/seasons/2017/contrib/20171022xtcs6o

Muskies overpower Warriors on ground, defensively in 48-0 rout

More news about: Lakeland

MILWAUKEE – Dezmon Eddie (So.-Alexandria, La.) rushed for a career-high 235 yards and the Lakeland University defense completely shut down Wisconsin Lutheran College in a 48-0 win Saturday afternoon at WLC's Raabe Stadium.

The Muskies dominated in the trenches, rushing for 419 yards as part of another huge offensive output while also holding the Warriors to 120 total yards, including 18 yards rushing. The result was Lakeland's first shutout since 2015 and another Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference win, setting the stage for a showdown between the conference's only two undefeated teams when the Muskies travel to face Aurora University next week.

Eddie had a monster game against the Warriors for the second year in a row, this time rushing 18 times for 235 yards and two touchdowns, plus catching four passes for another 51 yards and a score. The sophomore running back joined teammate Eldrada Meeks (Jr.-Southfield, Mich.) as the second Muskie this season to top 200 yards rushing, and his rushing total is the sixth-best in a game in school history.

Eddie rushed for 191 yards in the first half alone, including touchdowns of 35 and 83 yards in the second quarter as Lakeland built a 28-0 halftime lead. He did this after rushing for 140 yards and three scores and also adding 115 yards receiving the last time he faced the Warriors, and this time his numbers came in a winning cause as Lakeland avenged a 50-34 loss to WLC last season, its most recent loss to an NACC opponent.

The Muskies brought a powerful running attack all day, rushing 49 times with the offensive line of Jonah Carlson (So.-Kingsford, Mich.), Ryan Frahm (Jr.-Rhinelander, Wis.), Jack Merrill (Sr.-Iron Mountain, Mich.), Dustin Peterson (Jr.-Whitelaw, Wis.) and Steve Ragin (So.-Hobart, Ind.) repeatedly opening big holes. Meeks also gained 69 yards on just nine rushes and Michael Whitley (Sr.-Vidalia, La.) added 12 rushes for 66 yards and two scores, and Lakeland quarterbacks also were not sacked in 33 pass attempts.

The Muskies (5-2 overall, 3-0 NACC) struggled a year ago to contain Wisconsin Lutheran quarterback Pat Mathieson, who gained 447 yards and topped 200 yards both rushing and receiving. Lakeland had no such issues this year, as Mathieson completed just 5 of 14 passes for 60 yards and was sacked four times, and he finished with a net of minus-23 yards rushing.

The Warriors (2-5 overall, 2-2 NACC) rushed 43 times and finished with a net of 18 yards, an average of 0.4 yards per carry, and WLC passers also completed just 7 of 20 attempts for 102 yards. Lakeland forced the hosts into three turnovers, including the fifth interception this season by Oman Smothers (Fr.-Gadsden, Ala.), and also stopped Lutheran on downs three times in the first half in Muskies territory.

Jerry Stokes (So.-Missouri City, Texas) finished with six tackles, including two for loss, Diante Moses (Jr.-Houston, Texas) added 1.5 sacks, McNemon Vincent (Fr.-Vernon Hills, Ill.) posted a sack and a fumble recovery, and in all 14 different players were part of the Muskies' 15 tackles for loss.

Whitley completed 20 of 32 passes for 194 yards and two touchdowns and also rushed for two scores, including a four-yard run on Lakeland's first drive for a 7-0 lead early in the first quarter. Allante Gardner (Jr.-Detroit, Mich.) was the leading receiver with five catches for 57 yards and Dezmen Morse (Sr.-Milwaukee, Wis.) also added four catches for 42 yards plus a 7-yard touchdown pass from Whitley in the first quarter that capped a nine-play, 80-yard drive and put the Muskies up 14-0.

Freshman backup quarterback Charl'Tez Nunnery (Liberty, Miss.) also added his first collegiate touchdown on a 21-yard run late in the fourth quarter.

The Muskies are on the road again next week when they face Aurora, which improved to 3-0 in the NACC with a 28-21 win over Rockford University Saturday. Game time will be 1 p.m. in Aurora, Ill.

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