Behind a Herculian performance from running back Cody German, the Danbury Lakers defeated Elyria Open Door Christian, 63-20, to open the season 1-0.
The Lakers jumped out to a 24-0 lead in the first quarter behind touchdowns from German and Brandon Bahnsen. German, who finished with 234 yards on the ground, scored from 41 yards out just 13 seconds into the second quarter to make it 32-0.
The Patriots, who were competing in their first football game in the school's history, cut the deficit to 32-8 on an 8-yard touchdown pass from Tyler Haas to Jacob Lowe.
German then put the game away, scoring from 70 yards out with 7:56 remaining in the first half to push the lead to 38-12. Danbury would go into the half with a 50-8 lead and Open Door never threatened thereafter.
For Danbury head coach Bryan Dudash, who took over during the offseason, it was his first career victory.
“It was a great way to start the season,” said Dudash, who served as the team's offensive coordinator in 2009-10. “I was happy to get the first win, my first win personally. The main thing is that we came through healthy. We got the opportunity to get into a game situation (and) it was nice to get some young guys into the ballgame. Our guys made some plays and the offensive line played great.”
As a team, the Lakers rushed for 580 yards and set a school record for points (63) in a game.
“It was a special night for (Open Door),” Dudash said, alluding to the fact that it was the Patriots' first game in the program's history. “We did a fairly nice job (on defense). They had a few playmakers that had us concerned going into the game (and) we knew their quarterback getting into space would be trouble. We contained them in the first quarter, but we were not happy that they had some good drives and we had some penalties.”
This Friday, Danbury travels to Holgate to face the Tigers, a school out of the Green Meadows Conference.
“They have about the same number of guys as we do (in the program),” Dudash said. “They like to run the ball. They don't have humongous size, they're a lot like us. It should be their running game versus our balanced attack.”
Holgate lost a tough game to North Baltimore, 32-17, in Week 1. The Tigers feature a rushing attack that is led by running back Chance Gray. Last week, Gray ran for 87 yards on 11 carries and a touchdown while quarterback Jacob Williams completed 10-of-18 passes for 119 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions.
Last season Holgate, which is located 15 miles east of Defiance, went 2-8.
“We'll make sure that we get a lot of work in (this week),” Dudash said. “We're going to work on stopping (Holgate's) run. And we're going to use a balanced attack on offense to combat them.”
Holgate is the first of three road games for the Lakers who travel to Sandusky to face St. Mary CC in Week 3 and Cardinal Stritch in Oregon in Week 4. To make matters worse, the Lakers must travel 90 miles for their games against the Tigers this week.