LEHMAN TWP. — It was as if Lake-Lehman had to start its season anew.
After a COVID-19 spread shut them down, Lake-Lehman came into Tuesday’s football practice with its routines already thrown out of whack. The players missed their rivalry game with Dallas and hadn’t stepped on a football field in 10 days.
In other words, the Black Knights had to make do.
Lake-Lehman quickly found its bearings in a 40-7 victory over Hanover Area on Friday night. The Black Knights’ defense kept the Hawkeyes to as many first downs as they had interceptions.
“I don’t mean to be negative in this, but there still needs a lot of room for improvement,” Lake-Lehman coach Jerry Gilsky said. “After a win, we missed a lot of things. We got stale offensively.
“Defensively, I thought the kids did an overall good job. We did well up front especially. Each week is going to be a trying week for us.”
Lake-Lehman came back from its shutdown on Tuesday with a whole new gameplan. Rather than watch film at the start of the week, the Black Knights went on to the field for long practices to get back into their rhythms.
Lake-Lehman didn’t begin constructing how it would play Hanover Area until Thursday’s rained-out practice.
“When we came back Tuesday, I couldn’t believe the energy level of the kids,” Gilsky said. “It wasn’t like it was another practice day or routine. You saw how much they were moving in practice. They were happy to be together.
“To be out that long, it was an experience. It’s a situation that I hope I’m never in, when you’re thinking of the safety of the kids. Safety is not a convenience. We had to do it.”
In a battle of one-win teams, the Black Knights opened Friday’s game without showing any rust. Javon Borger took the opening kick inside of the Hanover Area 30, setting up a Cole Morio 8-yard rushing touchdown. On Lake-Lehman’s ensuing possession, Colby Roberts went 28 yards on a misdirection carry to take a 12-0 lead in the opening 4:47 of the game.
Lake-Lehman’s search to find a breakout running back became a bit clearer after Friday’s win. Roberts ran for three touchdowns. He carried 15 times for 122 yards.
Hanover Area gave Lake-Lehman an early scare in the first quarter. Christian Torres found a wide-open Sean Dooner for a 52-yard touchdown pass to cut the deficit to 12-7 midway through the first quarter.
The Hawkeyes’ defense stopped the once-unstoppable Lake-Lehman rushing attack with a goal line stand. After forcing a fourth-and-goal passing attempt to be thrown into the ground, Hanover Area had possession at its 5-yard line with a chance at taking the lead on the drive. Lake-Lehman linebacker Gavin Paraschak hauled in an interception on the first Hanover Area play at the 5.
Paraschak’s pick set up Roberts’ second touchdown to take a 19-7 lead with 9:02 remaining in the second quarter. Lake-Lehman scored 28 unanswered points after the interception.
“I don’t know how the hell he caught it,” Gilsky said. “We had a couple of interceptions. Kids were just in their positions. (Paraschak) was in the linebacker position, got his hands up, and it was a great play that turned it around for us.”
Lake-Lehman’s Dustin Heinrich, Jeremy Scouton and Morio also had interceptions. The Black Knights’ defense held Hanover Area’s rushing attack to just 26 yards on 23 carries.