Football: Lake Central advances behind defense, running game
By Michael Osipoff 648-3137 or firstname.lastname@example.org October 19, 2012 11:38PM
Lake Central's Alec Olund hands off to Riley Arvanitis in the first quarter against Portage at Lake Central High School Friday night. | Jeffrey D. Nicholls~Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 21, 2012 6:11AM
ST. JOHN — Fierce defense on a sloppy Friday night and the running of Riley Arvanitis propelled Lake Central to a 16-0 win against Portage in a Class 5A Sectional 1 opener.
With star quarterback/running back David Yancey likely out six-to-eight weeks — essentially ending the Purdue recruit’s high school career — Lake Central still was generally in control, managing to advance to next week’s semifinals against Crown Point.
Lake Central (8-2) held Portage (3-7) to 63 total yards.
“Our defense the past two years has been fantastic,” LC coach Brett St. Germain said. “It’s a testament to our coaches. Our kids are playing with a lot of grit — we have guys injured on that side of the ball, too.”
But, of course, most of the attention has centered on the dynamic Yancey, who injured his left leg in last week’s regular-season finale against Valparaiso. After initial tests revealed “soft tissue” damage behind his knee, further tests revealed a stress fracture in his lower leg and a slight tear of his PCL, St. Germain said.
“All indications are that David is out six-to-eight weeks,” St. Germain said.
Arvanitis again helped pick up the slack. The 240-pound bruiser had 205 yards and a touchdown on 34 carries, after going for 110 and two on 25 last week, rarely getting tackled on first contact. With backup running back sophomore Brandon Scott also sidelined after suffering an ankle injury in practice, Arvanitis admittedly was tired after the heavy workload — “I’m worn out,” he said — but the senior has flourished in a more featured role.
“I knew if I ever was called upon, I would do what I do,” Arvanitis said. “I’d do my best. … We showed up like we didn’t have any injuries at all.
“I like this kind of pressure. I like the do-or-die kind of thing. I don’t want this train to stop rolling. I love these guys.”
Lake Central scored the only points it would need on quarterback Alec Olund’s 7-yard touchdown run with 4:15 left in the first quarter.
LC made it 14-0 when Arvanitis scored from 18 yards with 17.9 seconds left in the third quarter. That touchdown was set up when Mitchell Oskam intercepted a pass from Rashaan Coleman, operating out of the wildcat, at the Portage 38.
In the final game of his high school career, Coleman rushed for 55 yards on 29 carries, and had an 11-yard reception.
“It doesn’t have to be pretty,” St. Germain said. “At the end of the day, it’s about advancing and getting to next week.”