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 Friday Night Ohio: Jackson holds off Lake in shootout

BY Mike Popovich

 

LAKE TWP. Jackson never flinched when Lake crept a little closer Friday night. Experienced offenses as explosive as the Polar Bears' rarely do. Jackson persevered after building an 18-point, second-half lead and held on for a 35-32 Federal League win at Blue Streak Stadium.

Joe Childers ran for 153 yards and three touchdowns. His 8-yard TD run with 5:45 left gave the Polar Bears a 10-point lead. After Lake's Cameron Martin threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Tye Hunt just over a minute later, all Jackson did was run out the clock. Jaret Pallotta's 10-yard pass to Zach Beaulieu on third-and-6 clinched the Polar Bears' fourth win in five tries. "We have a veteran offense, and they're pretty confident in what they're doing," Jackson head coach Tim Budd said. Childers had four carries totaling 44 yards on his final touchdown drive. The Polar Bears handed the ball to him five straight times on their clinching possession. He pushed them 20 yards into Lake territory. "I know my line is going to get it done ... every time," Childers said. "In this situation, I know they have the heart to do it, and I wasn't going to lose it all. I know my team is counting on me. If they give me the ball seven, eight plays in a row, I have to make the play. I have to step up and be a player."

Martin stepped up in his first game as Lake's starting quarterback. He threw for 142 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 145 yards and one TD. "All the credit to Cameron Martin for his effort tonight," Budd said. "Not just running the ball, but throwing the ball as well. We didn't know he could bring that dimension, but he was on the money with a number of passes." Martin also had a 6-yard touchdown run during Lake's second-half rally. The Blue Streaks just couldn't get closer than three. "All our kids played hard," Lake head coach Dan DeGeorge said. "We just have to find a way to finish these games and get back on the right track."

Two promising Jackson drives to start the game were stopped in Lake territory. Blue Streaks linebacker Dylan Reeves recovered a fumble forced by Rayshawn Brooks after a first down completion to the Lake 11. The Polar Bears drove to the Blue Streaks 33 on their next possession, but linebacker Noah Collins stopped Beaulieu for no gain on fourth down. The defensive stops fueled the Blue Streaks. Making his first start at quarterback, Martin fired a 53-yard touchdown strike to Ryan Dadich to give Lake a 7-0 lead.

The Polar Bears were not going to be denied on their next possession. Noah Albright's 27-yard run quickly pushed Jackson into Lake territory. Pallotta's 11-yard pass to Childers on third-and-7 put the Polar Bears in the red zone. Five plays later, Childers scored from a yard out to tie the score 7-7. After Jackson's defense forced a three-and-out, the Polar Bears struck again. Back-to-back completions from Pallotta to Beaulieu and Brandon O'Quinn gave Jackson a first down at the Lake 12. Two plays later, Pallotta scored on a 6-yard run to put Jackson on top 14-7.

The Blue Streaks drove 64 yards in 12 plays on their next drive. They elected to attempt a field goal on fourth-and-1 from the Jackson 15. David Harbaugh's successful 31-yard kick cut the Polar Bears' lead to 14-10. A quick and successful response drive late in the first half increased Jackson's advantage. Childers scored his second touchdown of the night from a yard out to give the Polar Bears a 21-10 lead at halftime. The Polar Bears made it 28-10 on their first possession of the second half. Pallotta threw his 11th touchdown pass of the season, a 12-yarder to Jake Ryan. Lake made it a two-possession game late in the third quarter on a must-touchdown drive. Collins' 8-yard touchdown run capped a 16-play, 77-yard drive that took just over eight minutes. Martin's 2-point conversion pass to Mike Gillespie cut Jackson's lead to 28-18.

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On Twitter: @mpopovichREP

 

 

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