RIVERSIDE – After a rare season-opening football loss, Lemont’s plan for its road trip to Riverside Brookfield didn’t include an early 14-0 deficit.
But led by a new face under center, the Indians recovered from the first-quarter hole to post a 44-20 victory and take some much-needed momentum into a tough three-game stretch that includes Richards, Oak Forest and Tinley Park.
“We started off slow,” said Lemont coach Eric Michaelsen. “We were hoping the kids could pull it together and they did.”
Receiving his first start at quarterback, sophomore Chris Thompson gave Lemont a jolt, throwing for over 200 yards.
“He had a real good game,” the coach said. “He made good decisions and his feet also give us another weapon out there. He had a good day throwing the ball and our kids got open.”
With 2012 standout running back Chris Giatras now at Augustana, the Indians are using a running back by committee approach. Seven different players carried the ball against the Bulldogs with Tom Bleka and Julio Aleman both nearing the 100-yard plateau. Thompson, Michael Larkins and Ryan Dawson all scored touchdowns on the ground.
“We have a collection of athletes who can run the ball,” Michaelsen said. “They each bring a little different skill set. But I think they all had a nice game, they ran hard. And the offensive line still has a ways to go, but I thought they got their feet under them and did a nice job.”
While the win didn’t count any more than a win in any other week, it was an important milestone for the many young players on the team.
“It shows them that if you put in the hard work, good things will happen,” Michaelsen said. “It’s good for them to have some success and hopefully that will carry over to the next game.”