LANCASTER - On paper, last Friday night’s Southwest Wisconsin Conference opener between Lancaster and Platteville looked to be a good match-up between two evenly skilled teams.
On the football field though, it turned out to be just another lop-sided victory for the Flying Arrows, who completely dominated the visiting Hillmen in a 49-14 final.
While Lancaster’s offense proved they can do whatever they want, whenever they want, the Flying Arrow defense remained as solid as ever Friday night.
“Our kids were very focused going into the game,” said coach John Hoch. “That’s kind of how I like it, versus a lot of hooting and hollering and all that stuff.”
“With it being the first conference game, we kept directing that throughout our preseason, to say it’s great to be undefeated, but it doesn’t mean anything as far as what we need to do.”
Offensively, the Arrows ran for 253 yards and passed for 158 Friday night, giving them 411 yards of total offense against the Hillmen.
Particularly affective for the Arrows was their passing attack, where senior quarterback A.J. Day completed 7-of-11 attempts for 158 yards and three TDs.
Fellow senior Kile Jerrett hauled in four receptions for 101 yards and two TDs, while senior Troy Baker had one catch for a 34-yard score in the second quarter.
Jerrett’s first TD reception came on Lancaster’s second possession, which was set up by a fumble recovery by junior defensive end Phil Zenz at the Hillmen 31-yard line.
His second TD catch came with 5:36 to play in the first half, where Jerrett took a short pass and weaved his way 51 yards through the Platteville defense.
After four games, Jerrett now has eight receptions for 245 yards and four TDs, while Day has completed 19-of-37 passing attempts for 563 yards, eight TDs and three interceptions.
“If teams keep putting nine in the box that are fairly up tight, then we’re going to throw the ball to try and loosen them up,” said Hoch of his passing attack. “At least right now, we’ve gone into it thinking that we can use the pass to be a great advantage for us.”
“We think we’ve got a mismatch always on the edge, and that’s without even using our halfbacks to create other mismatches,” Hoch added.
On the ground, Baker finished the night as the team’s top rusher, gaining 103 yards and scoring two TDs on just four carries.
His first rushing touchdown came from nine yards out, giving Lancaster a 34-0 lead with 1:47 to play in the first half.
He later scored on a 59-yard run with 2:09 to play in the third quarter.
Senior fullback Trae Mezera had six carries for 74 yards, and also scored two touchdowns.
Mezera scored from one-yard out late in the first quarter, then opened up the second half with a 58-yard TD run, giving the Arrows a 41-0 lead.
Defensively, Lancaster limited the Hillmen to 137 yards rushing and 150 yards passing, while shutting out their opponent in three of the four quarters.
“The defense is doing extremely well,” Hoch said. “We’re not super big, but we go to the ball real well.”
“If you look after the first series when Platteville had the ball, I honestly don’t know if they had another first down in the first half,” Hoch added.
Coming away with a team-high 7.5 tackles was senior linebacker Cody Glass, while sophomore safety Any Ryan and junior linebacker Mitchell Schildgen each had 6.5.
Senior nose guard Adam Henry and junior defensive end Lucas Vincent each were credited with half a sack, while Henry also had one interception.
While the Arrows won again in impressive fashion, coach Hoch mentioned that they did not reach all of their goals for the game.
For instance, they did not score a special team’s touchdown, which they strive to do in every contest.
They also strive to hold their opponents to under 200 yards of total offense each week, which they didn’t do against the Hillmen.
And, they gave up 14 points, hurting their average of 2.3 points allowed in their first three contests.
After four games, Lancaster has scored an average of 43.75 points per game, while giving up just 5.25 points per game to their opponents.
This Friday night the Arrows will host Prairie du Chien (0-1, 1-3), who is coming off a 52-12 loss to River Valley.
Lancaster 49, Platteville 14
(from Friday, Sept. 14)
Platteville 0 0 14 0 - 14
Lancaster 14 20 15 0 - 49
L - Trae Mezera, 3-yard run (Hunter Budack kick)
L - Kile Jerrett, 29-yard pass from A.J. Day (Budack kick)
L - Troy Baker, 34-yard pass from Day (Budack kick)
L - Jerrett, 51-yard pass from Day (Budack kick)
L - Baker, 9-yard run (kick failed)
L - Mezera, 68-yard run (Budack kick)
P - Schambow, 13-yard pass from Jo. Bernhardt (Bailie kick)
P - Schambow, 2-yard pass from J. Bernhardt (Bailie kick)
L - Baker, 59-yard run (Budack run)
First downs - P 11, L 10. Rushing - P -137, L -253. Passing yards - P 150, L 158. Passes - P 14-21-1, L 7-11-0. Fumbles-lost - P 1-1, L 3-2. Penalties-yards - P 6-27, L 7-52.
Rushing - P: Bernhardt 4-60, Cooley 18-46; L: Baker 4-103, Trae Mezera 6-74, A.J. Day 10-45. Passing - P: Bernhardt 14-21-1, 150; L: Day 7-11-0, 158. Receiving - P: Tashner 5-88, Schambow 5-51; L: Jerrett 4-101.