GLEN LAKE — One hurdle down, one more to go.
With a 29-7 Northwest Conference win over visiting Kingsley on Friday, the Lakers moved to 6-0 and clinched their second playoff berth since 2001.
The win also gives Glen Lake a share of the league title, which it can win outright next week at Frankfort. But, the playoff berth was the highlight on this night.
"Making playoffs," said Lakers senior Mike O'Brien, who was also named homecoming king. "That's just a goal we've had for so long. It's every football player's dream to make the playoffs and make a run. So that definitely tops it all."
Glen Lake (6-0) last made the playoffs in 2010 with a 5-4 record.
"That was the big thing," Lakers coach Jerry Angers said. "A couple of years ago we kind of backed into the playoffs, but we did beat Benzie and we beat Kingsley that year. Both B schools, which gave us a lot of playoff points. I kind of knew if we got through those guys, we should be in pretty good shape."
Defense was key for both teams in Friday's game, which was no surprise as both teams came in giving up less than 10 points a game.
"We knew it, the teams we played weren't very good," Angers said. "We knew that this was going to be a big game for us. Defensive-wise, I talked about it all week that they're good runners and coach Leonard does a great job. We had to set the edge and find out how good we are. I think we found out we're pretty good."
Glen Lake built a 14-0 lead at the half, thanks in large part to two big plays.
"That's kind of how their offense has worked all year," Stags coach Jason Leonard said. "On film and here tonight, they bust a couple here or there. And to give you the truth about that, that's the veer offense. It's like novocaine. Give it time, it always works."
Trevor Apsey broke a long run and quarterback Carter Lee snuck it in for a touchdown two plays later. Then in the second quarter, Lee connected on a perfect pass to Tyler Stachnik for 40 yards and Anthony Czapek scored from 23 yards out on the next play.
"That's one of the things I'm finding out as the season goes on," Angers said. "When we give these kids an opportunity... these guys step up. The Apsey run was huge, Carter threw the ball great. Carter does a great job checking at the line of what he sees. He's a very smart kid and this is only his third start of the year, so I think that's a big thing for him."
Apsey then put the game away on the first drive of the third quarter when he broke free for a 45-yard touchdown run and a 22-0 lead. He finished the game with 11 carries for 155 yards.
"There was some good blocking, I cut back and I was gone," Apsey said.
Czapek added a second touchdown in the third quarter and finished with 74 yards on seven carries.
Kingsley (4-2) got a touchdown with 24 seconds left when Nathan Zenner scored from a yard out.
The Stags returned All-State fullback Tristan Eickenroth for the first time since the season opener, when he broke his arm. Eickenroth played with a cast on his arm and finished with 21 carries for 81 yards.
"That was scary," Leonard said. "I was really nervous about him playing, obviously. But, you pad it up, tape it up and see what he's got. He's running a little soft still, but that will come back with confidence."
Zenner finished with 56 yards on 12 carries while quarterback Tyler Newell was 4-for-7 passing for 35 yards.
"Our offense put our defense in a bad position," Leonard said. "You can't do that against a good team. And Jerry's got a good team."
Defensively, Thomas Waning had 12 tackles, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery for Glen Lake while Curtis Bunek had 10 tackles. Connor Fitzpartick had six tackles for the Stags.
With the playoff berth in stone and a share of the league title, Glen Lake can now focus on winning it outright next week.
"In high school, the senior class has not beat Frankfort," O'Brien said. "So I'm drooling over this game. I'm ready for a fight."
"We haven't beat them in 11 years," Angers said. "(Frankfort coach) Matt Stapleton, I think, is one of the best coaches in the state. That's another step. We talk about step after step. The kids have some goals, which is awesome. I try to bring them down a little bit, but that's my job as a coach."
Kingsley could still be in the mix for a share of the crown, but would need to beat Benzie Central next week and get help from the Panthers.
"We've got to take care of ourselves," Leonard said. "We've got to come out and beat Benzie. We can't worry about what Frankfort does with Glen Lake."
Glen Lake could win league outright next week vs. Frankfort
GLEN LAKE — One hurdle down, one more to go.
Frontier League at a Glance: 07/24/2014
Bums win in extras again
The Traverse City Beach Bums have found their comfort zone in extra innings the past two nights.Continued ...
2014 All-Region Girls Tennis Teams
The Traverse City Record-Eagle's picks for the 2014 All-Region Girls Tennis teams:Continued ...
Bums snap losing streak
Traverse City squandered a four-run lead early on, but a big 12th inning propelled the Beach Bums to a 7-5 victory over Joliet on Tuesday that snapped a four-game Frontier League losing streak.Continued ...
Mike Petty carded an ace on The Crown. He used a 7-iron on No. 16 for his second hole-in-one in 20 years of playing golf.Continued ...
Sports in Brief: 07/23/2014
Husband, wife capture 5K; Make A Wish tour starts Thursday; Roller derby bout set for Saturday. (Plus more)Continued ...
2014 All-Region Softball Teams
The Traverse City Record-Eagle's picks for the 2014 All-Region Softball team:Continued ...
Frontier League at a Glance: 07/22/2014
Frontier League baseball standings, scores and schedule:Continued ...
Skiers get jump start on season
It might be hard to think about winter now, but 14 high school Nordic skiers took part in the Vasa Ski Club’s inaugural summer roller skiing camp last week.Continued ...
2014 All-Region Boys Golf Teams
The Traverse City Record-Eagle's picks for the 2014 All-Region Boys Golf Teams:Continued ...
- Monday, July 21, 2014
Joliet beats slumping Beach Bums
For Traverse City, it was a case of the Mondays. The first case this year, actually.Continued ...
Roller derby bout set for Saturday
The Toxic Cherries take to the flat track against the Glass City Rollers followed by the Cherry Bombs against the Barry County Black Heart Maidens on Saturday at the Civic Center.Continued ...
Sports in Brief: 07/22/2014
TC East wins Little League district; Local players compete in Midwest tourney; Michalowski wins two divisions. (Plus more)Continued ...
Schmerheim shoots hole-in-one
Kim Schmerheim shot an ace Sunday at The Crown.Continued ...
Borgman, Hammar, Peyerk, Wilkerson first-time winners at Merritt Speedway
The Michigan Auto Racing Fan Club was present and brought plenty of sunshine along with them for a night of racing action in all seven classes Saturday at Merritt Speedway.Continued ...
TC Hounds 2014-15 schedule
The Traverse City Hounds 2014-15 Midwest Junior Hockey League schedule:Continued ...
2014 All-Region Girls Soccer Teams
The 2014 All-Region Girls Soccer Teams:Continued ...
Gateway finishes off TC sweep
Despite wonderful weather, it wasn’t a pretty weekend for the Traverse City Beach Bums.Continued ...
TC's Angus MacLellan earns All-American
Traverse City native Angus MacLellan has been named to USA Rugby’s 2013-14 Men’s Collegiate All-American team.Continued ...
Frontier League at a Glance: 07/21/2014
- Sunday, July 20, 2014
Grizzlies maul Beach Bums
Gateway scored two or more runs in five different innings in a 18-4 rout Saturday of Traverse City.Continued ...
James Cook: Pistons will once again be interesting
Last year, I said the Pistons 2013-14 season would be “interesting.” Not necessarily good, just interesting. And indeed they were.Continued ...
American Legion Baseball Standings: 07/20/2014
American Legion final standings:Continued ...
Disc Golf Results: 07/20/2014
Northern Waters Series at Carly’s Playground at Mt. Holiday:Continued ...
- Saturday, July 19, 2014
Frontier League at a Glance: 07/19/2014
- Frontier League at a Glance: 07/24/2014