Lakes score late, but come up short against Mustangs at home
LAKE LINDEN — It was too little, too late as the Lake Linden-Hubbell Lakes could not mount a late fourth-quarter comeback to overtake the Munising Mustangs. The Lakes had held a two-point lead up until the four quarter. However, the Mustangs put 14 points on the scoreboard in the last 12 minutes and went on to win the game, 20-16.
Both coaches admitted that it was a sluggish first half with much of it being played between the 20-yard lines. The Lakes, however, were able to put six on the board in the first quarter as their quarterback Carter Crouch mounted a 55-yard drive that put them in the red zone. On second and eight, Crouch took the ball himself and scampered 15 yards into the end zone. He was also responsible for the two-point conversion.
It took just 43 seconds into the second quarter for the Mustangs to counter. Deep in their own territory, quarterback Josh Huotari handed the ball to his running back, Mason Schieding, who dodged tackle after tackle and took it 86 yards to the end zone.
Schieding proved to be a force to be reckoned with as he carried the ball for 168 yards. Carter Crouch led the Lakes with 77.
The Mustangs had a total offense of 320 yards compared to Lakes 260.
Munising’s head coach Jeff Seaberg said he gave his squad a pep talk at half time that related more to their mental play than their physical play.
“Coming here, it is a different setting for us,” he said. “It was unfamiliar territory and my guys weren’t quite sure what they were getting into. I think that intimidated them somewhat. Also, I could tell they were down after Lake Linden scored first. I told them to get their act together and they did.”
The third quarter looked a lot like the first with a midfield battle that led to no scoring. In the fourth quarter, it took Munising no time to move the ball downfield on a 10-play drive. Schieding drove it into the end zone for six, but their attempted two-point conversion was no good. The Mustangs led 12-8 at that point.
After the return kickoff, the Lakes mounted their own 78-yard drive. It was highlighted by a 26-yard pass from Crouch to Caleb Gregorie that moved the Lakes from their territory into the Mustangs’.
While the 14-play drive ended in a touchdown and a good two-point conversion with 4:23 on the clock, the go-ahead score might have come too soon. The Lakes are notorious for their “clock-burning” strategy due to the fact that their team is so small in numbers.
“The longer we can keep our guys on the field and the opponents off, the better we’ll be,” said Lakes coach Andy Crouch, when asked why that strategy is so valuable for the Lakes.
After the kick-off, the Mustangs took over on their 36-yard line with roughly four minutes in regulation. It only took them two minutes for Huotari to connect with Hunter Smith on a 30-yard pass play that ended in the end zone. While the Lakes tried to put a last-minute run together, the game ended with a Mustang interception with less the 20 seconds on the clock.
“We got beat by some key plays at the end of the game,” said Andy Crouch. “Munising converted two fourth downs and that’s the game. While we are playing more physical football, we need to eliminate big plays and complete games.”
Munising moves to 4-3 on the season with the win. The Lakes fell to 1-6 with the loss.
Munising 0 6 0 14 – 20
Lake Linden 8 0 0 8 – 16
LLH – Crouch 15-yard run (Crouch run), 4:12
MUN – Schieding 86-yard run (Run failed), 0:43
MUN – Schieding 10-yard run (Pass failed), 11:55
LLH – Crouch 2-yard run (Gregoire run), 4:24
MUN – Huotari 30-yard pass to Smith (Huotari pass to Matson), 1:52
MUN – 320 (140 pass, 180 rush); LLH – 260 (41 pass, 219 rush)
MUN – Huotari 8-12-140, 1 TD, 1 INT; LLH – Crouch 5-10-41, 2 INTs.
MUN – Schieding 27-168, 2 TD; Matson 2-6; Huotari 6-3; Waldron 1-3; LLH- Crouch 12-77, 2 TD; Co. Gregoire 8-61; Klein 17-52; Hill 7-19; Ca. Gregoire 4-10.
MUN – Smith 4-73, 1 TD; Matson 3-45; Schieding 1-22; LLH – Gregoire 1-27; Hill 2-8; Klein 1-3; Lyons 1-3.