Bulldogs blast Flashes
Confident Lakeview runs past its rival
CHAMPION — Playing on a football field that’s soft and muddy, the offensive options a team has at its disposal are limited to one selection.
Success is based solely on whether or not a team can run the football well and stop the other side from doing the same.
Lakeview tipped the scale in its favor in both aspects in dropping Champion on Friday, 48-6.
“We had a really good week of practice,” Pavlansky said. “The guys are just improving. It’s encouraging to know they’re playing their best football of the year right now. It’s a credit to the coaches, but the kids, especially, and the eight seniors. We felt good about the game plan coming in.
“Facing adverse conditions with the field, we had to be committed to the running game.”
The Bulldogs (5-3) used the three-headed attack of Kevin Bayus, Tony Crish and Evan Adair to tally 242 yards and six touchdowns on 34 carries (7.2 yards per attempt).
“They ran hard,” Pavlansky said. “Tony Crish, Kevin Bayus and Evan Adair, that’s a nice three-headed monster. They were running hard, without question.”
Bayus led the way with 110 yards and three scores on eight carries while Crish netted 82 yards and a touchdown on 12 attempts and Adair carried seven times for 37 yards and a touchdown. Noah Olejnik got in on the action in spot duty with two carries for 34 yards and a touchdown.
“They’re a good football team,” Champion coach Nick Wagner said. “They’re well-coached and they’re fundamentally sound. Coach Pavlansky does a good job and he’s got his kids playing hard. It’s tough on us. We’re still building our program. (Lakeview) is just doing things well.
“Aside from Newton Falls, this is the first time we’ve really played in the mud. We just didn’t play to our full potential and (Lakeview) played a good football game. The weather was tough on both of us. (Lakeview) just played well.”
The Golden Flashes (4-5) did not enjoy that kind of success. They totaled 119 yards on 31 attempts, averaging 3.8 yards.
“They’re quarterback (Brandon Allen) and receiver (Noah Bayus) are two of the better threats we’ve faced all year,” Pavlansky said. “They’re talented kids. Our defensive philosophy was to stop the run. We had to do our best to stop the run or it was going to be a tough night.”
On top of that, Lakeview forced six turnovers, most of which were in Champion territory leading to Bulldog points.
“I would say that was just us not taking care of the ball,” Wagner said. “If you don’t take care of the ball, you won’t win football games. Six turnovers. I don’t know of a team that can win turning the ball over six times. We had to play a great game (to win). We had to have all three phases — offense, defense and special teams — played a great game. We didn’t have that.”
“The field conditions played a part,” Pavlansky said. “They just played hard. They played like their hair was on fire. They believed in each other. It was a team effort. I couldn’t be more proud of our guys.”
Allen carried 23 times for 67 yards and passed for 111 yards and a touchdown. Noah Bayus had six attempts for 46 yards and caught five passes for 103 yards and a score.
“(Allen) is a great running back,” Wagner said. “I joke with him at times and say he can hand the ball off to himself. He did that tonight. (Lakeview) played a fundamentally sound football game. Their defensive linemen were in gaps and had good gap control. The linebackers were filling holes. It was clogged and there was nowhere to go.”
“We played hard in the second half. That’s encouraging. It wasn’t all bad tonight. As a first-year coach, that’s what you want to see. The kids got after it. They’re not quitting.”