Going into last Friday’s season opener at Fennimore, Lancaster football coach John Hoch wasn’t exactly sure how his offense was going to perform, but he expected good things out of his defense.
As expected, the Lancaster defense did play well, in fact, they held the host Golden Eagles scoreless for four quarters in a 28-0 non-conference victory.
“We played very good defense, which we hoped we would,” said Hoch. “Offensively, we didn’t do as bad as the initial impressions were when I looked at the film or watched the game.”
“We had no rhythm or no flow in the game,” Hoch said of his offense. “It just seemed like we were shooting from the hip.”
Still, the Flying Arrows managed 358 yards of total offense against Fennimore, even without their two leading rushers from a year ago, and a new quarterback under center.
Missing from action on Friday night were halfback Troy Baker and fullback Trae Mezera, who combined for 2,855 rushing yards and 42 touchdowns last season.
Baker missed Friday night’s game with a shoulder injury, while Mezera was serving out a suspension. Mezera will be back in uniform this Friday night, while Baker’s status is still uncertain.
In their place were sophomore fullback Tyler Glass and sophomore halfback Brett Snider, while senior Kile Jerrett also lined up in the offensive back field.
In total, the three rushed for 186 yards and two touchdowns, Glass leading the way with 109 yards and a third-quarter score on 21 carries. Snider ran the ball six times for 51 yards, while Jerrett gained 26 yards, including a 27-yard score, on three attempts.
Under center for the Arrows was senior A.J. Day, who was a two-year starter at safety before starting at quarterback this season.
Day completed 5-of-14 passing attempts for 147 yards, one TD and two interceptions.
“The past two years he hasn’t played quarterback,” said Hoch of Day. “He’s gotten reps in practice, but you know, game-time is game-time.”
Day’s top target was junior Hunter Budack, who hauled in three receptions for 32 yards and two TDs.
The two first hooked up early in the second quarter on a 25-yard passing score with 9:49 to play in the first half.
The score capped off a six-play drive that covered 69 yards, and it was Budack adding the extra-point kick for a 7-0 lead.
Jerrett’s 27-yard TD run with 2:30 to play in the first half, followed by Budack’s extra-point kick, gave Lancaster a 14-0 lead and capped off a seven-play drive that covered 63 yards.
Glass then plunged into the end zone with 2:21 to play in the third quarter, capping a 10-play drive that covered 69 yards.
The big play of that drive came on a 27-yard passing play from Day to sophomore Nate Tranel.
Lancaster’s final score of the night came with 7:39 to play in the fourth quarter when Budack hauled in a 10-yard pass from Tranel, who was under center at the time.
Offensively, the Arrows rushed for 201 yards on 44 attempts for an average of 4.6 yards per attempt.
They completed 6-of-15 passing attempts for 157 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.
Defensively, the Arrows held Fennimore to just 120 yards of total offense, 57 on the ground and 63 through the air.
Sophomore safety Andy Ryan led the team with six total tackles, while senior linebacker Cody Glass was in on 5.5 stops, and fellow senior linebacker Connor Flynn in on five.
Glass also had three sacks, while Ryan Murray (DT), Phil Zenz (DE) and Mitchell Schildgen (LB) each had one.
“Overall, it was a very good first game,” said Hoch. “There’s little things we can all work on defensively, offensively and on special teams.”
“We were very impressed with how some of the young kids came and played though. We like where we’re at, we just have to get better at being more consistent,” added Hoch.
On the injury front, Kile Jerrett left Friday night’s game for a brief moment with what Hoch described as a jammed knee. Jerrett is expected to be fine and will play this Friday night when the Arrows host Adams-Friendship (0-1), who is coming off a 56-8 loss to Poynette.
Lancaster 28, Fennimore 0
(from Friday, Aug. 24)
Lancaster 0 14 7 7 - 28
Fennimore 0 0 0 0 - 0
L - Hunter Budack, 25-yard pass from A.J. Day (Budack kick).
L - Kile Jerrett, 27-yard run (Budack kick).
L - Tyler Glass, 2-yard run (Budack kick)
L - Hunter Budack, 10-yard pass from Nate Tranel (Budack kick).
First downs - L 15, F 8. Rushing - L 44-201, F 29-57. Passing yards - L 157, F 63. Passes - L 6-15-2, F 6-20-0. Fumbles-lost - L 3-1, F 3-2. Penalties-yards - L 10-76, F 9-45.
Rushing - L: Tyler Glass 21-109, Brett Snider 6-51, Kile Jerrett 3-26, A.J. Day 12-19; F: Needham 3-64. Passing - L: A.J. Day 5-14-2, 147; F: Streeter 3-14-0, 46. Receiving - L: Huner Budack 3-67, Tyler Glass 1-45, Nate Tranel 1-26, Brett Snider 1-19; F: Swan 1-33.