totals points (27–14 Ridge lead). Crubel caught a 5-yard TD pass and threw a 21-yard touchdown pass to Aidan Gage in the second quarter as the undefeated Timberwolves (6–0, 2–0 SRC) built a 41–20 halftime lead. Crubel finished with a team-high 96 yards rushing on nine carries and three catches for 67 yards. 

Jocelyn Cummins, Sr., and Zoe Stluka, Sr., Benton volleyball
Cummins posted 19 kills, a team-high 10 aces and eight-blocks, while Stluka added a team-high 29 kills, five blocks and seven aces to lead the Zephyrs to a 4–0 first-place finish at last Saturday's five-team Benton Invitational. Stluka also had 16 kills and three blocks in a 25–16, 27–25, 25–11 sweep of Cassville last Tuesday, and finished with 10 kills, nine digs, two blocks and two aces in Monday's 25–19, 25–16, 25–20 loss to second-place Highland.

Zach Hillers, Jr., K, Richland Center football
Hillers booted three field goals and an extra point in Richland Center's 33–16 loss to visiting Wautoma last Friday night. The junior kicked field goals of 42 and 37 yards in the first quarter as the Hornets jumped out to a 13–0 lead. Hillers also kicked a 37-yard field goal with 8:20 left in the game to make it 20–16. 

Tyson Richard, So., QB, Cuba City football
Richard completed all 11 of his pass attempts for 223 yards and two touchdowns, and rushed for another to lead the Cubans to a 62–8 SWAL victory over visiting Orfordville Parkview/Albany last Friday night for their first win of the season.