LANCASTER – With another convincing win of 62-14 over Richland Center last Friday night, the Lancaster varsity football team closed out the regular season in perfect fashion, and now appears ready for the playoffs.
The Flying Arrows breezed through the Southwest Wisconsin Conference this fall, going 8-0 and scoring an average of 52.6 points per game to their opponent’s 11.25 points.
A clearer picture of Lancaster’s dominance over their conference opponents can be seen in their first-half production, where the Arrows have scored an average of 39.9 points per game, compared to their opponent’s average of 5.9 points.
For coach John Hoch, this year’s conference title is his 16th in 31 years of coaching at Lancaster High School, and the program’s eighth conference crown in the past nine years.
The Arrows enter the WIAA Division 5 playoff field ranked No. 1 according to the WisSports.net D5 Coaches Poll, and are No. 2 in the small division rankings by the Associated Press. St. Mary’s Springs holds the top spot, but will play in the Division 6 field.
“We are playing some of our best ball right now,” said coach John Hoch. “Even though we played Prairie du Chien and Richland Center here late in the year, I thought our kids played much better the second time around. I thought we played real well against Platteville too.”
“At this point in the season you want to be playing your best ball, and I feel that we are,” Hoch added.
The Flying Arrows certainly didn’t have a let-down against Richland Center last Friday night, as Lancaster scored 41 points in the first quarter, and followed up with 21 in the second.
The Arrows ran for a whopping 425 yards and seven touchdowns on 43 attempts, while holding the Hornets to just 21 yards rushing on 17 attempts.
Quarterback Nate Tranel led Lancaster with 132 yards rushing and two TDs on five carries in only the first quarter of action.
Back-up quarterback Cole Martin followed up with 130 yards rushing and one TD on 13 carries, in three quarters of action.
Fullback Tyler Glass made the most out of five carries, running for 71 yards and two TDs, while back-up fullback Joey Recker followed up with 43 yards on nine attempts.
Also scoring touchdowns on the ground for Lancaster were Kyle Mezera and Nick Wood.
Not needing to throw the ball very much, Tranel completed 1-of-4 passing attempts for a 37-yard touchdown to Brett Snider in the first quarter.
Snider also scored on a 41-yard interception return in the first quarter, and picked off quarterback John Peckham twice in the game.
Leading the Lancaster defense with seven total tackles was Jay Mezera, while Andy Ryan and Mitchell Schildgen each had five.
Mezera will be needed again this Friday night, as he will take the place of Ryan at safety, who suffered a leg injury in the second quarter of last week’s game.
Also missing Friday night’s game, and the rest of the season, will be Abe Thompson (WR/CB), who suffered a season-ending knee injury in Lancaster’s win at Platteville.
Coach Hoch hopes to have defensive end Phil Zenz (concussion) back for this week’s game, as well as nose guard Ethan Soderstrom (shoulder).
The Arrows will kick off their quest for a D5 state title at home Friday night (7:00) when they host eighth-seeded Waterloo (3-2, 6-3), members of the Capitol conference.
The winner of that game will get either fourth-seeded Laconia (5-2, 7-2), or fifth-seeded Cambridge (3-2, 7-2) in the second round.
Richland Center 14
(from Friday, Oct. 18)
Richland Center 0 6 0 8 - 14
Lancaster 41 21 0 0 - 62
L - Nate Tranel, 36-yard run (Hunter Budack kick)
L - Tyler Glass, 5-yard run (Budack kick)
L - Tranel, 50-yard run (Budack kick)
L - Brett Snider, 37-yard pass from Tranel (kick failed)
L - Snider, 41-yard interception return (Budack kick)
L - Glass, 8-yard run (Budack kick)
L - Cole Martin, 8-yard run (Budack kick)
RC - Alex Moritimer, 72-yard pass from John Peckham (kick failed)
L - Nick Wood, 5-yard run (Budack kick)
L - Kyle Mezera, 9-yard run (Budack kick)
RC - Peckham, 1-yard run (Mortimer pass from Peckham)
First downs - RC 9, L 22. Rushing - RC 17-21, L 43-425. Passing yards - RC 206, L 72. Passes - RC 13-28-2, L 2-6-1. Fumbles-lost - RC 2-2, L 2-1. Penalties-yards - RC 7-57, L 9-55.
RC: Josh Kidd 3-18. L: Nate Tranel 5-132, Cole Martin 13-130, Tyler Glass 5-71.
RC: John Peckham 13-26-2, 206. L: Nate Tranel 1-4-0, 37.
RC: Alex Mortimer 4-146. L: Brett Snider 1-37, Nick Wood 1-35.