MILLBURY — An ugly, rain-soaked night was a thing of beauty for Lake as the Flyers poured the points on visiting Otsego on Friday.
Lake led just 10-0 at the half, but quickly put it out of reach with 28 instant points in the third quarter. The Flyers remained undefeated (4-0) with a 38-0 shutout of Otsego (2-2) in an Northern Buckeye Conference opener.
Lake junior quarterback Jared Rettig completed 10 of 17 passes for 211 yards and three touchdowns. He connected on TD passes of 56, 47, and 24 yards.
“We wanted to come out in the third quarter and score right away and go up 17-0,” Rettig said. “We knew our defense would stop them.”
In a constant and steady drizzle the Flyers defense forced six fumbles, including two on kick returns. Otsego managed just 109 yards of total offense.
It took Lake just three plays and 1:08 to make it 17-0. After Rettig hooked up with Todd Walters on a 47-yard pass play, Rettig scored on a 12-yard run.
Following an Otsego three and out, it took Lake just three more plays to make it 24-0. Rettig connected for the second time with junior running back Marcel Bryan, who scored on a 47-yard pass play.
Bryan caught four passes for 112 yards and two scores.
“We came out in the second half and we put up the points,” Bryan said. “They told me to keep focused and keep running the ball hard. I just got the ball and did what I had to do.”
Rettig threw his third TD on the night when he hit Adam Duncan on a 24 yarder for a 31-0 lead. Rettig showed good touch and a strong arm on most of his completions.
“We have a lot of kids that are playing very well right now,” Lake first-year coach Mark Emans said. “Jared does some very special things for us. He throws a very good ball. Marcel had two real nice plays out of the backfield for long gains.”
Brandon Short scored on a one-yard run after he set it up with a 21-yard scamper to put Lake up 38-0 with 1:27 left in the third. Short led all rushers with 60 yards on seven carries.
Lake accumulated 355 yards overall (144 rushing).
“It's balanced, run and pass,” Rettig said. “It's great when I can lead my receivers like that. My blockers did a great job tonight. We've learned that we can play in any weather that we want to.”
In the decisive third quarter, Lake had 228 yards of total offense, including 141 passing yards.
“We adjusted to the conditions,” Emans said. “We made some blocking assignment changes at the half.”
Otsego fumbled the ball three times in each half.
“Lake played harder and better than we did,” Otsego coach Matt Dzierwa said. “I'm not going to make any excuses because of the rain. We've practice in it before. It was 10 points at the end of the half. We thought we could get back at it. But I give Lake a lot of credit.”
At the half, Lake had 131 yards of offense and Otsego had 75. The Flyers' big play was a 56-yard strike from Rettig to Bryan.
On defense, lineman Collin Lloyd recovered two fumbles for Lake. Nick DeLauter, Short, Nick Walsh, and Jimmy Urias also recovered fumbles.
“Our defense has done a great job,” Emans said. “They were really maligned last year. My staff has done a really good job of getting out kids to buy into defense. We are starting to become very dominant.”
There were three fumbles over the first 8:24 of the game, including one by each team on punt returns.
After the Knights forced an early turnover on downs, Otsego had a 57-yard rush by Cole Gorski on its second possession. But Gorski fumbled on the next snap and Lake recovered.
The Flyers cashed in on Otsego's third fumble of the first half and added a field goal just before the end of the second quarter. Duncan's 26-yard field goal made it 10-0 with 14 seconds left.
Lake has outscored its foes 170-26.
“This league is so strong,” Emans said. “We can't get ahead of ourselves. We have to stay focused.”
Contact Mark Monroe at: firstname.lastname@example.org, 419-724-6354, or on Twitter @MonroeBlade.