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Dylan Kelly (So.-Appleton, Wis.) rushed for 134 yards but the Lakeland College football team was defeated by Benedictine (Ill.) University 28-3 in its season finale Saturday afternoon at Taylor Field.
The Muskies finished the season with a 2-8 overall record, 2-5 in the Northern Athletics Conference. Benedictine finished the season at 5-5 overall and ahead of Lakeland in the final conference standings with a 3-4 record.
The Muskies got a resourceful effort from Kelly, making his first career start at quarterback in place of injured starter Dylan Van Straten (Jr.-Shiocton, Wis.). Kelly completed just 7 of 17 passes for 37 yards, but rushed 20 times for his career high total. He kept a number of drives alive by scrambling, keying his team's ball controlling offense and getting Lakeland deep into Benedictine territory on four of its eight drives.
Once it got within striking range of the goal line, though, Lakeland was unable to cash in with touchdowns. The Muskies' only points came on the first drive of the game, when a 14-play, 62-yard drive stalled at the Eagles' 3-yard line and William Yelverton (Fr.-Oconomowoc, Wis.) kicked a 20-yard field goal. Two other drives inside the 20 resulted in missed field goals, including a 31-yarder that went wide left late in the second quarter that would've made the score 7-6.
Benedictine got an eight-yard touchdown run by John Borsellino to start the third quarter and take a 14-3 lead, and the Eagles dominated the game on the ground in the second half. Benedictine gained 254 of its 345 yards of offense in the final 30 minutes, with nearly all of it from rushing. The Eagles completed just two passes in the second half for 20 yards and passed just four times total in the half.
Benedictine finally broke the game open late in the fourth quarter as John Alessi raced through a big hole up the middle and in for a 38-yard touchdown with 5:17 left. The Eagles recovered the ensuing kickoff as well and drove 33 yards for a 1-yard quarterback sneak by Cyle Schultz with 2:19 left in the game.
Lakeland gained 224 yards of offense, with 187 yards rushing. Kendrick Burks (So.-Pontiac, Mich.) added 17 carries for 41 yards, while Norman Grinstead (Fr.-Taylor, Mich.) was the leading receiver with three catches for 13 yards.
Bruce Romagnoli (Sr.-Iron Mountain, Mich.) made 10 tackles in his final game to lead the Muskie defense. Patrick Johnson (So.-Pontiac, Mich.) made nine tackles while Tyler Oslund (Jr.-Ishpeming, Mich.) and Yaphay Harvey (So.-Milwaukee, Wis.) added seven tackles each. Jake LaFleur (Fr.-Manitowoc, Wis.) added six tackles and Logan Christensen (Fr.-Gillett, Wis.) broke up a pair of passes.
Borsellino and Alessi both rushed for 100 yards for the Eagles, with Borsellino gaining 129 yards and Alessi added 104 yards on the ground. Schultz completed eight of 12 passes for 74 yards, and Benedictine did not commit a turnover in the game.