Football Takes Down Lakeland in Opener

Coach Ben Downey Returns to the Helm with a Victory to Kick Off the 2022 Season


The “Dog Days of Summer” are an ancient Greek reference to the late July appearance of Sirius, the Dog Star, in the summer sky. Newly returning head coach, Ben Downey, is hoping to extend those dog days deep into the football season with his “leaders and dogs” mentality. Coach Downey has promoted a concept of toughness on his team by trying to recognize Indians who lead in some way and people who fight like dogs to get better in the weight room and at practice.

So how did Coach Downey’s second debut with the Indians go at Lakeland on Friday? It started off well with a strong first quarter. The Indians blitzing defense was solid, and the offense showed some spark after shaking off the opening game jitters. Alex “Malamute” Ortiz threw a swing pass out to Hayden “Greyhound” Miller beat a man and then raced for a 70 yard touchdown. Shortly thereafter, Ortiz hit Daeh “Doberman” McCullough perfectly for a 30 yard TD. Gerry “Bulldog” Jones was perfect on both extra points. Next, the Indians pounced on an onside kick that set up Brady “Mastiff” Farrell’s touchdown from the two. Tommy “Besenji” Eck saw an opportunity and ran into the end for a two-point conversion.

The second quarter was a little shakier with turnovers that allowed the Lakers a chance to score from one foot out on a controversial touchdown at the end of the half.

The only score in the third quarter was a 21 yard field goal by Lakeland.

When the fourth quarter hit, the Indians’ leadership was not going to let it slip away. The defense buckled up their collars and started baring their teeth. The Indians scored twice with a 4 yard run by Joe “Rottweiler” Piontek and a 16 yard Ortiz to Gavin “Boxer” Sparke offering. Once again, Jones was true. The Lakers were able to dull the pain when they returned a 95-yard TD.

Coach Downey’s Indians ultimately triumphed thanks to several leaders and dogs who refused to let this one slip away. The Indians prepare for a tough battle next week at Mishawaka. And remember, if you’re not the lead dog, the view never changes.