It may have seemed like a long shot at the time, but the Lakers are inching closer and closer to making Rabideau’s promise a reality.
Spring Lake forced Ludington into four first-half turnovers, built a 28-0 halftime lead and held off a stubborn Orioles’ rally in the third quarter to secure its fourth victory of the season, 41-21, before an impressive Homecoming crowd on a chilly evening at Grabinski Field.
The emergence of junior Chase Slagboom provided a huge jolt to the Lakers throughout the first half, as the wide receiver/cornerback made big play after big play — and he didn’t waste any time asserting himself.
Slagboom took the opening kickoff 88 yards to the house, set up by a nifty cutback near the 20-yard line that sprung him free to the end zone.
“I just saw a couple of my guys make some really good blocks and I just made some runs and a couple moves to get free,” Slagboom said. “Once I got into the end zone, it was just the greatest feeling ever.
“I’ve had big games like this, but never on varsity,” he said. “Doing it on JV was fun, but this is so much better.”
When the Orioles weren’t killing themselves on special teams, it was turnovers that did the trick. On their second offensive possession, Ludington fullback Joe Graham failed to tuck the ball away on a carry and had it knocked loose on the Lakers’ 37-yard line. The Lakers’ Johnny Mundt scooped up the loose ball and raced 35 yards for a 14-0 lead.
“The ball was bouncing our way in the first half,” Rabideau said. “The special teams play set the tone for us, and that scoop and score was obviously huge.”
Slagboom was far from being done after his opening heroics. He picked off Ludington quarterback Chad Large twice in the first half, the second of which set up the Lakers’ third touchdown.
To read more of this story, see today's print edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.