Mistakes catch up with Sabers
BY MARTY MYERS
Lakeland played stout defense and made the most of special teams errors, converting three turnovers and a muffed kickoff return into four first-half touchdowns en route to a 35-8 beating of previously undefeated Susquehanna on Friday night.
Cody Delfino recovered a fumble on the first snap from scrimmage and it was all downhill from there for the Sabers .
“Right before we came out I said whoever turns the ball over and has the penalties is going to lose,” Susquehanna coach Dick Bagnall said. “Here we did it right off the bat. The first quarter was nothing but turnovers and stupid penalties.”
The Chiefs, who have five defensive touchdowns and a safety in their three wins, turned that into a touchdown when Al Tuzze slammed in from a yard out, the first of his two scores.
Lakeland’s defense held Susquehanna to minus-8 yards of first-quarter offense, with linebackers Tuzze and Derrick Hanley sniffing out whatever the Sabers tried.
“Their linebackers were better than our line,” Bagnall said. “Hanley and Tuzze did an outstanding job. They just stopped us.”
That’s because head coach Jeff Wasilchak challenged his team after a loss to GAR.
The game got out of hand in a span of 83 seconds in the second quarter, with two interceptions returned for scores and Ryan Nichols recovering a loose ball on a kickoff to set up Tuzze’s 3-yard run.
But first, one play after Susquehanna converted a fourth-and-1 from its 19, Alex Filarsky picked off Dan Kempa in the middle of the field and returned it 37 yards, his second interception return for a touchdown this season.
“Defense is the best offense, they say,” Hanley pointed out. “I had to make a big play. We need big plays. I made a good read and I wanted to score. I was hungry for it.”
Tyler Brady’s burst up the middle on the first possession of the second half, smashing through two Susquehanna defenders en route to a 33-yard score to make it 35-0.
Susquehanna scored with 2.4 seconds remaining on a 39-yard pass from Kempa to Sean Stanley, capping a 95-yard drive.