Three defensive plays, including a pair by senior defensive back Eric Singer in the last 4:21, vaulted Lakeland past Bonners Ferry 14-7 on Friday night at Corbit Field.
The Hawks continued their mastery over the Badgers in the Intermountain League rivalry. Lakeland stretched its win streak to 14 over Bonners Ferry, dating to 1982.
It was the Hawks’ fourth straight 1995 win, as Lakeland improved to 3-0 in league and 4-2 overall.
The Badgers dropped to 0-2 and 2-4.
“Our defense came out to win,” Singer said. “Our defense got our offense fired up and opened up the game with big plays, too.”
The teams battled to a standstill for three of the four quarters, with rain falling during the second half.
All of the scoring took place in the second quarter, with Lakeland taking a 14-7 halftime lead.
Senior linebacker Ryan Heuett’s interception set up Lakeland’s first touchdown series.
Heuett’s pick atoned for a lost Lakeland fumble just 30 seconds earlier. A 12-yard return by Heuett started the Hawks’ offense at the Badgers’ 22-yard line.
Seven plays later, Lakeland quarterback Al Bevacqua led Casey Pluid into the left side of the end zone with an 8-yard touchdown pass. Pluid’s point-after kick made it 7-0 at the 11:56 mark.
The Badgers moved the ball to the Lakeland 40, but punted away on a fourth downand-1.
Bonners Ferry scored on its next possession. Senior tailback Matt Myers rambled 32 yards over the right side, stretching the ball just over the pylon marking the right corner of the end zone. Myers’ PAT kick tied the game at 7-7 with 7:05 left in the first half.
Lakeland put the go-ahead touchdown on the board six plays and 75 yards later. The key play was a 60-yard pass completion from backup sophomore quarterback Kurt Reese to Bevacqua.
Bevacqua’s reception left the Hawks on the Badgers 11. A 6-yard TD run on a pitch play to freshman Harrison Bertsch completed the drive at the 4:02 mark.
The Hawks relied on the “Singer” prevent defense to squelch two fourth-quarter scoring threats.
The Badgers moved inside the Lakeland 8-yard line with 6:22 left in the game. On fourth-and-8, Singer came from behind to bat down a pass.
Bonners Ferry’s ensuing series was ended by Singer’s interception, and subsequent 32-yard return, with 4:15 left. Lakeland ran the clock out.
“Eric Singer is a great defensive back,” Hawks coach Terry Kiefer said. “He’s a really talented kid. He stepped in and made the big plays when he had to.”
The Badgers gained 141 yards rushing, including 134 by Myers, and passed for 76. Lakeland totaled 123 yards rushing, including 96 by Randy Foote, plus another 84 passing yards.
Lakeland travels on Friday to meet undefeated St. Maries.
Lakeland 14, Bonners Ferry 7
Bonners Ferry 0 7 0 0 -7
Lakeland 0 14 0 0 -14
L-Pluid 8 pass from Bevacqua (Pluid kick)
BF-Myers 32 run (Myers kick)
L-Bertsch 6 run (Pluid kick)
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