On Friday, Sept. 16 the Mountainside Mavericks came to Cobb Field to face off against the 2-0 Lakers. The game ended in the Lakers first loss of the season, with a final score of 24-7 in favor of the Mavericks. The Lakers defense, while not the impenetrable barrier we had seen the first few games, was by no means horrible. The offense had a rough time generating any kind of momentum and totaled fewer than 21 points for the third straight contest, managing a season low of seven.
Defensively, the Lakers relied on junior Hunter Kavanaugh for their only impact play of the night as he registered one sack to go along with six tackles. The Lakers defense was not able to force a single turnover on the night. Other steady presences included senior Henry Smith who recorded a team high eight tackles and junior Connor McNiell who matched the eight tackles of Smith including one for a loss. The defensive toughness which had headlined this Laker group seemed to be lessened this game. The Lakers will need to recapture that toughness if they want to get back into the win column.
The offensive side of the ball had fewer bright spots than the defense. Senior running back Calvin Macy still managed to stand out, turning his 10 carries into 54 yards and scoring the only touchdown of the night on a reception from junior quarterback Max Brauner. Senior wideout Owen West was the most prominent pass catcher of the night recording seven receptions for a season high 119 yards to lead the team. Other than those two senior leaders, the offense struggled to find any sort of momentum all night. Brauner had his worst passing night of the season completing only 18 of 37 passes for 192 yards and one touchdown while also throwing two interceptions and losing a fumble. Although Brauner was not awful, he certainly didn’t match the pace he had begun the season on. Look for him to have a bounce-back game next week.
Bottom line, this was the worst performance we have seen from the Lakers this season. It remains to be seen whether this will go down as an outlier or become the norm. The now 18th ranked Lakers will once again hit the road next week and travel to McMinnville to take on the 2-1 Grizzlies, who are currently ranked 25th in the state.