BY DENNIS CHASE firstname.lastname@example.org
Traverse City Record-Eagle
---- — MAPLE CITY — Carter Lee was just looking to gain enough yards for a first down to keep the clock moving.
He got that — and much more.
The Glen Lake quarterback broke loose for a 75-yard touchdown run with 2:17 remaining Thursday night to seal the Lakers season-opening 27-13 win over Boyne City.
Lee, who earlier scored on a 94-yard interception return, started to skirt left end on a 2nd and 9 call when he cut back, found a seem and outraced Ramblers defenders down the sideline.
"The D end came out so I cut it up and there was only one tackle to break," he said.
That put away a game that was in doubt until late in the fourth. Boyne City had marched to the Glen Lake 24, but turned the ball over on downs with 3:24 left. Lee busted his run two plays later.
"I told the offensive coordinator just get a first down or two, please," Lakers coach Jerry Angers said of Lee's dash.
"Carter played well. He made big plays. He didn't make any mistakes. The pick six was huge, then he gets that long touchdown run. Those were two huge plays."
The hard-fought contest was a rematch of a Division 6 pre-district game last fall, also won by the Lakers.
"It was a bold call by coach Angers to start the season with (Boyne City) and I'm glad he did," Lee said. "It's a great start."
Boyne City outgained Glen Lake 357 yards to 207. But the Ramblers were stymied by three first-half turnovers and a third quarter drive that stalled on downs at the Lakers 8.
"Yardage is great, points are better," Boyne City coach Dave Hills said. "We didn't put enough points on the boards.
"Our execution was not where it needs to be to beat a good football team like that. That's a very mature team, lots of seniors, lots of good football players. But I'm proud of the kids and the effort they gave. We'll bounce back."
The Ramblers struck early in the second quarter when Corey Redman connected with Maceo Vroman on a 35-yard touchdown pass.
Lee set up the Lakers first score when he picked off a pass and returned it to the Ramblers 33. A 13-yard run by Elliott Bregni, followed by a 12-yard run by Trevor Apsey, put the ball at the 8. Three players, Bregni carried it in from a yard out to tie the game.
Boyne City appeared ready to take the lead just before half, driving from its 25 to the Glen Lake 14. That's when Lee picked off his second pass and sprinted 94 yards down the right sideline for a touchdown.
"They had been throwing that little under route the whole game," Lee said. "I was just thinking, 'Maybe I can jump this one.'"
A two-point run by Travis Wiltjer made to 14-6 at half.
For Lee, it was his first game in the secondary.
"I haven't played him on D for two years," Angers said. "He's been telling me, 'I want to play safety, coach, I want to play safety.' Well, it's his senior year. I've got to let him play both sides. He's a great athlete."
"I have big shoes to fill," Lee said. "Curtis Bunek was a great safety (last season). I can't hit as hard. I just have to make up for it in other areas."
Glen Lake added to its lead early in the third quarter when Apsey returned a punt to the Ramblers 20. Two plays later, Apsey scored from 13 yards out, breaking several tackles and dragging defenders with him into the end zone.
Boyne City scored early in the fourth quarter when Malik Smith went in from five yards out to make it 20-13.
Boyne City had one last shot and reached the Lakers 24, but could not punch it in.
"We knew it was going to be a tough game," Angers said. "We were concerned. And you saw why we were concerned. It was a great football game."
Lee led the Lakers with 92 yards rushing. Apsey added 42 and Bregni 40.
Smith was a workhorse for Boyne City, gaining 134 yards in 27 carries. Redman was 16 of 31 through the air for 227 yards. Vroman caught seven passes for 143 yards.
Apsey led the Lakers defense with 17 tackles. Wiltjer added 12 and David Grzebienik had 11.