LAGRANGE — Garrett’s football team rebounded in a big way to open Northeast Corner Conference Big Division play in a 28-0 win over Lakeland Friday.
Quarterback Aaden Lytle threw three touchdown passes to Trey Richards. Robert Koskie carried 23 times for 138, and the defense forced seven turnovers.
Garrett coach Chris DePew thought his team had to go back to its basics and commit more to the run.
“We felt the plan was (not good) last week and our execution of the plan was (not good),” DePew said. “We simplified things a little bit.
“We needed to play better and this should give us some momentum.”
The Railroaders (3-1, 1-0 NECC Big) took the opening kickoff and overcame a penalty to go 80 yards in six plays — four run plays and two passes.
Lytle connected with Richards deep down the middle of the field for a 36-yard scoring reception 3 minutes, 11 seconds into the contest. After a Laker offsides penalty on the extra-point attempt, Koskie powered into the end zone for two points.
The Railroaders blocked a Laker punt late in the first quarter, recovered the ball at midfield, then went on to score.
Richards caught a pass at the Laker 5, then broke a couple of tackles on his way to the end zone for a 17-yard scoring reception to complete a 50-yard drive in eight plays. Chase Leech kicked the extra point and Garrett led 15-0 with 8:56 left in the second quarter.
A Railroader punt backed up Lakeland (1-3, 0-1) deep in its own territory in the final minute of the first half. The Lakers went to one of its basic run plays, but misconnected on the handoff. Garrett’s Kyle Smith recovered and went three yards for the touchdown with just over 21 seconds left before half. The extra-point kick was missed and it was 21-0.
After Lukas Swager picked off the Lakeland quarterback early in the third quarter, the Railroaders scored on their first possession of the second half.
Koskie carried the ball five times for 32 yards to set up Lytle’s 7-yard TD pass to Richards with 6:21 left in the quarter. Leech kicked the extra point to make it 28-0.
Garrett picked off Marshall three times in the third quarter and five times for the game. The Railroaders held Lakeland to 155 yards of total offense. The Lakers did not go past 100 yards in total offense until there was around three and a half minutes left in the game on a 21-yard jet sweep run by freshman Carson Mickem to the Laker 48.
Lytle completed 13-of-20 passes for 134 yards. Richards caught six passes for 84 yards and had an interception.
Lakers coach Ryan O’Shea and his team got a similar slap in the face Friday that Garrett did in its loss to Churubusco last week.
“They (Garrett) came out guns blazing and we didn’t match their intensity,” O’Shea said. “We got out-coached, outplayed, out-everythinged. That’s on me.
“We gave up that first score and we were hanging our heads. We can’t be ahead all the time in a football game. I did not coach them well enough to battle through adversity and did not coach them to pull through adversity hard enough.”
The Railroaders travel to Eastside Friday for the annual Train Game.