Lansing made a statement as district play began Friday night, taking a commanding 40-18 road victory over Washington.
By RYAN McCARTHY
Special to The Star
The Lions hope the victory gives them some momentum entering their final two games.
“We feel like we’ve got some pretty good athletes so we want to spread the ball around, whether it’s running or passing or whatever we’re doing,” Lansing coach Bill Pekarek said.
Even with the early rain that made the slowed down the field, that did not seem to stop Lansing’s offensive attack.
The Lions, 4-3, struck first when quarterback Krystian Abbott connected with Kenneth Banks on a 20 yard pass, giving them an early 7-0 lead.
On the next drive Lansing went to the air again as Abbott hit wide receiver Khalil Bailey, who scampered on a screen pass for a 41-yard touchdown that made it 14-0.
Bailey, one of the leading receivers in the area, led the team with five catches and 163 yards.
“He wants the ball and he knows what he has to do to get it,” Abbott said.
Washington, 4-3, countered on its next drive, using mainly a ground game featuring Javeon Williams. Williams ended the drive with a 12-yard run that made it 14-6.
After surviving a turnover, the Lions took advantage of the remaining time in the half. Abbott connected on a 12-yard pass with Hector Porter for his third passing touchdown of the half, giving Lansing a 20-6 lead.
Abbott finished the game 11 of 18 with 283 passing yards.
Washington managed a pair of interception, but only the second one paid off. Deron Kirkwood picked off Abbott and returned it 55 yards, making it 20-12 early in the third quarter.
But the Lions did not waste any time scoring again. After a long kickoff return, running back Colin McQuillan scored on a 20-yard run, extending their lead to 27-12.
Then Lansing went to the air with Abbott connecting with Bailey for the second time of the night on a 49-yard pass for a 33-12 lead.
“We feel like our offense can be pretty explosive we just try to get it to all of our weapons and try to spread it around,” Pekarek said.
Continuing to try to keep possession later in the fourth quarter the Lions stayed on the ground. This led to McQuillan picking up a 2-yard touchdown that made it 40-12 lead.
Washington’s Marvin Bowens closed the scoring on the last play of the game with a TD from 1-yard out.
The Lions enjoyed the win after the game with celebrations and high-fives all around.
Lansing wants to make sure it carries into the next week.
“Right now we’re just trying to win one at a time,” Pekarak said. “We tried to put that emphasis on our kids and they did a pretty good job of stepping up.”