2017-08-31 / Sports

Peterson, Lakers power past Stags

Lakers lean on six-TD performance at Kingsley, ready to protect new home turf against St. Francis
By Jay Bushen
Sports Editor


GLEN LAKE quarterback Cade Peterson races down the sideline for a 14-yard touchdown in the first quarter of a 42-21 win at Kingsley last Thursday. GLEN LAKE quarterback Cade Peterson races down the sideline for a 14-yard touchdown in the first quarter of a 42-21 win at Kingsley last Thursday. Glen Lake quarterback Cade Peterson takes a shotgun snap from the left hash, fakes a hand-off, looks left, then looks right — and sees nothing. Peterson proceeds to take two steps to his right — and sees an orange jersey.

But with his team down 7-6 in the first quarter, the 6-foot-5 senior sees no need to play it safe and wait for third down. He rolls left, convinces a Kingsley defender to leave his feet with a pump fake, turns on the burners, beats a defensive lineman to the pylon — and brings the majority of Glen Lake fans to their feet with a go-ahead score.

“Again!” Peterson shouts, referencing a touchdown negated by a Glen Lake penalty earlier in the drive.

Again and again Peterson put his play-making pedigree on display last Thursday in Glen Lake’s 42-21 season-opening road win over the Stags.


GLEN LAKE tailback Nick Apsey looks for space in the Kingsley defense last Thursday. GLEN LAKE tailback Nick Apsey looks for space in the Kingsley defense last Thursday. The Grand Valley State University commit gashed the Kingsley defense for 351 total yards, including 175 on the ground, and six total touchdowns as the Lakers began their pursuit of another state finals appearance in style.

“That’s the key with a kid like him: Not only does he have an arm, but he can make plays with his smarts and his feet,” Lakers coach Jerry Angers said. “He’s stepped up. He’s a true leader and he wants to win football games. He’s going to step up and make big plays when we need him, and he did tonight.”

Peterson’s four first-half touchdowns — a 22-yard scamper to the left pylon, the aforementioned 14-yard sprint to the same spot, a 50-yard pass to Nick Apsey, and a 3-yard run up the gut behind fullback Max Guilbeau — gave the Lakers a comfortable 28-7 lead at the half, and his second-half scores — a 9-yard slant to Nick Rice and a 4-yard run — put the game out of reach.

With help from a better-than-expected offensive line and a handful of other key blockers, Peterson guided Glen Lake to a solid Week 1 showing.

The post-game address from Angers was anything but celebratory, however.

“Thank God we can put 42 points on the board against these guys,” Angers said, “otherwise it’s a different ballgame.”

An over-reliance on one offensive weapon, defensive lapses and penalties created a cause for concern heading into Glen Lake’s annual showdown with Traverse City St. Francis.

Senior wide receiver Josh Sterzer said his team would have much to correct on film this week.

“We have to clean it up on defense and offense,” said Sterzer, who caught three balls for 49 yards, “and we can’t have as many penalties.”

The disparity in total yards, 450-226, wasn’t good enough for a Glen Lake team unaccustomed to surrendering three touchdowns in a single game. Kingsley, which converted 3-of-4 fourth-down attempts, scored on its opening drive, once in the third quarter and once in the fourth.

The Stags also exposed a weakness in the second half by running a middle screen, something the Lakers seemed completely unprepared for.

Angers took the fall.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do,” Angers said, “but some kids stepped up and played well. We as a coaching staff have to be a ton better. That screen play against us — that’s me. I’ll take full responsibility for a couple scores. We did a lot of good stuff on offense, but we’ve got to clear that stuff up.”

Penalties, meanwhile, were another focus at practice this week. Officials tossed 11 yellow hankies in response to infractions from the visiting team on Thursday and, by the final whistle, Glen Lake had given away 121 free yards.

“We did the same thing last year,” Angers said. “We took 18 penalties in this game. We cut it to 15 (in a 21-13 loss at St. Francis in Week 2), then by the state finals we only had eight penalties in five games total. We have to clear that stuff up, move on and get ready for a tough game next week.”

UP NEXT: ST. FRANCIS (1-0)

Fresh off an 11-1 season and a 21-7 Week 1 win over Marquette at Thirlby Field, the Gladiators will be more than ready to spoil Glen Lake’s debut on its snazzy new turf tomorrow night.

“They’re fast,” Angers said when asked what he noticed on film this week. “The offensive line, their technique is perfect. (Coach) Josh (Sellers) does a great job of getting his kids ready. We’ve got our hands full, just like every year. ... It was one of our losses last year. That’s still bitter, so we’re going to try to make sure we set that one straight, and then move on.”

Glen Lake worked on run fits all week in hopes of stopping the mighty St. Francis ground game, even if the Glads only put up 115 rushing yards and 215 total yards in Week 1.

Offensively, the key will be getting more players involved. Look for Apsey, who toted the rock just seven times for 55 yards at Kingsley (7.9 average), to be more involved tomorrow night.

And, against a team that scored on a fake field goal in the first quarter of last year’s game, special teams will be key.

“We’ll be a better football team than we were (last week),” Angers said, “and a better coaching staff.”

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

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