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The Lakeland College football team will look to right the ship this weekend after back-to-back conference losses. The Muskies (3-5, 3-2 NAC) host Northern Athletics Conference foe Maranatha Baptist Bible College (2-6, 0-5 NAC) at noon on Saturday.
The Crusaders are coming off a 62-27 loss to Concordia University of Chicago. Maranatha totaled 218 yards of offense, 139 passing and 79 rushing. Quarterback Phil Littrell completed 20 of 41 passes for 139 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions. Joel Kobosh led all receivers with five catches for 60 yards and two TDs. Running back Ethan Lane led the Crusaders with 44 yards rushing on seven carries, including one score.
Maranatha has been prone to turnovers this season and Bruton knows that the defense has to make some plays. "Our defensive line needs to get some penetration and force them to make mistakes," said Bruton. "Our secondary needs to catch the ball when we have a chance and take advantage of the opportunities we are given."
Defensively, Maranatha allowed Concordia Chicago to score in every quarter as they allowed 546 yards of offense, 401 passing. Maranatha has had success forcing turnovers this season, and Lakeland offensive coordinator Peter Hahm is stressing ball security this week. "We have done a good job this season holding onto the ball and not turning the ball over," said Hahm.
Lakeland is coming off a 28-19 loss at NAC leader Benedictine University. The Muskies outgained the Eagles as they totaled 365 yards of offense, including 246 rushing. However, they failed to capitalize in the red zone, and those missed opportunities cost them the game.
Sophomore QB Dylan Van Straten led the offense, completing 14 of 25 passes for 119 yards and two TDs while also leading the team in rushing, compiling 156 yards on 27 carries and one score. Senior wide receiver Justin Groeneveld led the team with four catches for 42 yards and two TDs.
The defense allowed 306 yards of offense, 136 passing and 170 on the ground. They couldn't contain John Borsellino who rushed for 159 yards on 29 carries scoring twice. They also allowed two passing TDs.
After two tough conference losses and the Cheese Bowl next week, Lakeland head coach Kevin Doherty is not worried about his team looking ahead. "It's senior day this week," said Doherty. "There's a lot on the line for these guys and I know they want to go out and show that they are a better team than the last two weeks have shown."
To hear Hahm's keys this week, .