Tags: Feature Sports Story
|York (click for larger version)|
August 14, 2012 | 04:53 PMMADISON — On Saturday, the Lake Geneva Generals were finally able to relax a little.
After three tough losses to open the season and a two-point victory in their last game, the local boys took advantage of a weak Dane County Nighthawks run defense in a 43-0 blowout victory.
With the win, the Generals improved to 2-3 overall and leapt into second place in the Northwest Division of the Western Conference of the Mid-States Football League. After a rough start, the Generals now sit only three games back of the first-place Racine Raiders and in the fifth spot of the playoff standings.
According to Generals coach Derek Diehl, his team basically did whatever it wanted against the Nighthawks (1-4).
"We were able to try some new things," Diehl said. "We knew we had more firepower. They overloaded the strong side, and we ran to the weak side all game. They never saw it coming. Our confidence is everything. With these two straight wins, having momentum is big."
Former Badger star Trevor York and Requize Rhodman each rushed for more than 100 yards for the Generals. Diehl said Dane County's defensive scheme was easy to exploit.
"We were missing some linemen, but they had some natural gaps in their defense," he said. "It was off to the races. They could not stop our weak side running."
The Generals defense came up big for a third straight week. It committed few penalties, and the unit's performance is like "night and day" from the beginning of the season, Diehl said. Safety C.J. Wilson, a former Western Michigan standout, had a 100-yard pick six, and Darnell Lynch registered a safety. It was a dominant effort on both sides of the ball for Lake Geneva.
"The defense has been playing good for three straight weeks," Diehl said. "The players were able to go out there and pin their ears back for short bursts."
York started the scoring with a six-run jaunt in the first quarter to make it 7-0. He added several solid runs on the drive. In the game, York had two runs over 40 yards.
In the second quarter, special teams made its mark. Ricardo Williams returned a kickoff 80 yards for a score. Then, Williams caught a David Byerley slant pass and exploded 48 yards to the house to give Lake Geneva a commanding 21-0 lead.
In the second half, backup quarterback Jay Jaster hooked up with Demetrius Butler on a short fade route for a touchdown. Also, third-string quarterback Dominique Washington found tight end Mark Chambers for a 40-yard score.
The use of three quarterbacks means there is an official quarterback controversy in the Bay. For a fourth straight week, Byerley was ineffective and forced Diehl to go with Washington, a receiver who took some snaps under center.
"David is holding onto the ball too long," Diehl said. "He is missing his first read and is forcing passes on a late read. He needs to just throw the ball and not think so much."
Diehl said it will be a game-time decision at quarterback for Saturday's tilt against the Racine Threat (1-4), which is set for 2 p.m. at Williams Bay High School.
"I'm considering having Washington start and having Byerley in as a secondary choice," Diehl said.
It will be a day of football in the Bay, with the Williams Bay Bulldogs playing in a scrimmage at noon followed by a cookout and the Generals game.
Diehl said Racine's record is deceiving.
"We need to continue to perfect our defense," he said. "We are doing everything well on special teams, and it could be the deciding factor. But our offense must execute or we won't have a chance."