Ryan Miller grabs Lucas Will's jersey photo by John Kozak
Following last Friday's 40-14 defeat at the hands of the St. Mary CC Panthers, there are two ways to look at Danbury's current situation.
The pessimistic view would say that the Lakers are 1-2, just like they were at this time last season.
On the other hand, however, there is reason to be hopeful. Danbury, in the midst of a rebuilding process, is very close to being 2-1 and had a much better showing this year against SMCC than they did last season.
Seth Vargo passing photo by John Kozak
In their game against the Panthers, Danbury, which was missing a number of key starters, fell behind 20-7 after the first quarter and 34-14 at halftime.
SMCC quarterback Trevor Fitzthum threw for 166 yards and four scores and ran for 99 yards and a touchdown. He threw two touchdown passes in the first quarter, a 27-yarder to Caleb Severance and a nine-yarder to Hayden Snow.
After Danbury running back Cody German scored from one yard out to cut the deficit to 14-7, Fitzthum ran a touchdown in from 63 yards out with 19 seconds remaining in the period.
“It was a tough game,” Danbury head coach Bryan Dudash said. “The injury bug came back and got us. We lost German and (Taylon) Molnar and that makes it tough for us when your two running backs go hard. The kids played hard, like always.
“We had over 250 yards of offense with our two backs down. We did what we had to do, went with the quick passing game, ran with Seth and tried to keep them off-balance as best we could.”
German, who rushed seven times for 58 yards and a score, suffered a hip strain. Molnar, his fellow running back, injured his knee and the team is waiting to find out the severity of it.
In the second quarter, Fitzthum hit Denarius Harris for a 21-yard touchdown and Derek Cook from five yards out. Danbury quarterback Seth Vargo scored from a yard out, making the score 34-14 at halftime.
Vargo completed 9-of-20 passes for 95 yards and two interceptions. He carried the ball 15 times for 45 yards and a touchdown. Jimmy Chamberlain had seven catches for 72 yards.
“I couldn't be happier with how (Seth) has progressed,” Dudash said. “You don't know how a young player is going to deal with the Friday night lights. We're going to start increasing his workload, we're going to give him a chance to run the ball a little bit. He's pretty darn impressive.”
This Friday, the Lakers host Cardinal Stritch as they begin play in the Toledo Area Athletic Conference. The Cardinals, who are 0-3 this season, were defeated by the Lakers, 26-18, in 2012. Stritch has a new head coach, Brian Wical, and has been showing a lot of different looks on offense.
As for Danbury, Dudash wants his players to focus on having a good week of practice as they try to bounce back after two consecutive losses.
“I told (the kids) we expect to be a lot better than we were,” he said. “When you look at St. Mary CC, it was different game than last year and we lost some guys, too. We've got to have a blue-collar work week. We've got to keep plugging along.”