LAPEER – The Carman-Ainsworth football team failed to pull a major upset on Friday night, losing to Lapeer 49-12.
The Lightning struck first with a 30-yard touchdown pass from Cam LaBelle to Brian Brown on the game’s first possession, giving Lapeer a 7-0 lead at the 9:32 mark. Justin Pohl took the ball right back for the Lightning, recovering a fumble and returning it to the 44 yard-line on Carman- Ainsworth’s first drive. Two plays later, wideout Bobby Opalewski made it 14-0 when he took a screen pass from LaBelle 35 yards into the end zone at 7:19.
However, the Cavaliers wouldn’t roll over so easily. Facing a third-and-goal, Carman quarterback and Northern Illinois-commit Dustin Fletcher found Torian Knott in the end zone from 13 yards out.
“Carman scored a touchdown when the game was still in the balance,” said Lapeer coach Mike Smith. “Dustin Fletcher is really tough to stop all the time. He just makes plays around everybody, and you just can’t stop that length. We got him some, but he got us some, too. [We have] a lot of respect for Carman and Fletcher for what they present, and, you know, they always play us tough.”
The Cavs missed the extra point, leaving the score at 14-6 with 11:07 left in the half.
Opalewski answered immediately, returning the ensuing kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown.
Bronson Butler made it 28-6 at 3:22 when he caught a 13-yard touchdown off a wheel route from LaBelle. The touchdown was the final score of the half for either team.
The Cavaliers started the third quarter with possession, but Pohl took the ball back again with an interception, which he returned to Carman- Ainsworth’s 24-yardline. Lapeer turned the turnover into more points when Phoenix Dickson scored a three-yard touchdown on the ground, making it 35-6 with 7:39 left in the third.
Facing a fourth-and-six on the very next drive, Fletcher hit Knott with a 20-yard touchdown pass after evading a flurry of Lapeer lineman and linebackers. The two-point conversion failed, leaving the score at 35-12 at 3:54.
On the ensuing possession, Brayden McKenna scampered 27 yards for a touchdown with 1:36 left in the penultimate quarter. After Kyle Sahr recovered a fumble on the Cavs’ next possession, Ryan Rubick scored the game’s final points on a 12-yard touchdown catch from LaBelle. Lightning cornerback Lucas Beck ended the game with an interception at 2:26.
Lapeer won the battle of total yardage, outgaining Carman-Ainsworth 308-177 including 152 yards on the ground.
Individual stats for Carman- Ainsworth went unreported.
The Cavaliers, 1-6, host the Flint Jaguars, 1-6, tomorrow at Carman- Ainsworth Middle School at 7 p.m.