But one of the most successful plays in the Lakers’ veer offense transpired into just another display of Comstock Park’s dominance on Friday during the Division 4 playoff opener at the Panthers’ home field.
The Panthers’ weak side defensive end, senior David Riley, displayed his impressive pursuit speed by catching Wolter from behind before he had a chance to pitch the ball, turning a typical strong Spring Lake offensive play into a 2-yard loss.
It was sheer frustration on both sides of the ball for the Lakers, as the Panthers built a commanding 37-0 halftime lead, then maintained that advantage during a running clock in the second half due to the enforced mercy rule.
The Panthers’ shutout victory is Spring Lake’s seventh-straight loss in the first round of the playoffs, dating back to 2002.
Spring Lake coach Jerry Rabideau said the big concern coming into Friday’s contest was slowing Comstock Park’s running game. To gain an edge in other areas, Rabideau said his team tried different strategies on both sides of the ball — throwing the ball on first down and sending disguised blitz packages at Panthers’ quarterback Jake Brown, for example — but to no avail.
“I told the kids, sometimes their X’s are simply better than our O’s,” Rabideau said. “You have to use it as a learning experience and get better from it.”
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