Vikes can’t stop Lancers
Published 2:49 am Friday, September 24, 2004
By By ADAM FISHER / Niles Daily Star
Lakeshore has a habit of setting off fireworks every time its football team scores.
The pyrotechnics raised concerns with fans during Friday's Niles-Lakeshore game.
If the school ran out of fireworks because of the high scoring, the Lancers' offense had plenty to spare in a 38-20 triumph that sent Niles to 0-5.
And while Lakeshore's quarterback Shaine Tierney has been the Lancers' start this season, it was running back Micah Nelson who was explosive in the first quarter.
On the Lancers' game-opening drive, Nelson carried the ball four times for 64 yards, including a 37-yard touchdown run. He finished the first period with 99 yard and two scores on six carries.
While Lakeshore's offense used big plays to build a 38-0 lead at halftime, the Vikings struggled to make small gains.
On its first four possessions of the half, Niles went three-and-out. The Vikings didn't get a first down until 3:25 to go in the second quarter, when Lakeshore already gained 14.
Once the Lancers got their ground game rolling, Tierney and the passing attack followed suit. The senior quarterback completed all of his first six passes for 94 yards and three touchdowns.
Janicki said he knew Lakeshore had a powerful passing attack and a good quarterback, but the Vikings just couldn't stop it.
Because of the 38-point deficit, the second half was played with a running clock. The third quarter passed by quickly, and it looked like more of the same from the Vikings' offense.
Niles came to life in the fourth quarter, scoring 20 points in the period. The Vikings scored on a 6-yard run by quarterback Nick Etzcorn early in the fourth to stop the running clock.
Midway through the final period, Niles' linebacker Rick Storm intercepted a pass and returned it 40 yards for a touchdown to make the score 38-14.
The Vikings had comeback hopes after recovering the subsequent onside kick. Those dreams were dashed, however, when Etzcorn threw his third interception of the game two plays later.
Niles did get one more touchdown run in the game, a 10-yard dive from Paul Bella to make the score a respectable 38-20.
Janicki said his team's play in the second half was inspiring and showed him that his players have a foundation to build upon.
While Niles' offense came to life, its defense atoned for its first-half mistakes by limiting the Lancers, who didn't play their starters after the second quarter, to 25 total yards in the second half.
In the first half, Janicki said, the Vikings' defense struggled with tackling, as it has all season.
Still, Janicki said, scoring 20 points in the fourth quarter and being on the verge of a comeback gave him something to believe in.
Niles' 0-5 start is its worst since the 2000 season, Janicki's first year as head coach at Niles, when the Vikings started out 0-7.