By the third quarter of the rivalry game between SM South and SM East, both student sections began to simmer down. The Lancers led 27-0 and dominated the first half with smothering defense and quick, effective drives led by senior quarterback Gunnar Englund. Another blowout win seemed to be inevitable, and fans were trickling out of the bleachers on both sides of the field.
Then, just as Englund was about to take the snap, all attention was turned to the corner of the field.
A South student, dressed in a bright green body suit and a gold mask, sprinted across the field. He dodged several players, wheeling his arms around his head, before he was tackled around the throat by assistant principal Jeremy Higgins. The student section and the Lancer bench exploded in cheers as Higgins wrestled the student to the ground, ripped off his mask and escorted him off the field.
The incident blew up on Twitter, and gave a necessary boost of excitement to the second half as the Lancers defeated the Raiders 48-10.
After a 55 yard pass to senior Jackson Gossick to open the game, the Lancers dominated the game both offensively and defensively. Englund focused on passing early in the game, throwing 137 yards and spreading the South defense thin. This opened up opportunities for junior Wyatt Edmiston, who ran mostly up the middle of the field and notched three touchdowns on the night.
Englund also had an explosive 50-yard rushing touchdown, and junior Calvin Jones carried in the fifth Lancer touchdown.
Although the Lancers’ offense scored 48 points, the game was riddled with offensive mistakes. In the first half alone, East was called for eight offensive penalties. Englund and his offense was able to recover, but faced difficult situations such as third down and 36 yards to go.
“I’m happy and pumped that we won against our rivals, but we had too many mistakes and played too sloppy,” Englund said. “Even though we scored 27 in the first half, we played sloppy. We were just mentally not there.”
Cementing the Lancers’ victory was the defense, who pinned down South’s star running back Dalton Dewallen and allowed the East offense to spend a lot of time on the field. The Raiders typically rely on running the ball, but the East defense was smothering at the line of scrimmage and forced South to throw the ball.
At first, the South offensive line maintained their pocket against the Lancers, but as the game winded on the Lancers began to break into the backfield. Senior linebackers Kyle Ball and Sam William led the charge, and each roped in a sack.
“We were very prepared for anything they could try to trick us with,” Ball said. “Our line and linebackers ate up the run game all night so they had to try their luck in the air. We just shut them down right off and they started to fold mentally after that.”
The increased pressure caused wobbly passes from the South quarterback, and senior Charlie White picked off one pass and ran it back to the three yard line. This was one of many batted and blocked passes throughout the game.
South scored a field goal and then a touchdown in the last seconds of the game, but was unable to overcome the Lancers. East brought their record to 2-0 and have beaten both of their opponents by a margin of 38 or more.
Next week, the Lancers face off against the SM Northwest Cougars. Can’t make it to the game? Watch the broadcast here.