Nowhere to go but up for Laker football

Bear Lake’s Zach Belinsky (64) and Dane Mertes take down a Suttons Bay ballcarrier during the school’s first-ever football game Friday night. The Lakers went on to lose to the Norsemen 61-20. (Brian Fogg/News Advocate)

Bear Lake’s Zach Belinsky (64) and Dane Mertes take down a Suttons Bay ballcarrier during the school’s first-ever football game Friday night. The Lakers went on to lose to the Norsemen 61-20. (Brian Fogg/News Advocate)

SUTTONS BAY — Bear Lake football started the first game in program history on a good note, but from there on, not so much.

The Lakers fell to Suttons Bay 61-20 after just not having the enough firepower to keep up with the Norsemen.

“Suttons Bay is a good team. It might be their first year in eight man, but they have some tough kids that have played before,” Bear Lake head coach John Prokes said. “This was kind of the first time for a lot of our guys. Welcome to football.”

“It’s big because it shows our school has football. It shows a strong community because they all came out and supported us,” lineman Zach Belinsky said.

The day did start well for the Lakers with quarterback Andre Brown breaking loose on a bootleg to the right side for 67 yards and a touchdown on the first pay from scrimmage to go up 6-0.

“We were fired up. I think we caught them on a play, and I think they thought we would just go safe and run a trap or dive up the middle. We got to the outside and caught them off guard,” Prokes said.

The lead didn’t last long as Suttons Bay drove the length of the field in about 90 seconds for a 21-yard touchdown pass from Evan Rohrback to Lucas Mikesell.

On the ensuing possession the Lakers had a punt blocked and returned to the house to go down 14-6 only four minutes into the game. The Norsemen would lead 27-6 after the first quarter.

Early in the second quarter Travis Johnson battled through the half of the Suttons Bay defense for a a five-yard touchdown run to pull Bear Lake back in at 27-12

From there the game sped out of control with Suttons Bay scoring 34 straight points, and implementing the running clock midway through the third quarter.

Bear Lake’s Dalton Myers did chip in a touchdown in the closing minute to bring the game to the eventual 61-20 ending.

Despite the tough loss, Prokes is pleased with some of what he saw at the night, starting with the energy the team had in the early going and that they battled even when the game was out of reach.

“What I’m most proud of with this team is that when you get down that bad, it’s easy to quit. I didn’t see many guys on that team quit,” he said. “Our guys who played before stepped up and showed some great leadership. They were just out there battling. If I have that as a base to start, then I think I can build from it.”

The Lakers will have their home opener next Friday against Baldwin at 7 p.m. Home games will be played at Brethren High School.

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Posted by Brian Fogg

Brian is the sports writer for the Manistee News Advocate. You can reach him at (231) 398-3110 or bfogg@pioneergroup.com.

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