30 Iowa Conference titles
SHEBOYGAN, WIS.—Jarred Lackey (junior, Somerton, Ariz., Cibola HS) may have made his last position switch for the Central College football team.
Converted to running back midway through training camp, Lackey racked up 143 yards on just seven carries as Central pounded out a 40-17 season-opening win at Lakeland College (Wis.) Saturday.
The Dutch rolled up 504 yards total offense, including 374 yards on the ground. Starting running back David Zachary (senior, Des Moines, Dowling HS) added a career-high 101 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries and quarterback Nate Snead (sophomore, Altoona, Southeast Polk HS) rushed for 90 yards on 11 attempts in his first collegiate start.
Central didn’t get on the board until just 12 seconds remained in the first quarter when Jake Viggers (junior, Altoona, Southeast Polk HS) booted a 30-yard field goal. He added a 23-yarder later in the game.
But the Dutch erupted for three second-quarter touchdowns and were up 24-3 at intermission. Central stretched the lead to 40-3 in the third quarter before yielding a pair of Lakeland touchdown passes.
It marked the first time since Oct. 11, 2003 that Central had two players rush for 100 yards or more and the 504 yards of total offense is the school’s highest since gaining 571 yards against Cornell College Oct. 27, 2007.
Coach Jeff McMartin made the running game a preseason focus after the Dutch averaged just 111.4 yards a game on the ground last year.
“We got off to a good start,” he said. “The running game was something we really wanted to take a look at and we did a good job.
“We’ll see how it evolves but I thought both (Zachary and Lackey) did some good things. Jarred had a great start and David did a good job of being patient and consistent. There are things we can definitely do better but they were both good today.”
Lackey shared time as the starting quarterback last year and had trials at linebacker and a couple other spots before landing at running back. But on his first carry he looked like a polished veteran, bursting free for a 61-yard touchdown run with 14:01 left in the first half. It was Central’s longest run from scrimmage since a 63-yarder by Vance Schuring against St. John’s (Minn.) Nov. 18, 2006. On Central’s next possession, Lackey made another run at the end zone, settling for a 47-yard gain that set up another Dutch score.
Snead completed 10 of 19 passes for 86 yards with no interceptions and a touchdown. Zack Bandow (junior, Manilla, IKM HS) was 5-of-8 for 44 yards and a score. Snead’s brother, Jeremy Snead (sophomore, Altoona, Southeast Polk HS), had five receptions for 54 yards with two touchdowns, one on a 15-yard toss from Bandow and another on a 23-yard pass from Nate Snead. Brett Wilkin (sophomore, Pleasant Hill, Southeast Polk HS) had four catches for 18 yards.
The Dutch defense recorded six quarterback sacks, including two from last year’s Iowa Conference sacks leader, defensive lineman Shane Wong (junior, Pleasant Hill, Southeast Polk HS). He had five tackles overall, including three for loss. Linebacker Greg Best (junior, Clive, Valley HS) topped the tackle charts with eight. Defensive back Cody Baethke (junior, Williamsburg) returned after missing most of 2008 with injury and had an interception on Lakeland’s opening drive.
Central outgained the Muskies 504-279 yards. The Dutch yielded 296 yards passing but held Lakeland to minus 17 yards rushing.
McMartin didn’t like giving up two second-half scores but was happy to empty his bench.
“We want to see our second group do a better job,” he said. “When you’ve got a team down 40-3 you want to build on that, you don’t want them to start coming back on you. But we got some young guys some experience. It was nice we were able to get a lead and give people some opportunities to play. Ultimately that supersedes getting a big score or posting a shutout.”
Central faces a sterner challenge in its home opener next Saturday, taking on nationally ranked Wis.-Stevens Point. The Pointers are ranked in the top 10 in most preseason NCAA Division III polls. Next week’s game will be their season opener. Game time is 1 p.m. at Ron and Joyce Schipper Stadium.