WATERTOWN, Wis. – The Crusaders found bright spots in a 32-7 loss to Lakeland College, but it was the turnovers that cost them in the end.
Maranatha’s defense held the Muskies scoreless in the first quarter, limiting them to 46 yards in their first three drives. The Crusaders also had interceptions from senior cornerbacks Matt Morrison (Jefferson, Wis.) and Brian Puerling (Salem, Ore.)
The offense was efficient in their scoring drive, as freshman quarterback Brandon McCormick (Edwards, Ill.) connected with senior fullback Ethan Lane (Atlanta, Ga.) on an 11-yard pass.
The passing game found success early on as McCormick spread the ball around, connecting with receivers Matt Morrison (Jefferson, Wis.) and Joe Manion (Watertown, Wis.) for several long gains, occasionally hitting Lane out of the backfield.
The Muskies responded after the slow start, scoring on back to back drives to snag a 12-7 lead heading into halftime. Maranatha was 4-9 on third down conversions in the first half and won the time of possession battle with 16 to Lakeland’s 13 minutes.
Despite the early success, McCormick tossed four interceptions, two of which Lakeland converted into touchdowns.
Lakeland’s Dylan Van Straten rushed for 94 yards and a touchdown, while tossing 163 yards. McCormick finished with 191 yards, but was sacked four times. Morrison and Manion finished with 60 and 50 yards respectively.
On defense, Ethan Kennon finished with 11 tackles, 3.5 for loss, while Lane finished with eight tackles, one for loss and two quarterback hurries.
Maranatha moves on to face Rockford in Rockford, Ill. on Saturday, October 20 at 2:00 p.m.