By Dave Tomczak
Local Sports Journal
SPRING LAKE – Celebrating Homecoming, Spring Lake took advantage of six Fremont turnovers to cruise to a 28-7 Lakes 8 Conference win Friday.
The Lakers reached the endzone on their opening possession, gambling on a 4-and-1 at the Packers 16-yard line that Jakob Frederick took the distance for a score.
The teams exchanged punts after that and it looked as if the first half would end with a 7-0 Lakers lead. But Fremont would hand Spring Lake the first turnover of the game in the form of a fumble that Charlie Warber scooped up and returned 34 yards to the Packers four.
“You turn the ball over twice inside you own 10 yard line,” Packers coach Jeff Breuker said. “That makes it tough to win games.”
The very next play Frederick scored from 4-yards out for a 14-0 Spring Lake lead.
While the Packers would be plagued with turnovers on the night, the Lakers side of the ball was littered with yellow flags.
“That’s three straight games with 10 or more penalties for over 100 yards,” Lakers coach Jerry Rabideau said. “Maybe we can get by with that now but we can’t afford those down the line.”
At one point in the second half, the Lakers had a holding and back-to-back offside penalties to turn a first-and-ten into a first-and-30. Rabideau took a timeout and walked out onto the field and into the middle of the team huddle.
“I wasn’t offering them cookies,” Rabideau laughed after the game. “We can’t have first or second and long. We have to figure out what’s going on.”
But it wouldn’t be a penalty that would help Fremont get on the board. The Packers would take advantage of a Lakers turnover as Blake Locke recovered a fumble at the Spring Lake four. Wyatt Campbell would dive in off the left side two plays later to cut the lead to 14-7.
Spring Lake didn’t waste any time responding, as Chase Slagboom broke loose for a 45 touchdown run on the Lakers next possession for a 21-7 lead after three quarters.
“Our defense has been stepping up all year,” Slagboom said. “(And) we knew that our offense was going to step up this week.”
The Packers final two turnovers would seal their fate. The first, a fumble inside their own 10, resulted in the final score of the game, a 5-yard run by Warber. And the second, an interception by Slagboom with two minutes remaining, ended the game.
“Our defense just continues to play well,” Rabideau said. “We’re really balanced, we’ve got depth and our group of defensive backs are the best I’ve coached here at Spring Lake.
For the game, Spring Lake outrushed the Packers 222-35 and had a 272-172 total yardage advantage.
The Lakers’ Frederick finished with 13 carries for 83 yards and Mark Williamson had 11 for 39. Warber had two receptions for 50 yards and Frederick led the defense with five tackles.
Fremont’s Christian Wade finished 8-of-24 passing for 137 yards, Blake Siersema had four receptions for 40 yards and Campbell led the defense with six tackles.
Spring Lake 28, Fremont 7
Fremont 0 – 0 – 7 – 0 – 7
Spring Lake 7 – 7 – 7 – 7 – 28
SL – Jakob Frederick 16 run (Adam Ross kick)
SL – Frederick 1 run (Ross kick)
F – Wyatt Campbell 4 run (Blake Locke kick)
SL – Chase Slagboom 45 run (Ross kick)
SL – Charlie Warber 5 run (Ross kick)