Niles upsets Lakeshore to open West
By By DAN WEISS / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- Defense carried the Niles varsity football team to an upset of No. 7 (Division 3) Lakeshore in the opening game of Southwest Michigan Athletic Conference West Division play.
The Vikings, now 4-1, allowed the Lancers to cover just 103 yards on the ground and 77 in the air with only one touchdown.
Lakeshore (4-1) did give Niles a little help, committing 10 penalties for 72 yards and turning the ball over four times on three fumbles and one interception.
Niles scored the only touchdown of the first half on a 12-yard carry by Josh Schoenthaler.
Schoenthaler's second touchdown, this time from eight yards, gave Niles a 12-0 lead in the third quarter before the game was delayed 47 minutes due to lightning.
After the delay Lakeshore cut the lead to 12-6 on an 11-yard carry by Steve Hicks.
Niles responded late in the fourth quarter with a 14-yard touchdown run by Lonnie Jones and a two-point conversion pass from Jason Rutkowske to Stacy Caskey.
Jones needed just four carries to reach the 1,000-yard mark for the season and finished with 167 yards on 26 carries. Schoenthaler carried the ball 16 times for 91 yards.
James Edwards led the Niles defense with three sacks of Lakeshore quarterback Shaine Tierney as well as two fumble recoveries.
Niles travels to Benton Harbor next Friday for another West Division matchup.