Mark Workman rushes for 203 yards as Hesperia beats Lakeview and clinches conference championship

Senior running back Mark Workman did some serious damage for the Hesperia varsity football team Friday evening.LSJ Logo incert

His big night helped bring his team a conference championship.

Workman carried the ball 22 times for 203 yards and found the end zone five times in the Panthers’ 47-20 victory over Lakeview that clinched a league title in the Central State Activities Association’s Silver Division.

“The kids are pretty fired up and this coach is pretty fired up,” said Hesperia coach Aaron Sims. “It was a fun celebration in the locker room.”

The title run continues Hesperia’s remarkable turnaround from a 1-8 finish from a year ago. The Panthers are now 7-0 overall and 5-0 in league play.

“I’m not really surprised because I know the grueling work they put in throughout the summer,” Sims said. “I saw all the sighs and the eyes rolling, but I told them that I knew what was coming if they kept that focus. The kids put in the time and they worked for each other.

“I’m not sure I expected 7-0 at this point, but I’m not surprised, either,” he added. “We’ve got a good group of kids here.”

Davian Gowens had a 79-yard kickoff return for a touchdown for the Panthers, while sophomore Garrit Yates ran for 129 yards and a score.

As a team, Hesperia totaled 466 rushing yards.

Defensively, Yates had five tackles and a forced fumble, Brandon Goins led with 10 tackles, and Gage Balkema added nine.

Hesperia will close its regular season with non-conference games against Fremont and North Muskegon.

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