Niles football bows out to Lakeshore in District title game
Published 8:46 pm Saturday, November 8, 2003
By By DAN WEISS / Niles Daily Star
STEVENSVILLE -- The north end zone at Lakeshore's Al Stockman Stadium was a lonely place to be Friday night.
With the wind coming out of the north, the Niles and Lakeshore football teams took advantage when they headed toward the south goal on offense.
The Lancers did more damage than Niles, however, and the Vikings suffered a 37-21 season-ending loss in the Division 3, Region 2, District 1 title game.
Lakeshore, now 10-1, scored 20 points in the fourth quarter to erase a 20-17 deficit.
Steve Hicks scored all three Lancer touchdowns in the final period, on a 51-yard pass from Shaine Tierney and runs of two and 12 yards.
Tierney, who finished the night completing 10-of-14 passes for 146 yards and three touchdowns, carried the ball seven times for 73 yards in the fourth quarter.
The Vikings, which finish the year with a 7-4 record, scored twice in the first quarter as Lakeshore turned the ball over three times in the first half.
Niles' first touchdown came on a one-yard quarterback sneak by Jason Rutkowske. Stacy Caskey's extra point kick gave the Vikings a 7-0 lead.
Lonnie Jones then broke free for a 62-yard touchdown run and Caskey's kick missed wide to increase the lead to 13-0.
Lakeshore, however, came back in the second quarter as Tierney connected with Micah Nelson on a 19-yard touchdown pass. Steve Winter kicked the extra point.
Tierney then found Nick Freer on a 15-yard touchdown pass that was nearly intercepted but fell into Freer's hands. Winter's extra point gave the Lancers a 14-13 lead.
Winter opened the scoring in the second half, connecting on a 34-yard field goal in the north uprights.
Jones scored once more, on a 49-yard run and Caskey kicked the extra point to give Niles a brief lead before the Lancers' fourth quarter run.
Jones finished with 200 yards on 25 carries for two touchdowns. He finishes the season wtih 2,569 total yards on 292 carries. He scored 29 touchdowns and accounted for 178 Niles points.
Jones is eighth on the Michigan all-time single-season rushing list.