Football: Lake City with 'A good start to the season'
LAKE CITY – St. Charles and Lake City, two teams with different recent pasts seem to have diverging futures as well. The Saints have not won more than two games in a season since 2008 while the Tigers won the last two Hiawatha Valley League Gold division titles.
That’s a big difference between two teams, and it showed Friday night as the Tigers throttled the Saints, 56-12, in a Southern Football Alliance cross-division game.
Lake City senior running back Elliot Cox opened the scoring with the first of his five touchdowns, a 31-yard dash through the St. Charles defense just 3 minutes, 29 seconds into the game. Cox would add two touchdown receptions, an interception return for a score and another rushing touchdown before the first half came to a close with the Tigers leading 56-6.
“It’s a good start to the season,” Cox said. “We’ll take that. But the road gets tougher from here, so we’ve got to keep focused and just keep playing our game.”
Cox finding pay dirt is nothing new. As a junior in 2012, Cox scored a team-high 16 touchdowns. But even Friday’s outburst was something to behold.
“It was fun. I’m just doing what I can to put our team in the lead. Whatever it takes,” Cox said.
For one game, at least, all it took was getting the ball into Cox’s hands.
“It’s pretty easy, you handoff the ball to (Cox) and (Will) Balow every play. I don’t have to do much,” said Lake City senior quarterback Reid Lundell. Modesty aside, Lundell did more than simply turn to Cox and Balow. Twice Lundell hit Cox, in stride, for scoring tosses, finishing 5 of 7 for 126 yards and the two touchdowns. Cox caught four of those balls for 102 yards.
OK, so maybe it is as simple as finding No. 5, and getting the 6-foot, 185-pound senior the ball.
“Elliot’s a special athlete, there’s no doubt about that. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out,” said Lake City head coach Trevor Narum. “But as we go on, teams are going to get smart, and Elliot’s no secret. We’re going to have to be able to develop other parts of our game as well. But we think we‘ve got the kids that can threaten defenses in other ways.”
Narum added that a few of those players, namely Balow and Brady Kuchinka, were seldom used in Friday’s blowout. While some of the seniors were denied a chance to pile stats on stats, Narum was also given a rare opportunity to get a look at some younger players take the Friday-night field.
“It was nice for us to get some young guys a lot of playing time tonight under the varsity lights. That’s a good thing, it helps us build some depth going forward, which we’re going to need,” Narum said.
Balow did garner seven carries, gaining 38 yards including a 4-yard touchdown run. Cox finished with 137 yards on five attempts, averaging a gaudy 27.4 yards per carry. Lundell also scored on the ground, an 8-yard jaunt in the second quarter. Junior Easton Cox closed the scoring for the Tigers on a 30-yard scamper with 5:35 to play in the first half.
Lake City travels to Stewartville on Friday.