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Rundle is everywhere as Lakewood tops Granite
John Rundle has a knack for being in the right place at the right time. The big defensive lineman pounced on three Granite Falls fumbles in leading Lakewood to a 28-20 victory. Rundle and the Cougar defense did an admirable job of stopping the run and forcing turnovers as Lakewood held on for a 28-20 victory on Oct. 5.
Rundle got plenty of help from team factotum Jay Wettlauffer. Wettlauffer did a bit of everything for the Cougars, offensively and defensively. He finished the night with a team-leading 10 tackles and caught four passes for 106 yards and a score. He also ran 13 times for 47 yards.
It was Wettlauffer who got Lakewood on the board first with a 19-yard touchdown catch in the first quarter. Justin Lane threaded a ball into Wettlauffer at the goal line as the home Cougars drew first blood.
The Lakewood defense stepped up on their end as well as Jordan Stauffer intercepted a Granite pass for their second forced turnover of the game.
Rundle recovered his first fumble of the night midway through the second quarter to give Lakewood great field position on the Granite 22-yard line. Three plays later the score was 14-0 as Lane found Marcus Harkins in the end-zone for his second touchdown pass of the night.
All the momentum was in favor of Lakewood as their kickoff team booted the ball back to Granite. Davey Moore made an absolutely crushing tackle of the Granite return man. His hit set the tone for the defense who again held Granite to no forward progress.
Josh Buxton recovered another Granite Fumble on the 40-yard line to put Lakewood back in business, but the Cougar offense could not move forward this time and gave the ball back on downs. Then Rundle came through with his second fumble recovery of the night, landing on a loose ball under a mad-scramble of players near the line of scrimmage. Once the pile was peeled off, a giddy Rundle celebrated the turnover.
This time Lane wasted no time in driving the Cougars back down the field. He found Wettlauffer on consecutive big gains, then threw two short passes to Harkins. Ernest Mitchell then took over carrying the ball from the running back spot, weaving his way through traffic for a 21-0 Lakewood lead.
It appeared as though the game might turn into a blowout, but Granite answered with two quick scores before halftime to close the gap to 21-14. The Cougars were undeterred and came out swinging in the second half.
Mitchell made an incredible run midway through the third quarter, dancing around tacklers a la Reggie Bush for a 40-yard gain. His run moved the Cougars down to the 4-yard line where Wettlauffer ran an option play to the right and pitched to Mitchell for another touchdown.
In the fourth quarter, leading 28-14, Lakewoods defense had a chance to put the game away. Wettlauffer and Harkins converged on a key pass breakup to halt a Granite drive. Fabrice Lays stood up a Granite running back in the hole and Buxton made a tackle for loss in keeping Granite bottled up. But the Tigers kept after it and did manage a score with five minutes remaining in the game.
Lakewood was unable to run out the clock and it wasnt until Rundle recovered his third fumble of the game on Granites next drive that the Cougars could safely celebrate their victory. Rundle snatched the last Tiger hopes out from under them with his third critical play of the game.
I was really pleased with how we started the game, said Coach Dan Teeter. Jumping out to a three-touchdown lead was great.
Coach Teeter complimented the strong play of Wettlauffer as a primary reason for the victory.
Jay was all over the place. He shared the team lead in tackles with Joey Davenport. He completed a pass, ran the ball, caught the ball. He leads the guys out there.
Lakewood plays again Oct. 12 against Cedarcrest.