By ANDY WOLF
Especially on homecoming night, Fostoria coach Derek Kidwell was puzzled as his team came out flat and without emotion Friday night.
Lake dominated the first half and held a 21-0 halftime edge.
And while a motivated Redmen team played much better in the second half, their comeback attempt fell short in a 21-14 Northern Buckeye Conference loss at Memorial Stadium.
“(The) team that wanted to win the game won the game,” Kidwell said. “I just told our group after the game, hopefully they figured it out that you can and you’ve got to play this game with emotion. We came out flat in the first half . . , Why I have know reason why.
“Then they were upset, frustrated, angry, pissed off at halftime and we came out and played well.
“But I told them this is a violent game. This is a game you can play with emotion. You should come out from the start and play with emotions and we didn’t.”
The Redmen fell to 4-3 overall, 1-3 in the NBC while Lake upped its record to 5-2, 3-1.
Fostoria entered the game sitting 12th in Division V, Region 18 while Lake was 10th.
“I feel like it’s a really impressive win,” Lake coach Mark Emans said.
Fostoria’s defense pitched a shutout in the second half, limiting Lake’s ground-and-pound offense that scored touchdowns on three of four drives in the first half.
Meanwhile, the Redmen finally established a rhythm after senior quarterback and homecoming king Skyler Garcia completed only 2 of 12 pass attempts (11 yards) in the first half, falling victim to several drops. He finished 16 of 32 for 197 yards and ran for 45 more.
“It was drops and you can’t get in a rhythm,” Kidwell said. “We had receivers open all kinds of places but they’re dropping the ball. We ran the ball well early.
“Then we got behind and knew we could get some chunk yards in the passing game. Our kids have to make plays when they’ve got opportunities.”
Garcia opened the second half by orchestrating a 5-play, 68-yard touchdown drive capped by Jadyn Miller’s 2-yard plunge to put Fostoria on the board.
Fostoria got the ball back and went right to work.
Garcia hit Devin Mauricio for a 46-yard strike over the middle, Gabe Turner for 17 yards and Lukas Hill for 19 yards down to the Lake 4 yard-line.
A holding call on first and goal backed the Redmen up 11 yards. The scoring chance quickly ended on three straight incompletion in the end zone.
“You kind of get down there inside, you see what you’re made of and our defense stepped up,” Emans said. “That holding call, but then they had four plays to try to score and we held them out.”
Fostoria’s defense again bent but didn’t break.
Lake methodically drove from its 11 to the 1. On fourth-and-goal, quarterback Dawson Delventhal got stuffed for no gain on the 15th play of the series.
With 6:45 remaining, the Redmen had an outside chance.
Though Fostoria orchestrated a scoring drive with Garcia hitting Trae Anderson for a 1-yard strike, over 5 minutes came off the clock.
Weston Weimerskirch’s onside kick got past the initial Lake line of defense but went too long for any Fostoria player to have a chance at recovery.
Lake ran out the clock from there.
The Flyers totaled 314 rushing yards on 56 carries, led by a 168-yard, two-TD effort by Blake Osborn.
Lake’s first 20 plays, all rushes, went for positive yardage over its first two drives.
“That is kind of our offense,” Emans said. “If we can get positive yardage out of first down, second down and get to third and short move the chains, that’s who we our. That’s our identity and that’s worked well for us the last couple of weeks.”
Delventhal only threw five passes, completing four for 52 yards. Scott Mackiewicz added 80 yards on 10 carries and Bronson Medley had 65 yards and a 5-yard touchdown on Lake’s opening drive.
“We knew Lake was going to run it, Eastwood was going to run it,” Kidwell said of facing a similar offense last week. “We played better than we did against Eastwood (35-7 loss) than we did against Lake.
“(Lake) ran it right down our throats. They challenged our manhood. They punched us in the mouth and we didn’t punch back until the second half when it was a little too late.”
Mauricio totaled 97 receiving yards on six catches and Miller ran for 37 yards on nine carries.
Lake 7 14 0 0 — 21
Fostoria 0 0 7 7 — 14
LAK — Medley 5 run (Chiappetta kick)
LAK — Osborn 2 run (Chiappetta kick)
LAK — Osborn 4 run (Chiappetta kick)
FOS — Miller 2 run (Weimerskirch kick)
FOS — Anderson 1 pass from Garcia (Weimerskirch kick)
First Downs 21 18
Rushes-yards 56-314 82
Passing Yards 52 197
Comp-Att-Int 4-5-1 16-32-0
Punts-Avg. 2-26.5 1-34
Fumbles-Lost 1-0 0-0
Penalties-Yards 2-20 3-25
rushing — Lake, Osborn 31-168, Mackiewicz 10-80, Medley 7-65, Delventhal 6-7. Fostoria, 7-45, Miller 9-37.
passing — Lake, Delventhal 4-5-52-0. Fostoria, 16-32-197-0.
receiving — Lake, Medley 3-45, O’Quinn 1-7. Fostoria, Mauricio 6-97, Turner 3-33, Boff 2-21, Weimerskirch 2-17, Anderson 2-16, Hill 1-19.
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