The Lakes High School football team came out of its first two nonleague games this season with two losses, but it’s the league schedule that matters most. When their first league opportunity came around, and the Lancers made the most of it.
Lakes rushed for 336 yards as a team, and the Lancers rolled over previously unbeaten Wilson, 41-14 ,on Friday at Harry E. Lang Stadium in the 3A Pierce County League opener for both teams.
“We didn’t look at it as 0-2,” Lakes head coach Dave Miller said after the game. “We were playing two 4A teams, we were playing up. We looked at it as a way to get better.”
The Lancers established their rushing attack early, calling running plays on nine of their first 10 plays of the game. The 10th play, a 9-yard touchdown run by senior running back Melvin Miller, gave the Lancers a 7-0 lead.
It was the beginning of a busy day for the senior, who finished with 155 yards on 21 carries and scored three touchdowns.
“He’s quick, he’s strong and he runs angry,” Dave Miller said. “He’s just a great back, and I love coaching him. He’s a great kid too.”
Melvin Miller added a 1-yard and a 13-yard touchdown run later in the game.
“Last week, I wasn’t feeling it,” he said. “This week, Coach just preached to me to pick it up. (He said), ‘You don’t need to cut, you don’t need to do anything, just run hard.’ That’s what my mentality was, just run hard. Don’t cut or juke or anything because that slows you down.”
The Lancers (1-2, 1-0 3A PCL) rushed for 203 yards in the first half on 34 carries and led 27-0. They piled up another 133 yards in the second half, but those yards came on just 13 carries as the Rams (2-1, 0-1) seemed to grow tired.
After Lakes lost their top two quarterbacks to injuries in the first two games of the season and then lost starting senior Dylan Craker, the team’s third-string quarterback, on Friday, Dave Miller couldn’t have been more pleased with the production of his running game.
“That was the game plan,” he said. “We wanted to put it on our O-line. (It was) Dylan’s first start at quarterback and we didn’t want to put too much on him, just have him manage the game. We knew our offensive line was pretty darn good and so our running backs — Melvin is one of the best around — we figured just go ahead and pound the rock and see if they can stop us.”
Wilson 0 0 0 14 - 14
Lakes 13 14 0 14 - 41
L – Melvin Miller 9 run (Liam Bladow kick)
L – Cale Lindsay 16 pass from Dylan Craker (kick failed)
L – Mick Johnson 10 run (run failed)
L – Melvin Miller 13 run (Melvin Miller run)
W – Alex Motonaga 8 run (run failed)
L – Melvin Miller 1 run (Liam Bladow kick)
W – Tevin Hill 13 run (Tevin Hill pass from Alex Motonaga)
L – Aamaree Harrington 44 run (Liam Bladow kick)
Rushing – W: A. Motonaga 16-109-1. L: M. Miller 21-155-3.
Passing – W: A. Motonaga 4-24-34-1. L: D. Craker 1-5-19-0.
Receiving – W: T. Hill 2-19-0. L: Cale Lindsay 1-16-1.
Records – Wilson 0-1 league, 2-1 overall. Lakes 1-0, 1-2.