LAKEVIEW — There would be no spoiling homecoming for the Lakeview Wildcats this year.
The Wildcats started quick and finished strong in a 26-14 victory over CSAA rival Central Montcalm on Saturday at Kos Field.
Garrett Cavendish scored three touchdowns, Shawn Lindsey accounted for two scores and the Wildcats defense intercepted two second half passes in the victory.
“I thought we played very well. We made some good plays with interceptions and a blocked punt,” Lakeview coach Guenther Mittelstaedt said. “Offensively, in the first half we did a nice job.”
Homecoming Court Photos
Special teams accounted for two big Lakeview plays. One an onside kick and the other a blocked punt, which set up a second score by the Wildcats.
“They made more plays than we did,” Central Montcalm coach Marty James said. “They had good plays at the right time. We can’t get into third and fourth and long and be susceptible to the big play.
“They played better in special teams and that set the tone early. To me that was the difference. That helped them build momentum and we didn’t respond until it was too late,” he added.
Lakeview opened the scoring on a 10-yard catch by Cavendish from Lindsey with 1:09 remaining in the first quarter.
Lakeview recovered the ensuing onside kick, but could not score.
Cavendish scored again from one-yard out and Brad Hamlin caught a pass for a two-point conversion for a 14-0 lead.
Lakeview’s third score in the first half was set up by a 67-yard run by Gus Ward. Lindsey capped the drive with a one-yard run for a 20-0 halftime lead.
Mittelstaedt said opening up a lead was key for the Wildcats.
“It was really big, since Central came on strong in the second half,” Mittelstaedt said. “We had trouble stopping them. They scored and luckily we picked off their pass at the one-yard line.”
Central Montcalm found the endzone late in the third quarter for its first touchdown, a 16-yard run by quarterback Keagan James, to make the score 20-6.
“We weren’t controlling the inside line of scrimmage,” James said. “We made some adjustments at halftime that opened that up. We took advantage and then they made an adjustment and shut us down.”
Lakeview punted on its next possession. The Hornets were driving, but turned the ball over at the one-yard line. Dakota Beemer intercepted Keagan James with 8:34 remaining in the game.
Lakeview turned the turnover into a 99-yard drive, capped by a one-yard run by Cavendish to put the game out of reach 26-6 with 2:42 remaining.
Hamlin made a diving catch at the sideline and Jared Taylor busted out a 45-yard run to keep the drive moving.
“That catch was unbelievable. He caught it just before going out of bounds,” Mittelstaedt said. “The run by Taylor, we had some nice blocking in the right side. Brad Hamlin and Jordan Mier had nice blocks.”
James scored one final touchdown with a 35-yard run with just seconds remaining in the game.
The win snapped a five game losing streak to the Hornets and kept their hopes alive for a postseason playoff appearance.
Ward finished with 86 yards and Cavendish 77 yards on the ground. Lindsey passed for 31 yards and passed for a score. John Zuluaga-Torres also had an interception.
James rushed for 185 yards on 28 carries. Lucas Emmons finished with 61 yards on seven carries. Seth Walker made 13 tackles for the Hornets.
Central Montcalm fell to 2-5 overall and 2-5 in the league. They will host Reed City (7-0) on Friday. Lakeview improved to 4-3 overall and 4-3 in the CSAA. They travel to White Cloud (0-7) on Friday