Ramblers can’t survive LC powerhouse

November 8, 2018

by Aaron Michell

Ramblers defeated by Lake City

Ramblers defeated by Lake City

Going into Friday night’s district championship game against the Lake City Trojans, McBain head coach Pat Maloney knew his team needed to execute offensively and limit the Trojans’ offensive opportunities if they wanted their season to continue.
They were unable to do either Friday night, falling 42-7 in a game dominated by the home Trojans.

“We didn’t execute our game plan on either side of the ball,” Maloney said. “We had four turnovers and you can’t do that against good teams and expect to win. We also got a bit beat up on the line of scrimmage. Our [offensive] line couldn’t get its normal drive, and our [defensive] line got mauled by Lake City’s line. We gave up too many big plays through the air, which we limited them in [a week three 14-12 loss] an earlier meeting,”

Lake City’s offensive, led by senior quarterback Matt Holt, had their way with the Ramblers throughout the evening.

Holt got the Trojans on the board first, connecting with tight end Ben Marion for a 20-yard score with 8:19 to play in the first. Later in the quarter, Holt and senior running back Noah Thom took turns marching the Trojans into McBain territory, with Holt capping the drive with a 12-yard score.

After one quarter, the Trojans led 14-0.

Lake City senior Miles McCleod got into the action midway through the second, scoring on a 2-yard dive with 7:00 minutes to go in the first half.

Trailing 21-0 with 12 seconds left in the half, McBain quarterback Gavin Sieland found receiver Garrett VerBerkmoes in the back of the end zone; however, VerBerkmoes was ruled out-of-bounds, and the Ramblers found themselves staring at a 21-0 halftime deficit.

Things didn’t go much better for the visitors in the second half.

The Ramblers turned the ball over twice on their opening two possessions, the second turnover leading to another Holt touchdown run.

Sieland got the Ramblers on the board with 3:55 to go in the third, capping a long drive and cutting the deficit to 28-7 with a 2-yard touchdown run.

The Ramblers recovered the ensuing onside kick, but the drive stalled out deep in Trojan territory.

Holt hit receiver Devan Davis on the opening play of the 4th quarter for a 52-yard touchdown, and later found Ben Marion with 5:23 to play for a 33-yard score to give the Trojans the 42-7 margin of victory.

Sieland led the Ramblers completing 17-36 passes for 247 yards, along with 67 yards rushing. VerBerkmoes caught seven receptions for 77 yards, with Logan Rodenbaugh adding four catches for 30 yards.

Owen Bontakoe and Noah Hendrickson led the Ramblers with 13 and 12 tackles, respectively.

Despite the loss, Maloney is proud of the efforts of his seniors. And he knows that in order to win championships, his team will need to find a way to get past Lake City – who’ve now won four straight in the series.

“[Our] seniors won 15 and lost six games over the past two years,” he said. “The toughest part is that four of the six are to Lake City. Our off-season goals will definitely be to address our issues against Lake City, and work with a more defined purpose to improve to get beyond Lake City – and any other teams that try to get in the way of our team winning our conference and district championship.”

McBain finishes the season 8-3. Lake City [11-0] will host Roscommon in the regional championship game on Friday.

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