Columbus Lakeview was able to kick its offense into quick start mode against Grand Island Central Catholic, as the Vikings battled back for a 42-28 victory Friday at Memorial Stadium.
Lakeview found itself down 21-7 with less than two and a half minutes to go in the first half, but found ways to score that made things like first downs and time of possession totally unnecessary concepts.
Lakeview needed only two plays and 20 seconds to make it a one-score game after Nick Dolezal outjumped the Crusader defender and broke loose for a 56-yard score.
The Vikings (4-3) then received the opening kickoff in the third quarter, and on the first play from scrimmage Jordan Janssen got through traffic at the line and broke down the left sideline for a 76-yard run.
“The first play of the second half, the long run by Janssen was so big for us,” Lakeview coach Kurt Frenzen said. “That gave us a lot of confidence as a team, and I think our offensive line really started to play well for us after that.”
Janssen led the Lakeview offense with 186 yards on only 19 carries, but the team averaged better than eight yards per carry on the night, clear evidence of how the Viking line stepped up as the game progressed.
Central Catholic coach Bob Fuller felt that both the timeliness and the quickness of Lakeview’s scores at the end of the half and the start of the third swept the momentum his team had enjoyed for most of the first two quarters.
“We had control of the line in the first half, then they scored late and narrowed things,” he said. “We felt we could come out in the second half, get a three-and-out and be in pretty good shape.
“But instead they got the long run and the momentum went totally over to them. Lakeview deserves credit though because they really controlled both sides of the line in the second half.”
Central Catholic (1-6) looked good in the early going. The Crusaders took a 6-0 lead midway through the first quarter when quarterback Aidan Anspauch lofted a 39-yard pass to Jacob Herbek.
Lakeview answered with its longest drive of the night in terms of time, taking nearly five minutes before Jaden Johnson went over from a yard.
Central Catholic then put together two consecutive drives that both ate up time and generated scores.
The first saw Jonah Bales cap a 69-yard drive with a 2-yard plunge. Sophomore Jack Goering was pressed into the quarterback slot after an injury to Anspauch, and the sophomore looked plenty cool under fire as he threw a near carbon copy of the earlier scoring pass, hitting Herbek for 22 yards and a 21-7 lead.
“I was really proud of Jack,” Fuller said. “He got thrown into a tough situation, and he played pretty well. He threw with confidence for us.”
After Lakeview’s opening score in the third quarter, the Crusaders again responded.
Central Catholic drove 79 yards, taking more than seven and a half minutes, and regained the lead when Goering scored on a 1-yard run.
Lakeview’s control of the line truly began to assert itself. Jacob Frenzen swung outside right for a 36-yard gain, and moments later Janssen scored from five yards out to tie the score.
As the fourth quarter unfolded, Central Catholic managed only one first down in its next two possessions and suffered through two short punts. Lakeview took full advantage, using only four plays to take the lead on a 19-yard run by Johnson.
After the second punt, Johnson again did the damage, barreling in from 20 yards to give the Vikings a two-touchdown lead that was never threatened in the final minutes of the game.
“This was disappointing, but we told the kids that we’ve come too far to give up now,” Fuller said. “Next week is the last home game for our seniors, and we want to make their last one a good one.”
Columbus Lakeview 7 7 14 14—42
GICC 6 15 7 0—28
GICC—Herbek 39 pass from Anspauch (PAT kick failed), 5:23.
CL—Johnson 1 run (Dolezal PAT kick), 0:47.
GICC—Bales 2 run (Wenzl PAT run), 8:23.
GICC—Herbek 22 pass from Goering (Stolz PAT kick), 2:26.
CL—Dolezal 56 pass from Johnson (Dolezal PAT kick, 2:06.
CL—Janssen 76 run (Dolezal PAT kick), 11:41.
GICC—Goering 1 run (Stolz PAT kick), 4:03.
CL—Janssen 5 run (Dolezal PAT kick), 0:31.
CL—Johnson 19 run (Dolezal PAT kick), 9:47.
CL—Johnson 20 run (Dolezal PAT kick), 5:58.
First Downs 15 18
Rushes-Yds 40-324 50-196
Att-Comp-Int 1-5-0 11-19-0
Yds Passing 56 133
Punts-Avg 4-35.2 5-26
Fumbles-Lost 2-1 5-1
Penalties 3-38 6-65
RUSHING—CL, Janssen 19-186, Frenzen 10-68, Johnson 11-70. GICC, Bales 21-112, Wenzl 7-51, Anspauch 6-27, Kori 3-9, J. Reilly 1-2, B. Reilly 5-(-2), Goering 7-(-3).
PASSING—CL, Johnson 1-5-0-56. GICC, Goering 9-17-0-86, Anspauch 2-2-0-47.
RECEIVING—CL, Dolezal 1-56. GICC, Wenzl 4-37, Herbek 3-80, J. Reilly 2-13, Socha 1-7, B. Reilly 1-(-4).