Berkobien ran for 184 yards and three touchdowns, and also contributed a sparkling effort on the defensive side of the ball, leading Spring Lake to a stunningly easy 49-0 victory over Orchard View.
“I’ve been itching to play,” said Berkobien, who has missed a pair of games this fall because of shoulder injuries. “It felt good to get back to practice this week, and I didn’t have any issues with my shoulder.
“We were all just ready to come out and get this win. Last week’s game was awful, especially sitting on the sideline knowing I couldn’t do anything about it.”
Berkobien got the Lakers rolling on Friday as he took the first play from scrimmage 55 yards. A few plays later, he plunged into the end zone from a yard out.
After the Orioles went three-and-out on their first possession, Berkobien went back to work, breaking off a dazzling 60-yard scoring run in which he broke a several tackles before reversing field and outrunning the defense to the goal line.
Things went from bad to worse for the Cardinals as on their very next play, as the Lakers’ Charlie Warber stepped in front of a Kris Wells pass for an interception, which he returned 20 yards for a touchdown.
Carter Bench’s extra point gave the Lakers a 19-0 lead just 6 minutes into the game.
“That pick six by Charlie really set the tone for us,” Berkobien said. “This win definitely brings us together and gets us on the right track. We have to treat every game as a playoff game.”
That’s because the Lakers stumbled to three consecutive losses after winning their season-opener against Coopersville. A fourth consecutive conference title is, in all likelihood, already out of reach. A fourth loss would almost certainly knock the Lakers out of playoff contention.
On Friday, Spring Lake looked like a playoff-caliber team.
Sophomore quarterback Mark Williamson, making his first start of the season, played a rock-solid game. He didn’t break off any big runs or fire darts all over the field, but he didn’t have to. Instead, he protected the football and made smart reads out of the Lakers’ veer offense. He completed 3-of-4 passes for 25 yards and carried the ball 12 times for 33 yards.
“He made all the right reads,” Berkobien said. “He did a real good job.”
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