PLATTEVILLE – Among the many advantages to the platooning system utilized by the Lancaster football program is their ability to make adjustments on the fly in the heat of battle.
By making the appropriate adjustments, the Flying Arrows have had success turning close games into blowouts in the blink of an eye.
Such was the case last Friday night at Platteville, when Lancaster turned a 14-14 first-quarter tie into a 49-20 route, and improved their Southwest Wisconsin Conference record to 7-0, and overall record to 8-0.
Early in Friday night’s game, it looked as if the Flying Arrows were finally going to be put to the test, as the host Hillmen put together back-to-back scoring drives on their first two possessions.
After holding the Arrows to minus one yard on their first three plays and forcing Lancaster to punt, Platteville marched down the field on their first possession, taking a 7-0 lead with a 73-yard, 12-play scoring drive.
On the ensuing kick off, Nate Tranel returned the ball 10 yards up field before making a backwards pass to Brett Snider on the other side of the field.
Snider then raced 79 yards down the sideline to the end zone, and Hunter Budack’s extra-point kick tied the game at 7-7.
Platteville though, came right back with a five-play scoring drive that covered 72 yards, as William Cooley’s 14-yard touchdown run, and the extra-point kick by James Bailie, put the Hillmen back up front, 14-7.
As expected though, Lancaster had an answer with a three-play drive that covered 78 yards, and was capped off with an eight-yard TD run by Tyler Glass. Budack’s kick tied the game at 14-14 with 1:45 to play in the first quarter.
While Platteville fullback William Cooley had gouged the Lancaster defense on their first two possessions, defensive adjustments by the Lancaster coaching staff put an abrupt end to that.
“They came out and gave us something that we had not seen, so we had to make some defensive adjustments with our alignment,” said coach John Hoch.
“We kind of had the adjustment ready to go already for their second possession, but then when we returned the kick off for a touchdown, our defensive staff wasn’t able to get it in,” Hoch added.
Once the Lancaster defense adjusted to Platteville’s false reads initiated by the alignment of their fullback, the Hillmen were unable to gain much of anything on offense.
“That’s why we platoon, so we can make those little adjustments on the fly,” Hoch said.
On Platteville’s final four possessions of the second quarter, and their first two possessions of the third, the Hillmen managed just 37 yards of total offense on 17 plays.
By the time Platteville had scored its next touchdown early in the fourth quarter, the Arrows had already scored four more times to take a 43-14 lead into the final quarter.
Quarterback Nate Tranel scored on a nine-yard TD run early in the second quarter, and was followed by a four-yard TD run from Glass on their next possession.
Tranel then completed a pair of touchdown passes, a 27-yard beauty to Hunter Budack, followed by a wide-open 17-yard pass to Glass in the flats.
With 4:05 to play in the fourth quarter, Tranel scored his second rushing touchdown of the game, this one from 24 yards out.
By the end of the night, Lancaster had rushed for 230 yards and four touchdowns on 32 attempts.
Tranel was the team’s leading rusher with 86 yards and two TDs on 12 carries, while Glass added 81 yards and two TDs on 13 carries. Brett Snider finished up with 62 yards rushing on five carries.
While it may have seemed like Tranel was throwing the ball all over the place Friday night, he completed 6-of-11 passes for 129 yards and two TDs.
Abe Thompson led the receiving crew with two grabs for 69 yards, while Budack had two catches for 36 yards and Glass one for 17.
“We caught the ball well, even though we only caught six of 11 passes,” said Hoch. “I thought we threw more, but then I realized that three or four of them we had penalties on, so they don’t count as pass attempts.”
One surprising bit of information is that while Lancaster’s time of possession was a mere 16:49, the Hillmen had the ball twice as long, for 31:11.
The Arrows were also 0-for-6 on third-down attempts, and 1-of-2 on fourth downs.
“We moved the ball effectively offensively, but not efficiently,” Hoch said. “We had some big plays, and that’s kind of what we live on. And we live on our defense playing great.”
Leading the Lancaster defense with 10.5 tackles was Andy Ryan, while Mitchell Schildgen had nine tackles and Trenton Cornell 6.5.
Brett Snider had one pick for the Arrow defense, while Alex Withey and Lucas Vincent each picked up half a sack.
The Arrows will wrap up the regular season this Friday night when they host Richland Center (1-6, 1-7), who is coming off a 35-21 loss to Prairie du Chien (1-6, 1-7).
In their first meeting on Sept. 13, Lancaster took home a 48-0 victory over the Hornets, scoring 42 points in the first half.
Lancaster 49, Platteville 20
(from Friday, Oct. 11)
Lancaster 14 22 7 6 - 49
Platteville 14 0 0 6 - 20
P - Logan Butson, 1-yard run (James Bailie kick)
L - Brett Snider, 79-yard kick return (Hunter Budack kick)
P - William Cooley, 14-yard run (Bailie kick)
L - Tyler Glass, 8-yard run (Budack kick)
L - Nate Tranel, 9-yard run (Budack kick)
L - Glass, 4-yard run (Budack kick)
L - Budack, 27-yard pass from Tranel (Andy Ryan pass from Cole Martin)
L - Glass, 17-yard pass from Tranel (Budack kick)
P - Chance Kupersmith, 9-yard pass from Butson (run failed)
L - Tranel, 24-yard run (run failed)
First downs - L 18, P 15. Rushing - L 32-230, P 40-118. Passing yards - L 129, P 228. Passes - L 6-11-0, P 15-25-1. Fumbles-lost - L 1-0, P 0-0. Penalties-yards - L 4-30, P 7-57.
L: Nate Tranel 12-86, Tyler Glass 13-81, Brett Snider 5-62. P: William Cooley 17-71, Ryan Weber 9-30.
L: Nate Tranel 6-11-0, 129. P: Logan Butson 15-24-1, 228.
L: Abe Thompson 2-69, Hunter Budack 2-36. P: Derek Shambow 8-124, Ryan Weber 2-55.