ST. JOHN | Lake Central’s offense has generated plenty of highlight film against E.C. Central in recent years.
It was the defense’s turn Saturday night as the Indians formed a brick wall that made moving the ball a near impossibility for the Times No. 8 Cardinals.
Gelen Robinson registered three sacks and K.J. Singleton returned an interception 15 yards for touchdown as Lake Central pulled away late for a 24-0 victory at the Burial Grounds.
“We needed to come out and make plays,” Singleton said. “I saw the ball coming, and I knew it was my chance to make something happen.”
Neither offense was particularly sharp moving the ball in the first half as the teams combined for 11 possessions and just two scores before halftime. Lake Central junior running back Brandon Scott ripped off a 35-yard touchdown run midway through the first quarter, but big plays were few and far between for the Indians (1-1).
“Our offense isn’t ready for the Duneland conference yet,” Lake Central coach Brett St. Germain said. “Our guys need to know that. It becomes a different game next week.”
Colin Studer made his first career start at quarterback in place of injured starter Alec Olund. Studer accounted for 101 total yards, including three straight first-down runs in the second.
“I definitely had some jitters coming out in the beginning, but I knew my defense had my back,” Studer said. “When those guys are making plays, we know that if we can put some points up, we’ll win the game.”
Scott added a second rushing touchdown in the fourth, then Singleton iced the game with an interception return that made the contest look deceptively like a blowout. E.C. Central’s defense kept the team in the game until the latter stages, but the offense could never get into a rhythm.
The Cardinals (1-1) never entered the red zone and all but five first-half plays were run in East Chicago territory.
“Field position hurt us throughout the game,” E.C. Central coach Stacy Adams said. “Defensively, we played well enough, but our offense just wasn’t there (Saturday). The bottom line is that we didn’t win. There are a lot of things on film and we’ll get there with these guys.”
Lake Central senior Trevor Miller made his first career start on defense. He came away with an interception while providing pressure on E.C. Central quarterback Carlos Fernandez throughout the evening.
“Those guys over there are great players,” Robinson said. “We knew that they could make plays and that we needed to step up and stop them. Now, it’s time for conference play and that’s what we’re going for. It’s my job, along with the other seniors, to get our team ready for the DAC.”