GUYS MILLS — Maplewood flexed its muscles right out of the gate in its home opener. The Tigers took nine plays and marched 57 yards up the field to the Lakeview 1-yard line. On fourth and goal, quarterback J.D. McFadden rumbled into the end zone for the opening score. Maplewood would lead the rest of the way.
On Friday night at Maplewood Stadium, the Tigers shutout Lakeview 40-0 in a non-region game, making a statement early on in the 2019 season.
“We looked good, there’s definitely things to work on, but I was happy the offense came out and played the way I knew they were capable of playing,” said Maplewood head coach Bryan Borkovich.
Despite missing four starters due to suspensions levied in last year’s playoff game against Reynolds, Maplewood’s offense didn’t skip a beat. The Tigers rolled for touchdowns on five of their six first half possessions.
After the first drive put them up 8-0, the Tigers defense forced a three-and-out to give the ball back to the offense. A 32-yard scamper by McFadden then set up a casual 3-yard score for Kaleb Donor to make it 14-0 late in the first.
After another stalled Lakeview drive, Maplewood needed just two plays to score again. This time, McFadden found Clay Cox deep down the right side of the field for a
78-yard touchdown pass.
“It’s been a few years, so I don’t know what it really felt like until I got back out here, but then I remembered what it was like,” laughed Cox. “Hit a few jukes.”
Maplewood punched in another touchdown on a McFadden keeper before things got a bit sloppy in the second quarter.
After a penalty gave the Sailors good field position, Lakeview quarterback Gavin Murdock found Dylan Kerr at the Maplewood 4-yard line. However, Maplewood stepped up and made the goal line stand which ended with a Kendall Crocker fumble.
“I like on defense that we didn’t stop,” said Cox. “We just crushed them every play.”
Maplewood fumbled on the next possession to give Lakeview the ball again in Tiger territory. But once again, the Sailors couldn’t make anything happen.
The next Maplewood drive started at its own 35 and eight plays later, Cox took a handoff down the left sideline and trotted into the end zone for the 34-0 lead.
The Tigers ran for 205 yards in the first half alone.
“I thought we were doing a good job getting off the football,” Borkovich said. “Which I expect because even our bigger guys are faster. Our offensive line had great push.”
Things didn’t start great for the Sailors in the second half. Murdock threw right on third and 20 and his pass was pounced on by McFadden, who sprinted all the way back for the touchdown, giving Maplewood the 40-0 lead.
From there, neither team could get their offenses rolling, which allowed Maplewood to maintain the shutout the rest of the way.
“I know what we’re capable of. We have good guys out there, we just got to make sure we’re flying around,” said Borkovich.
It was a very impressive performance all-around by Maplewood. The Tigers had 346 total yards to Lakeview’s 70.
For Maplewood (1-0), McFadden led the way going 7-for-13 for 118 yards and a passing touchdown. He added two touchdowns on the ground and an interception return. Cox caught four passes for 97 yards and a touchdown while adding 27 rushing yards and a score on the ground.
Donor scored a rushing touchdown and tallied 47 yards and Sam Wright rushed for 81 yards.
For the Sailors (0-1), Murdock went 3-for-12 for 40 yards. Crocker led the ground game with 35 yards. Dylan Kerr tallied 27 receiving yards in the loss.
Jordan Hansgen can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.