Lakers blast Patriots

By Wayne E. Rivet
Staff Writer

The points just kept coming.

At times this season, scoring over 20 points was a major task for Lake Region, so when the team put up 22 over the first 10 minutes of the game Saturday night, fans, coaches and players were just plain giddy.

“The kids, on both sides, were having a lot of fun out there. Those kids (Gray-New Gloucester) had a lot of heart and fight in them,” Lake Region Coach Jason Simmons said. “I feel bad about the score because I have been on the other side of it. They didn’t want a running clock in the second half and we ran our two freshmen — Cody (Gibbons) and Jonah (Simmons) — so there wasn’t a whole lot more I could do.”

Two weeks ago, the Lakers won at home for the first time in six years. They apparently liked the feeling. Playing with high intensity from start to finish, the Lakers were tough to stop. Senior Mike Shea got his club started on the right foot, taking the opening kickoff 23 yards before being knocked down at midfield. After Gibbons rumbled ahead for 16 yards, Shea followed great lead blocks around the corner by Adam Shane and Anthony Osmond to gain 32 yards before being stopped just shy of the goal line. Shea punched it in, and Osmond (who connected on 5-of-5 extra point kicks, before missing his final two) added the point after for a 7-0 lead.

Jubilation was short lived as Gray-NG returned the ensuing kickoff 83 yards for a touchdown. A two-point run was good and the Patriots were up 8-7.

“We work on special teams every single day, but it seems when we get into the game, our guys get too excited and just don’t stay with their responsibilities,” Coach Simmons said. “It was nice to see us bounce back after they scored.”

Gray-NG hoped to catch the Lakers back on their heels by trying an onside kick. But, it backfired big time as senior Zach Simmons scooped up a high bounce, broke left and found lots of daylight for a 63-yard TD return. Shea (8 carries, 91 yards) added the two-point conversion for a 15-8 LR lead with 10:17 left in the first quarter.

Gibbons made it 22-8 when he made a couple of nifty cuts on a 4th-and-9 call to score from 23 yards out. The drive was good for 73 yards on nine plays. Key plays were a 13-yarder by Shea, a 19-yard jaunt by Gibbons and an 8-yard rumble off tackle on third down by Shea to keep the drive alive.

The Lakers made it 29-8 to start the second quarter as Shea leaped over two blockers, bulled over two defenders and scored from 20 yards out. Gibbons set up the score with an electrifying 20-yard burst along the sideline.

Defensively, the Lakers put the hammer down on the Patriots, rarely giving them a lot of running room. Junior Kamen Scott, who finished with 5 tackles, had a sack and made a couple of bone-rattling hits. Shea, who led the team with 8 tackles, sacked the Patriots’ quarterback for a 12-yard loss to stop one drive. Early in the second quarter, senior Adam Shane forced an incompletion with pressure up the middle, and then recorded a sack as the Patriots’ quarterback was dumped in the end zone.

LR cashed in on the defensive stop as Gibbons scored on his first touch, going 43 yards down the sideline to make it 38-8. Gibbons added another touchdown with 2:26 left until halftime from 4 yards out. The score was set up by an interception by Anthony Osmond (he had two on the night), who returned the ball 25 yards to the GNG-4.

“You have to respect Mike and Zach inside, so it opens up some space for Cody on the counter. He’s a good runner, a strong kid. With Cody and Jonah (who had a 47 yard gain) and most of our line being sophomores and juniors, we’re setting ourselves up for a nice run next year,” Coach Simmons said.

Gray-NG scored with 1:22 left in the half on a 14-yard pass play, just over the outstretched arms of Osmond. The Patriots connected on a 25-yard pass to start the drive.

Up 45-14 at the half, the Lakers tacked on a 22-yard run up the middle by Zach Simmons and a 37-yard touchdown run by Gibbons with 2:47 left in the third quarter behind a strong lead block by Josh Robbins.

LR had a chance to add to their point total after David Cosgrove recovered a Patriot fumble, but LR had a dropped pass that stalled the drive. LR also fumbled twice in the second half.

“We made a fair amount of mistakes, granted we had a lot of younger kids in the game, but we need to clean those things up — they can’t happen at Cape (this Friday),” Coach Simmons said. “I think we can play with Cape if we execute and drive the ball. If we go there with our heads screwed on straight, we’ll be okay.”

Gray-NG closed out the scoring with 6:11 left in the game on a 26-yard run.

“We’ve been able to move the ball, but it is the mistakes — two kids in motion or a fumble or a holding penalty — that hurt us,” Coach Simmons said. “They blocked tonight, got off the ball tonight. When things go your way, you seem to gain confidence and fire off the ball better.”

Up next: The Lakers travel to Cape Elizabeth Friday at 7 p.m.

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LAKER 57
PATRIOTS 20
First Downs: LR 15, GNG 4
Penalties: LR 13-110, GNG 8-60
Rushing: LR 33-499, GNG 26-33
Passing: LR 0-4, GNG 4-15-49
Total Yards: LR 499, GNG 82
Individual Rushing: LR, Zach Simmons 4-29, Cody Gibbons 20-232, Mike Shea 8-91, Jonah Simmons 10-96, Mike Triglione 2-2, James Anderson 3-18, Tony Marcella 6-31.
Tackles (solo, assisted, total): Josh Robbins 1-2-3, Adam Shane 2-1-3, Mike Triglione 0-2-2, Jonah Simmons 0-2-2, Mike Shea 5-3-8, Anthony Osmond 4-1-5, Cody Gibbons 2-1-3, David Cosgrove 1-0-1, Kamen Scott 2-3-5, Jake Fleck 2-0-2, James Anderson 4-1-5, Kyle Stevens 2-1-3, Lewis Morton 2-0-2.

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