After finishing with only four victories in 2011, Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes has already matched last year’s win total in the first four weeks of this season.
The Lakers held on to defeat Detroit Catholic League rival Royal Oak Shrine, 24-21, at home on Saturday, Sept. 15 to move their record to 4-0 and hand the Knights their first loss of the season.
“That was good,” Our Lady Head Coach Mike Boyd said. “We needed that because it gets us one step closer to the Catholic League playoffs.”
With the victory, the Lakers moved to 2-0 in the Catholic League Intersectional Division, one game behind first-place Detroit Loyola.
The Lakers took a 3-0 lead at the end of the first quarter when Spencer Howell kicked a 27-yard field goal.
Our Lady then followed up in the second quarter with Sal Mastromatteo throwing a 23-yard touchdown pass to Mitch Lasceski and Jake Doetsch scoring on a 5-yard touchdown run to put Our Lady up 17-0 at the half.
However, Shrine (3-1 overall, 1-1 in the Intersectional Division) came to life in the third quarter as Connor Francek threw a 56-yard touchdown pass to Christian Rozanski and a 1-yard touchdown pass to Stewie Francke to cut Our Lady’s lead to 3 points.
In the fourth quarter, Lasceski would score his second touchdown on a 10-yard run to put the Lakers up 24-14.
Francek then threw his third touchdown of the day, an 8-yard pass to Francke with 35 seconds left, but the Lakers’ 3-point lead would stand.
“We played a good first half and moved the ball, but then we went brain-dead in the second half,” Boyd said. “We’re still working on playing a full four quarters, not just two.”
Lasceski finished with 82 rushing yards on 18 carries while Richie Cross had 66 yards on six carries.
The Lakers played without Garrett Ross, their standout running back and linebacker, who is still week-to-week with back issues.
Our Lady will next travel to face Allen Park Cabrini on Saturday, Sept. 22 in a game that Boyd is calling a much bigger contest than the one his team just played.
“This game can put us in position to reach the Catholic League playoffs,” he said.
Cabrini currently sits at 3-1 and 2-1 in the Intersectional Division. A win against the Monarchs would help give the Lakers the upper hand as they try to keep pace with Loyola in the division race.