Huron Valley Lakeland ran into a stampede in its season opener at home, as the Eagles were run over by the Northville Mustangs, 69-28, on Friday, Aug. 26.
“We made too many mental and physical mistakes against a good football team. They capitalized on our mistakes and played at a high level,” said Lakeland Head Coach John Maltese.
Lakeland (0-1) trailed 21-7 at the end of the first quarter and 42-21 at halftime.
Northville (1-0) then outscored the Eagles 20-7 in the third quarter before scoring one touchdown in the fourth to cap its scoring.
Mustangs’ running back Brandon Love scored four touchdowns in the first half, while quarterback Jeff Gertley threw for four touchdowns and rushed for one touchdown, as well.
Eagles’ wide receiver Charles Sanders caught two passes on the night, which were both for touchdowns, for 84 yards in addition to scoring a 5-yard rushing touchdown.
Anthony Waite finished with 127 yards rushing on 17 carries with a 74-yard touchdown run and a lost fumble, while Josh Orlando finished with 74 yards rushing on 14 carries with a lost fumble.
Lakeland quarterback Casey Palanca completed 3-of-8 passes with two touchdowns and two interceptions.
Christian Gojcaj also had 178 yards on kickoff returns for the Eagles, who also committed 12 penalties for 75 yards.
Lakeland gave up 661 total yards to the Mustangs, as Anthony Waite, Bobby Schumacher and Austin Bills each finished with four solo tackles on the night and Justin Bafus had Lakeland’s lone sack.
Northville is coming off a season in which it finished 9-2, its best season since it finished 7-3 in 2004. Last year, Northville shutout Lakeland, 35-0.
The Eagles will next travel to “The Jungle” to face the South Lyon Lions on Thursday, Sept. 1. Lakeland has won three straight against the Lions, including a 10-3 victory last season.
The last time South Lyon defeated Lakeland was in 2006, a 6-0 victory, which was the last of a 24-game winning streak the Lions previously held against the Eagles.
“We need to address these mistakes, correct them and play a more fundamentally sound football game against South Lyon next week,” Maltese said.