Luke Lalumia was disappointed when his miscue on special teams put Grand Ledge in an early hole Friday.
The senior made up for the fumble he lost on a kick return to help the Comets overcome an early double-digit deficit in a 34-32 victory over Sexton in a CAAC Blue opener.
“It’s hard to get yourself out of the mindset of hurting the team and putting the team down,” Lalumia said. “But when you’ve got a great coaching staff and a great team around you picking you up, you’ve just got to lift yourself up and that’s what I did. I just got my mind right and got the team right and got going.”
Lalumia got going on his next opportunity to field a kick by returning it 88 yards for a touchdown. That was among the 34 yards he averaged on his four kickoff returns Friday and helped Grand Ledge begin its comeback from an early 18-7 deficit.
“Luke is a playmaker, you’ve got to understand,” Grand Ledge running back Ba Blamo said. “Whenever he does something bad, he’s going to get his head back together and come up with the win. He’s one of our captains, one of our all-stars on the team.”
Lalumia’s kick return for a score highlighted solid special teams play for the Comets (3-0, 1-0 CAAC Blue) on Friday. And that proved to be the difference in a key early league contest.
Kicker Brendan Baker also was a big factor, making 42 and 45-yard field goals. His 45-yard field goal in the third quarter provided Grand Ledge with its final points, which were needed to fend off the Big Reds’ comeback.
“He was huge,” Lalumia said of Baker, who also made a field goal in the early stages of a Week 2 win over Holland West Ottawa. “We’ve got to give the credit to our long snapper Cooper (Alspaugh). We practice countless kicks every day and Baker has always been on point. He didn’t get a lot of kicks last year on varsity, but has got a couple early in the season now. I’m glad he’s executing.”
The Lansing State Journal will begin compiling area football leaders this week. The LSJ will compile leaders in passing, rushing, receiving and tackles. Coaches should send statistics to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org by 10 a.m. Wednesday.