BY JOSH WEIR
The Canton Repository
Another week. Another starter on crutches. Another win.
And the beat goes for the Lake High School football team.
The Blue Streaks dominated the second half Friday night to pull away from visiting Boardman for a 21-3 win in their first game without star running back Jim Luther.
By the end of the night, starting receiver-safety-holder Logan Wartman also was on crutches, joining defensive end Patrick Freed, who is out indefinitely with a foot injury.
Although Lake is hopeful Wartman’s ankle injury isn’t serious, it’s another blow to a team still reeling from the loss of the talented Luther, who addressed his teammates before the game.
“I’m done for the season,” said Luther, who wore a brace on his injured left knee. “The main thing I tried to get through to them was play every play like it’s your last. We’ve got to play for each other and never forget that.”
Jarrod Daugherty rushed for 166 yards and three touchdowns on 28 carries while leading the team in tackles along with fellow linebacker Corey Paulino.
The Blue Streaks put an extra lineman in the game in the second half and ran the ball down Boardman’s throat, with Daugherty gaining 109 yards after halftime.
“We were struggling in the first half and we just had to come back and out-tough them and outplay them,” Lake senior lineman Sean Hemlick said.
On defense, Lake totaled seven tackles for loss and seemed to settle in as the game wore on against Boardman’s no-huddle offense, which was without Trae Robinson and Nick Buonavolonta.
It’s the kind of overall performance the Blue Streaks (4-0, 2-0 Federal League) needed to prove to themselves that the season isn’t over because Luther is unavailable.
Boardman (2-2, 0-1) outgained Lake, 348-267, overall. Ryan Pollifrone completed 18 of 26 passes for 231 yards. Dayne Hammond caught eight passes for 110 yards.
‘We were able to move the ball, but the idea is to get more than three points,’ Boardman coach D.J. Ogilvie said.