In the spread out, wide open style that is eight-man football, more room on the field generally translates to higher-scoring games.
But in the case of the Lakeside High football team and its seven starting seniors, there is no confusion as to why the Knights have held five of their six opponents to fewer than 15 points.
A team that returned all but one player from last season’s squad, Lakeside has looked the part of a veteran squad in its first six games, winning five.
“We only had 11 kids out, but that group of 11 was a good group of kids. They were kids that wanted to be here, and all except for one were returners, so we didn’t have a lot of teaching to do,” Chris Dohrman, who has served as Head Coach for Lakeside the past six seasons, said. “I think that was the big key.”
The Knights have held opponents to a single touchdown three times this season. Two of those wins, against Clark Fork (28-6) and Mullan (38-6) have given teams season low point totals.
“That is our strongest phase,” Senior lineman Gavin Rhea commented during a snowy after-school practice in Plummer early this week. “Six or seven of us are really strong defensively, and most the time we shut down offenses.”
Monday’s practice was the first for Gavin and his team following the team’s loss to Mullan/St. Regis Oct. 25.
For a squad that was 2-6 at this time last year, and now sits at 5-1 going into tonight’s game at Clark Fork, recovering from a loss was something Lakeside had not dealt with, and will now have to bounce back quickly from.
A win at Clark Fork would deadlock the Knights for first place in NSL standings and keep their playoff hopes alive, while a loss would end their season.
“We just had an off game last Friday,” Junior receiver/ defensive back J.J. Hall commented. “This is a mature group, morale is up and we know we can reset mentally for this week.”
With a win at Clark Fork tonight Lakeside would advance to a Kansas City style tie breaker with Mullan/St. Regis Monday, Nov. 4 at Kootenai High School, the winner earning the North Star League’s playoff berth.
“They’re all big games, but this one will count for sure,” Coach Dohrman said of Wednesday’s game at Clark Fork. “Our fate is in our hands.”
As for Monday’s tiebreaker, Coach Dohrman said he won’t worry about that until Wednesday night.
“Hopefully,” he added. “We have to take care of Wednesday first before we do anything else.”