LCL pushed its record to 4-0 Friday night, in part to a heavy impact by the special teams unit in the 45-14 victory over Racine St. Catherine’s.
The brand new Pritchard Park Sports Complex played host to the game, a state-of-the-art facility partially funded by the Green Bay Packers. As synthetic turf has grown more and more prominent across high school sports, such playing environments are becoming normalized- something that LCL benefited from with the installation of its own turf field in 2020.
The opening kickoff from the foot of Angels kicker Jakari Oliver was fielded by Luke Boldt at the Lightning 21, who took advantage of a number of key blocks downfield en route to an early six points for LCL. The touchdown return on the opening kickoff was the second in as many games for the Lightning, who now had 3 touchdowns on just six kickoff returns to start the season. Luke Haertle would find Colin Amack on the goal line for the two point conversion, giving the Lightning an 8-0 lead just 14 seconds into the contest.
Three punts later, a 42-yard reception from Levi Benes put the LCL offense at the Angels’ 31 yard line, where Sam Heicher would finish the drive on a 2nd & 10. Haertle would run up the middle on the two-point attempt, making it a 16-0 game.
The Lightning defense would force a three-and-out on the Angels’ ensuing drive, but a high snap on the punt allowed Gunnar Groesenick to tackle punter Domonic Pitts at the 30-yard line. LCL would march its way through the red zone, and a 15-yard touchdown pass from Haertle to Luke Boldt would further extend the lead. Haertle recovered a mishandled snap on the two point attempt, and completed a pass to Tim Frerking, pushing the score to 24-0.
Just two plays into the second quarter, LCL special teams came up big again, as Gunnar Groesenick blocked a punt on the goal line that was recovered by Matt Dobson in the end zone. The reception from Luke Boldt on the two-point try made it a 32-0 game. A short while later, a 1-yard touchdown pass from Haertle to Colin Amack would pad the lead for the LCL, giving it a 38-0 advantage going into the third quarter.
The Angels would eat up the first ten and a half minutes on their opening drive of the second half, taking advantage of a roughing the kicker penalty to fuel a 75-yard campaign. St. Catherine’s would trim the Lightning lead ever-so-slightly, as a 5 yard touchdown run from DJ Miller made it a 38-6 game.
LCL special teams would make an impact once again, as the six points were reclaimed on the following kickoff thanks to a touchdown return from Gunnar Groesenick. The 45-point total for the Lightning would remain on the scoreboard for the remainder of the match.
The Angels’ offense would punch the ball in on a one-yard touchdown run three possessions later for the final score of the game, which finished with a 45-14 tally.
LCL heads into a short week, looking to avenge last season’s late loss to 3-1 Martin Luther on Thursday night- a program the Lightning have never beaten.
Photos Taken By LCL Student Taylor Brockmeier