Lansing grounds out win over Washington

David Brox/Sports Highlights Unlimited

By Ian Stanford The Leavenworth Times
Posted: October 18, 2013 - 10:59 PM



The weather would seem to favor Washington’s power running game. But weather didn’t trump Lansing’s talent and coaching.
 
So while a cold, soggy football put a few hiccups in the Lions’ offensive attack Friday, Lansing figured things out and pulled away with a 40-18 win.
 
A win next week against Schlagle will punch their ticket to the playoffs, which start the first week of November.
 
The turning point Friday came mid-way through the third quarter, after a water-logged pigskin sailed on quarterback Krystian Abbott and found the hands of Washington’s Deron Kirkwood, who returned the interception for a score and cut Lansing’s lead to 20-12.
 
Following the turnover, Lansing’s third through the air, head coach Bill Pekarek turned more conservative, opting to run first and pass second.
 
It paid immediate dividends. After Khalil Bailey took the kickoff all the way down to Washington’s 20-yard line, junior running back Colin McQuillan took the first-down handoff outside the left tackle for a score.
 
From that point, McQuillan chewed up yards running to the outside.
 
Lansing also stopped turning it over, and for maybe the first time this year the run set up the pass.
 
McQuillan carried it 17 times for 154 yards and two touchdowns.
 
“We decided to run it more outside (in the second half), and McQuillan bounced out there and had success,” Pekarek said. “Their right defensive side might’ve been their weaker side (so we decided to run it to our left more).”
 
The lone touchdown Lansing would allow going forward came in mop-up time on the final play of the game.
Lansing’s defensive unit had its best performance this season, limiting Washington to a 3-for-12 third down coversion rate, and 0-for-3 on fourth downs.