NEW LENOX, Ill. — Not much went right for Lake Central on Friday as it traveled to Illinois to face Lincoln-Way Central for an intrastate battle.
Lincoln-Way amassed more than 300 yards rushing and passed for another 117 yards in a 41-0 win in its opening game of the season.
“This will make us better,” Lake Central coach Tony Bartolomeo said. “But to say that it feels good — it feels awful."
L.C. came out with a little spark defensively to start the second half and forced a fourth-and-one play from Lincoln-Way’s own 39-yard line. The Knights went for it, and Matt Pollack broke off a 61-yard touchdown jaunt to put the hosts up 21-0. It never got any better.
Pollack was the star for Lincoln-Way, rushing for 133 yards and four touchdowns. The Knights rushed for 324 yards as a team.
“We lost (the) field-position war, and Lincoln-Way stayed on the field,” Bartolomeo said. “When we did get the ball we were back deep, and when we had a drive, we were stalling out at mid-field.
Josh Williams ran for a hard-earned 71 yards on 18 carries for L.C.
“We did do some good things in the run game, and they did a nice job with their pass defense,” Bartolomeo said. “They put everybody back. We knew they were going to do that, and we were going to have run to beat ‘em.
“You saw some of our youth showed (Friday). They’re a seasoned football team, and we’re a team finding our way. We’ll be OK if everybody sticks together, and we’ll just go back to work.”
After falling behind by two scores early, L.C. finally got something going late in the second quarter when Jackson Long recovered a Lincoln-Way fumble at the Indians 12-yard line with 3 minutes, 49 seconds left before halftime. L.C. put a short drive together, mainly on the legs of Williams, who had three solid runs in the series for 34 yards to move the ball to its own 45.
The drive stalled on a couple of incompletions by Zach Bundalo, but it kept the Indians in the game down just 14-0 at the half.
Lake Central (1-1) had trouble moving the ball in the first quarter, and it also had a difficult time of stopping the Lincoln-Way ground attack. The Knights (1-0) rushed for 127 yards in the first quarter alone. Pollack finished a 76-yard drive with a 3-yard scoring run up the middle for a 7-0 advantage with 6:30 left in the opening quarter.
L.C. picked up one first down on its next series but again had to punt, and Lincoln-Way went back to work on the ground. Mike Gossage ran around the left end for 37 yards to set up the Knights’ second score. Pollack again did the honors on a 10-yard run over the left side on the first play of the second quarter for a 14-0 advantage.