Lake Linden-Hubbell Lakes grind out football win at home over Newberry Indians

LAKE LINDEN — On a day when great Lake Linden-Hubbell High athletes of the past were recognized, the current football team decided to write a chapter of its own.

On an oppressively hot and humid day, the Lakes recorded their first win of the season with a 34-20 victory over the Newberry Indians.

“We always talk about tradition and how important the community is to our program. The festivities (first LL-H Hall of Fame class and 1992 state championship team) today showed that,” Lakes’ coach Andy Crouch said.

“I think it was a great day in Lake Linden, seeing all these ‘old guys’ from the 1992 team and the hall of famers supporting our team.”

Carter Crouch started the contest at Ron Warner Field off with a bang when he returned the Indians’ opening kickoff 87 yards for a score.

“Any time you can get out in front of a talented team like Newberry, it gives the whole team confidence,” Coach Crouch said. “Maybe the football gods were smiling down on us.”

Whatever the case, the eastern Upper Peninsula team never did quite recover.

Newberry, falling to 3-2 on the season, couldn’t get its potent offense untracked.

Its vaunted running game sputtered and only quarterback George Sevarns, who had 73 yards on nine carries, was effective at all.

In the meantime, the Lakes (1-3) ground out 264 yards rushing, led by senior fullback James Tuovila’s 145.

“We’ve really struggled running the ball inside this year,” Andy Crouch noted. “In the past two games, we’ve put a major emphasis on improving it. The inside running game (by Tuovila) was crucial to our success.”

LL-Hubbell scored again before the end of the opening quarter when the hard-running Tuovila scored from seven yards out for a 12-0 count.

But the Indians countered early in the second period when Sevarns hit Jeff Rahilly over the middle with a 78-yard scoring pass to slice the Lakes’ lead to 12-6.

The home team upped the count to 18-6 later in the quarter on a 6-yard touchdown run by Tuovila, but again failed on the 2-point try.

A 3-yard run by Rahilly just before the end of the half cut the Indians’ deficit to 18-12.

But the Lakes had an answer when Carter Crouch found a wide-open Cole Gregoire with a 40-yard pass to the Indians’ 6-yard line. The sophomore QB scored from 3 yards away two plays later, and when Kellen Klein added the 2-point conversion, it was a 26-12.

Newberry narrowed it to 26-20 early in the fourth period when Sevarns tossed a 10-yard scoring pass to Ethan Edwards. The 2-point try was good.

The Lakes showed their resilience by scoring after that, Tuovila going in from 3 yards out. Crouch added the conversion with a run.

Gregoire and Carter Crouch had interceptions on Saturday.

There was a scary moment in the second quarter when senior Aaron Hainault of the Lakes had to be taken off the field by ambulance. Crouch said preliminary indications indicate there is no concussion.

Newberry is off this week before taking on Mid-Eastern Football Conference foe Norway at 7 p.m. EDT on Friday, Oct. 6.