ALL FOR ‘NAUGHT: Dreadnaughts Sink Vikings’ Ship
Written by: Josh Funk on Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008
WHEELING, W. Va. – The Lakeland High School Dreadnaughts entered their Friends of Coal Prep Classic match-up with Pittsburgh Central Catholic touted as one of the best prep teams in the land.
Heck, just two years removed from consecutive USA-Today mythical national titles, and fresh off a 10-2 2007 campaign, the high praise was deserved.
How did Dreadnaught head coach Bill Castle feel after his team’s 35-0 demolition of defending PIAA “AAAA” champion Pittsburgh Central Catholic (0-1 overall, 0-0 Big East Conf.)?
“I’m not ready to put us up on a pedestal just yet,” said Castle after winning career game 309. “But today, we had a pretty good day.”
So Castle defines “pretty good” as rattling off 322 rushing yards on 35 carries, an average of 9.2 yards per rush. Or, “pretty good” as in rolling up 398 yards of total offense, 80 of which came on a touchdown run on the first Dreadnaught play from scrimmage.
Or maybe, just maybe, Castle defines “pretty good” as the Lakeland defensive effort, which limited Central Catholic to just 64 yards of offense and eight first downs, while holding a normally-potent Viking ground game to just 18 yards on 32 carries.
“They’ve got a hell of a football team,” Central Catholic head coach Terry Totten said, “and (he pointed over to Lakeland senior Jordan Jones), they’ve got a hell of a linebacker over there.”
Jordan Jones, a senior, is surprisingly not one of the 16 Dreadnaught gridders who either have or will eventually be offered a Division-1 football scholarship. But #26 was all over the field for Lakeland, and even though he finished with five tackles, all solos, he was certainly a force to be reckoned with.
Things started downhill for Central Catholic on its first offensive series, when starting quarterback Nolan Krivijans left the game with a torn ACL in his left knee.
“He’s likely done for the year,” Totten said.
But things went downhill even after Central Catholic’s Matt Oczypock missed a 44-yard field goal just short of the crossbar.
Lakeland’s Javares McRoy took a Jarred Haggins handoff down the left hash marks 80 yards, untouched, and Lakeland led 7-0 after possessing the ball a mere 10 seconds.
The Dreadnaughts pushed the lead to 14-0 when Rodney Watson (6 rushes, 26 yards) scored from a yard out just two and a half minutes later. The lead swelled to 21-0 when Steward Butler took a handoff 40 yards to paydirt.
Lakeland turned off the scoring machine in the second quarter, but the defense didn’t let up, even on Central Catholic backup quarterback David Smyers, who finished 4-of-8 for 33 yards with an interception.
Aaron Trudell (3 rushes, 25 yards) scored on a 21-yard run in the third quarter to push the lead to 28-0, and Butler (5 rush, 68 yards, 2 TD) capped the scoring with a nine-yard run in the fourth quarter.
David Myers led Central Catholic with 28 rushing yards and added two catches for 12 yards. Kyle Wilson picked up 14 yards on nine carries, and Dane Faloon had a 13-yard reception for the Vikings.
Haggins, Lakeland’s field general, finished 6-of-9 for 76 yards and added six carries for 44 yards. Ben McRoy finished with six carries for 37 yards; Javares McRoy had 106 yards rushing on just two carries; and Bryce Jones added 11 rushing yards on four attempts for Lakeland.
And, despite the 35-0 margin, Castle was quick to praise Central Catholic.
“They’re a well-coached football team – they’re a terrific program,” the FHSAA Coach of the Century said.
And Lakeland’s got a pretty good program itself – one that should add another mythical national championship pretty soon.
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