The Lake-Lehman High School football season had its share of ups and downs.
With a young team, you're going to go through stages like that, said Black Knights coach Jerry Gilsky.
The high points, including an early four-game winning streak and back-to-back wins late in the season, got the team into the playoffs and provided hope for the future of a program that loses just three offensive and two defensive starters.
I'm not totally content, but I'm happy that we made the playoffs this year, Gilsky said. We faced a lot of adversity along the way this year and the kids kept fighting and fighting and made the playoffs.
Lake-Lehman finished 6-5, losing in the District 2 Class AA semifinals to top-seeded Wyoming Area, a team the Black Knights beat, 15-14, with a fourth-quarter comeback in the third game of the season.
The win over Wyoming Area was the high point of a season that featured an offense producing 42 or more points four times and a defense posting two shutouts.
The kids did well, Gilsky said. We struggled a little more toward the second half.
When the Black Knights were at their best, they controlled the ball on the ground.
Dustin Jones ran for 1,180 yards and 18 touchdowns on 206 carries. The line clearly played a part in the success with the top four runners all averaging at least 4.7 yards per carry.
John Van Scoy ran for 403 yards and six touchdowns on 73 carries while Brady Butler added 279 yards on 50 carries and Tom Donovan had 275 yards.
We put together a nice solid ground game, Gilsky said. I thought our defense, for the most part, did very well until the last two weeks.
The Black Knights were eliminated with last weekend's 49-14 loss to Wyoming Area.
The team has made the playoffs in two of three seasons under Gilsky, but lost in the first round each time.
Getting over the first-round playoff hump is one goal on Gilsky's mind as he hopes to use the veteran base to build a stronger team for next season.
This was something we hope to build on next year and do a little bit more, he said. We have to get better at throwing the ball. Teams did load up the box on us in the second half of the year. We need to be able to open it up a little bit more.
Finding a way to do so may help the Black Knights reduce their down times in the future.