STANTON — Lakeview’s quick start over Central Montcalm led to a big win Friday night.
The Wildcats scored the five of the first six touchdowns of the game and cruised to a 46-26 win over the Green Hornets Friday.
“It’s a big win, especially going into next week, which is our last home game,” Lakeview coach Sean Rinehart said. “I challenged the guys to play their best. That put us in a position to clinch our first playoff spot since 2007.”
The Wildcats’ big start came because of Nate Shurlow, who ran in a score and threw to Shawn Lindsey for another in the first quarter. Those were sandwiched around the first of four John Zuluaga-Torres rushing touchdowns.
“They have a very good football team. They do what they do well,” Central Montcalm coach Marty James said of Lakeview. “My hat’s off to Lakeview. They have a good thing rolling.”
Central got on the board late in the first quarter on a Keegan James 10-yard run. But the Wildcats answered with touchdowns from Zuluaga-Torres and Shurlow-to-Lindsey for a 33-6 halftime lead.
“I knew we should be able to run the ball,” Rinehart said. “We executed and we got some big plays.”
Marty James tried to make a few adjustments and they worked for a time.
“We just made some formation adjustments to our defense to put our kids in some better situations,” he said. “We got off the ball a little bit better in the second half, which caused some turnovers. We had three turnovers and they all came in the second half. But you can’t get that far down to a good football team.”
Keagan James had the only touchdown of the third quarter on a 24-yard run, but in the fourth quarter Zuluaga-Torres had two consecutive scores of 13 and 74 yards for a 46-14 lead.
James threw one touchdown and Trenton Braman added another for the final score.
“I wanted us to execute to make sure we did what we were supposed to do, and defensively, we wanted to contain the quarterback and their running back,” Rinehart said. “We had to find a way to contain them. They made some big plays in the second half and we were able to contain them a little bit.”
Garrett Cavendish led the Wildcats with 225 yards on 22 carries. Shurlow was 5-of-10 passing for 106 yards and Lindsey had three receptions for 48 yards. Cavendish also had nine tackles, defensively.
Keagan James had a combined 282 yards of offense. Braman had nine carries for 84 yards in the loss. Bo Studley led the defense with 10 tackles.
“They (Lakeview) threw the ball well enough and often enough to keep us from stacking the box,” Marty James said. “They did a nice job of balancing the attack.”
Lakeview can clinch a playoff spot on Senior Night next week against White Cloud while the Hornets go to Reed City next week.