Could happier days be ahead for the football program at Lane?
Lane (3-2, 2-0) is certainly headed in the right direction after a 48-0 win over Dunbar (1-4, 1-1) in its homecoming game.
The Indians won their third straight with by forcing three turnovers with five quarterback sacks while limiting Dunbar to only 114 yards in front of 4,000 fans.
“Obviously, they are one of the best teams in the Public League,” Lane head coach Fred Proesel said after the victory. “They are a little down this year. Our defense is playing lights out. This is a huge win for us. It’s a huge win for the program.”
“I think our offense looked great,” Lane quarterback Jack McLaughlin admitted after the game. “The defense played amazing. We can beat anybody in the city right now.”
The victory sends Lane into a first place tie with Simeon(4-1, 2-0). The two teams will meet at Gately Stadium in the regular season finale on Friday, October 19. Lane hasn’t reached the state playoffs since 2008.
McLaughlin might have had his best game with 150 yards passing and 61 yards rushing and two touchdowns. McLaughlin threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Chris Lutzow.
Dunbar has been of the best teams in the Public League for many years with 18 trips to the state playoffs since 1989. The Mighty Men had to sit five starters who were suspended for fighting in a win over Young (3-2,0-2) last week.
“Lane is alright,” Dunbar head coach Glenn Johnson stated. “They are okay. They have been working with the same group for two years. They are not one of the best teams in the city(right now).”
Sometimes kids get distracted with homecoming games. The Indians looked ready for this big game as they drove 78 yards on the opening series. Victor Gonzalez scored on a five-yard run for a 7-0 lead.
Lane turned this game around in the second half by scoring six touchdowns in the last two quarters.
Joe Velazquez recovered a fumble in the end zone for a 14-0 advantage and McLaughlin finished the scoring with a one-yard run and touchdown pass after blocked punt by Velazquez.
“They wanted it more,” Johnson said after the loss.
“It was all business,” McLaughlin said. “We had to get the job done.”
The fourth quarter wasn’t much different as Lane scored three more times. The defense sealed the victory on the game’s final play by sacking quarterback Kyler Dawson who fumbled in the end zone for a Lane touchdown to send 4,000 fans home in a good mood.
“It feels great to be in first place,” McLaughlin said. “Nobody believes in us. We showed them tonight that we can play with anybody.
Dawson had a difficult night against Lane’s defense completing only 3-of-18 passes. Dunbar rushed for only 50 yards on 38 carries and failed to score despite starting its final four possessions of the first half in Lane territory.
“We should have been ahead by two scores,” Johnson said.
The Lane defense received solid efforts from Velazquez, Elijah Olomoniyu, Robert Kurek, and Abe Deleon.
McLaughlin has emerged as a football player in his second season as starting quarterback.
“In 24 years of coaching he’s as good as any kid I’ve coached as far as being a leader and the intangibles,” Proesel said.
“He’s okay,” Johnson said. “He is disciplined. He runs the offense pretty good.”.
Lane’s next challenge will be against Curie (2-2,1-1) at Rockne Stadium.