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Diehl: 'We're a hot mess right now'



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July 25, 2012 | 09:47 AM
CHICAGO — The Lake Geneva Generals hoped to exact some revenge Saturday against the Chicago Mustangs, a team that ended the local semi-pro team's season a year ago.

What the Generals got was a disaster. Chicago scored at will and was only forced to punt once in a 40-13 drilling. Generals coach Derek Diehl voiced his frustrations Monday night.

"We're not a good football team right now," he said. "We're at a crossroads. It was a one-sided contest, and we weren't even in the game. Players are comfortable with the system. Now, they're calling the defense. We were checking out of coverages too late. We're a hot mess right now."

Diehl said during last year's division title run, players were learning his system and sticking with his calls. But on Saturday, the Generals were changing the system on the field and getting caught thinking too much.

"In the second half, I said if you change one play, you're out," he said. "This year, players are going against calls and are being coaches inside the helmet. We all have to be on the same page. We are doing too much thinking and not enough playing and reacting."

Chicago grabbed a 7-0 lead on its first possession, but Lake Geneva's David Byerley answered with a one-yard quarterback sneak to tie the game at 7-7. However, the Mustangs scored on their next three drives and took a commanding 34-7 lead into halftime. Chicago did whatever it wanted on offense with two scores each on the ground and through the air.

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"After they scored the second time, we focused on them and not us," Diehl said. "It was out of control at that point."

Lake Geneva's offense couldn't get much going. It allowed four sacks, and Byerley was rattled by the defensive pressure, Diehl said. Byerley completed 10 of 20 passes for 176 yards and two interceptions. On the ground, the Generals were held to only 89 yards.

Midway through the third quarter, the other Generals score came on an 85-yard kickoff return from Ricardo Williams.

The Mustangs capped the lopsided affair with a pick-six of Byerley in the fourth quarter. Diehl replaced Byerley with backup Jay Jaster late in the game.

Diehl said the defense improved in the second half, but the Generals aren't a come-from-behind team.

"They had a balanced attack," Diehl said. "They killed us on underneath routes, and we missed some tackles."

Trevor York, a former Badger High School star, led the Generals with 89 yards rushing and three catches for 27 yards. Williams caught two passes for 80 yards. Demetrius Butler added 58 yards on five catches.

York's cousin, Lance, another former Badger, led the defense. He had six and a half tackles and three and a half sacks and played really well according to Diehl.

In need of a win, Lake Geneva opens its home season Saturday in Williams Bay against the defending Mid-States Football League champion Roscoe Rush. The Rush just suffered its first loss in three years. As Diehl put it, there's no rest for the weary.

"We're not panicking," he said. "We'll be just fine. We're not out of it. Right now, morale is low. But guys are taking ownership. They called an extra practice this week. We need to make decisions on the sideline, not the field."

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