BARAGA - The tone for the Great Western Conference football matchup between Lake Linden-Hubbell and Baraga Thursday night was set immediately.
On their first play from scrimmage, the Lakes hit paydirt when tailback Cole Beauchamp sprinted 20 yards untouched to the end zone.
That score touched off a 41-point explosion in the first quarter at the Osterman Athletic Complex as LL-H rolled to an eventual 59-6 win over a young and outmatched Vikings squad.
Lake Linden-Hubbell players Konrad Klein, 40, Austin Peterson, 60, and Matthew Jeffrey converge on a fumble by Corbin Crittenden of Baraga Thursday night. The Lakes won the GWC opener by a 59-6 score. (Paul Peterson photo)
"We got off to a quick start," Lakes coach Andy Crouch said afterward. "I thought we executed really well in the beginning of the game."
First-year BHS coach Eric DeMink said he wasn't surprised by the power shown by his opponent.
"We knew they were a very good team," DeMink said. "If you make mistakes against them ... you're going to pay ... and we did tonight."
LL-Hubbell 41 6 6 6 - 59
Baraga 0 0 0 6 - 6
LL - Cole Beauchamp 20 run (Tyler Roose run)
LL - Konrad Klein 11 pass from Mitchel Kumpula (K. Klein kick)
LL - Tylor Rickard 40 run (Klein kick)
LL - Tyler Roose 20 run (Austin Serotzke kick)
LL - Lucas Klein 27 pass from Kumpula (kick failed)
LL - Coy Budweg 23 run (kick failed)
LL - Nic Walli 56 run (kick failed)
LL - Walli 52 run (kick failed)
LL - Luke Monette 47 run (kick failed)
BA - Corbin Crittenden 3 run (pass failed)
First downs; LL 3, BA 8; Rushing: LL-21-332; BA 33-108; Ind. rushing: LL: Walli 4-133, Budweg 6-48; BA: Crittenden 8-59; Ling 11-56; Passing: Kumpula (LL) 2-2-0-38; Hucksteadt (BA) 3-12-2-78; Receiving: LL: L. Klein 1-27; K. Klein 1-11; BA: Austin Smith 3-78.
A handful of fumbles and a blocked punt ignited the Lakes' opening quarter salvo.
Quarterback Mitchel Kumpula passed for a pair of touchdowns to Konrad Klein and Lucas Klein, Tylor Rickard ran 40 yards for another, Tyler Roose had 20-yard TD scamper and Coy Budweg tacked on a 23-yard score in the opening period.
"They pretty much blitzed us in the first quarter," DeMink said ruefully. "And their defense smothered us the whole game."
A 47-0 lead at the half (Nic Walli had a 56-yard scoring run in the second period) made for a running clock in the second half.
Walli added a 52-yard scoring jaunt in the third quarter and Luke Monette scored from 47 yards out in the final stanza.
The Purple and Gold reached the end zone in the waning minutes on a 3-yard run by Corbin Crittenden.
Crouch commended the Vikings for playing hard.
"They kept after it and scored right near the end," he said. "They're young and they'll learn."
Walli led the winners' ground attack with 133 yards in just four carries as no less than six LL-H ballcarriers got into the act.
Kumpula was 2-for-2 passing for 38 yards. Lucas Klein had one grab for 27 yards and Konrad Klein had the other for 11.
The Baraga attack was paced by Crittenden with 59 yards rushing in eight tries.
Crouch must now prepare his team for a test versus powerful Hurley, Wis. next Saturday at home.
"Hurley has a very good football team," the Lakes' coach said. "We'll probably find out a few things about our team in that game."
Baraga hosts Hancock next Friday night.