Lakeview dominates: Spartans stop BCC, 44-0, in city rivalry

Lakeview dominates: Spartans stop BCC, 44-0, in city rivalry

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Lakeview dominates: Spartans stop BCC, 44-0, in city rivalry

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Battle Creek Central and Lakeview have been playing football for city bragging rights for almost 50 years.

On Friday, Lakeview earned the most one-sided win in the rivalry as the Spartans defeated Battle Creek Central, 44-0, in Southwestern Michigan Athletic Conference East Division football action.

To be on the short end of that score was frustrating for first-year Battle Creek Central coach Lorin Granger.

“It’s always tough when you lose to Lakeview. But to lose the way we did, it’s even worse. You always hate to lose that way,” Granger said.

The next biggest margin between the two schools happened the first time the city rivals played in 1963, as Battle Creek Central defeated Lakeview, 40-0.

Lakeview had never won by more than 28 points between the two schools, but after the Spartans were able to score 21 points in the first quarter, the home team had to know it had a chance at a big win.

Battle Creek Central had come into the game winless as Lakeview was looking to get to 5-3 on the season.

“I really respect Coach Granger and what they are doing, I know it’s hard for them,” Lakeview coach Matt Miller said, regarding the struggling Bearcats. “But you really don’t want them to think they have a chance when you are facing a team that is struggling. You want to get on them early and we did a good job of jumping on them early and taking the momentum.”

Battle Creek Central’s best drive of the game came after the opening kick as the Bearcats held the ball for 12 plays and drove it down to the Lakeview 24 before turning the ball over on downs.

However, Lakeview would take the ball from there and take just four plays before Mike Campbell broke free on a trap play to score from 54 yards out to give the Spartans a 7-0 lead with 5:00 left in the quarter.

After a short possession and a short punt by BCC, Lakeview took over the ball on the 27 of the Bearcats and one play later scored on a 27-yard touchdown run by Nick Ayres to make it 14-0 with 3:42 left.

Then, following an interception by Ayres, Lakeview took over the ball on the Bearcats’ 42 and three plays later the Spartans scored on a 10-yard touchdown pass from Riley Davis to Donnie Ernsberger to make it 21-0 before the first quarter even ended.

“We did move the ball well on that first drive, but we came up short and it went downhill from there,” Granger said. “When you have a team come out and score quick like that, the whole suddenness of it just can overtake you.”

Lakeview continued to control the game as the Spartans’ Ernsberger came up with a sack in the end zone of the BCC quarterback for a safety move the score to 23-0.

The Spartans would score twice more in the first half on breakaway runs as Davis found the end zone on a quarterback keeper from 20 yards out to extend the lead to 30-0.

Ayres would make it 37-0 before halftime on a 13-yard touchdown off a trap play with 3:19 left before intermission.

“Our offense played really well tonight. We have really been putting it together the last few weeks. We feel good about what we are doing, the offensive line is coming off the ball and the running backs are running hard,” Miller said. “We made a few adjustments after we saw what BCC was doing on defense in the JV game last night and how they were defending the trap. So we ran it a little wider and we really executed well.”

With a mercy-rule running clock, Lakeview scored its final touchdown as Campbell ran in from two yards out to make it 44-0 with 6:23 left in the third.

Campbell led Lakeview with 111 yards on 10 carries with Ayres adding 56 yards on five carries.

Victor Conley had 67 yards on 19 carries to lead Battle Creek Central (0-8).

At 5-3, Lakeview heads into the final game of the season next Friday at Gull Lake with a chance to make the playoffs for the first time since 2003 if it can get a win.

“It’s a huge game next week. As we see it, if we lose we’re done, so we are in the playoffs already because we have to win. It’s a playoff game, basically for us, already,” Miller said. “It’s exciting to be in this position and the kids are excited because they can see the light at the end of the tunnel. So I know our kids will be ready.”

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