PORTAGE — Games between Lakeshore and Portage Northern have been tightly contested in recent history and Friday’s matchup was no exception.
The game was decided in the final minutes, with the Huskies edging the Lancers 14-6 in SMAC West play at Portage Northern High School.
“This is exactly what this conference is all about,” Lakeshore coach Bryan Keim said. “It’s hard football; giving up 14 points to that team is a great thing for our defense. We couldn’t have played any better other than a play here or there. Offensively, we have to figure it out. This is big-boy football.
“We have to clean some stuff up.”
Lakeshore struck first with a 12-yard touchdown pass from Jimmy Gillete to Aiden Jackson in the second quarter to go up 6-0 at halftime.
The Huskies turned to star backs Tyler Amos and Anthony Tyus in the second half and they didn’t disappoint. The duo combined to run for 343 of Northern’s 347 total yards of offense, including Tyus touchdowns in the third and fourth quarters.
“They are good,” Keim said. “We did our job on the runs they had, they just made us miss. I thought, for the most part, we did well the majority of the night. I’m impressed with how hard they ran because we were hitting them. They were running the ball and there weren’t a whole lot of secrets.”
After reaching over 400 yards of offense last week against Holland West Ottawa, the Lancers struggled to 98 yards of offense against the Huskies, 61 of which came from their final drive of the game. A 30-yard completion from Jimmy Gillette to Jakobe Young followed by a 31-yard run by Aiden Jackson set the Lancers up deep in Huskies’ territory.
Trailing 14-6 with under four minutes remaining, the Lancers reached first and goal at the Northern 5-yard line but weren’t able to capitalize. Gillette was unable to find his receivers on third and fourth-down plays, which gave the ball back to the Huskies and put the game out of reach with 2:55 remaining in the game.
“I’m proud of our kids for staying in it,” Keim said. “We had a chance on first and goal and couldn’t get in. We told our defense to find a way to make a punt and at least we got a shot. We played hard; we just have to fix some things.”
Lakeshore (0-1 SMAC West, 1-1) aims to get back on track against Niles next week.
“It’s a chance to be brought back to reality,” Keim said. “I think we thought we were the greatest thing on Earth and now we have seven more games to figure everything out. I think we have the ability that if we do our job we can roll out but it’s not gonna be easy.
“I think our kids figured that out today.”
The Portage Northern offense found itself in situations few high school teams have experienced.
A slew of offensive miscues saw the Huskies line up facing a 2nd-and-45 in the third quarter. On their next drive, three false starts and a holding penalty had the Huskies ending the third quarter facing 1st-and-36.
The Huskies finished with 12 penalties for 94 yards on the night.
Portage Northern 14, Lakeshore 6
Lakeshore 0 6 0 0 — 6
P. Northern 0 0 7 7 — 14
L — Aidan Jackson 12 pass from Jimmy Gillette (kick failed), 3:35.
PN — Anthony Tyus 20 run (Cam Adams kick), 7:46.
PN — Tyus 1 run (Adams kick), 10:35.
First downs 6 20
Total net yards 98 347
Rushes-yards 22-38 57-343
Passing yards 60 4
Comp-att-int 7-18-0 1-6-1
Fumbles-lost 0-0 1-1
Penalties-yards 5-32 12-93
Punts-avg. 7-32.7 4-36.3
Rushing – Lakeshore: Aidan Jackson 15-68, Jimmy Gillette 5-27, Zeke Rohl 2-3. Portage Northern: Tyler Amos 27-149, Anthony Tyus 25-196.
Passing – Lakeshore: Gillette 7-18-60. Portage Northern: Nick Henegar 1-5-4, Tyler Coon 0-1-1-0.
Receiving – Lakeshore: Jackson 3-11-1, Jakobe Young 2-34, Grant Ruddell 2-15. Portage Northern: Kyle McMaster 1-4.
Tackles – Lakeshore: Treyjen Keim 13, Zeke Rohl 5, Daniel Vaughn 5. Portage Northern: Greg Lapetina 5, Jayden Thurmond-Oliver 3, Preston Blanzy 3.
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