MORLEY — The Lakeview Wildcats’ defense made sure the team got off on the right foot from the starting gate of the 2012 season, forcing six Morley Stanwood turnovers in a 24-8 win over the Mohawks Friday night, the Wildcat’s first game of the season.
“I thought our defense did an outstanding job,” Lakeview coach Guenther Mittelstaedt said.
Jared Taylor got the Wildcats (1-0) on the board with a one-yard run with a minute left in the first quarter. Wildcats running back Garrett Cavendish ran in a two-point conversion to make the score 8-0.
Lakeview’s other running back, Gus Ward, scored on a nine-yard touchdown run halfway through the third quarter to increase Lakeview’s lead. Taylor finished the scoring drive with a two-point conversion, putting the Wildcats up 16-0.
In the fourth quarter, Cavendish scored from 10 yards out with 8:54 left in the game. Ward ran in the two-pointer to give Ward, Cavendish and Taylor a touchdown and a two-point conversion each in the game.
“I think we have to give credit to our offensive line,” Mittelstaedt said. “I thought they did a nice job on the offensive line.”
It was a one-dimensional offensive attack for Lakeview, as the team rushed 51 times for 203 yards in the game, without attempting a single pass.
The Wildcats’ passing game was hindered owing to an injury to starting quarterback Sean Lindsay. Backup quarterback John Zuluaga-Torres took over at that point.
“We got a little more conservative with John,” Mittelstaedt said. “We had a lead and he’s a sophomore. We scaled our offense back a little bit.”
Cavendish led the team with 21 carries for 87 yards. Taylor had eight carries for 71 yards and Ward ran five times for 34 yards.
Lakeview’s defensive prowess, however, was the difference in the game, preventing any chances of a Mohawk comeback. The Wildcats defense picked off two passes and forced four fumbles, two on punts.
“We had some great coverage on the punts and caused a few fumbles,” Mittelstaedt said.
Cavendish, Ward, Zuluaga-Torres and Terry Grieser recovered fumbles and Taylor and Jon Wandel each had an interception.
“I thought Morley put a lot of effort in the game and played hard,” Mittelstaedt said. “But I think the bottom line is that Lakeview played some very solid defense.”
The Wildcats will play at home Thursday against Holton, which lost to Newaygo 27-7 Friday night.