The Lakota East High School football team picked up its second consecutive win Friday night by suffocating Lakota West for a 35-0 victory inside a packed Firebirds Stadium.
The Thunderhawks’ triple-option rushing attack kept West off balance from beginning to end, accounting for 363 of East’s 437 total yards. Junior fullback Jack Dobrozsi, the Greater Miami Conference’s top rusher, collected 138 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 16 carries.
After a 0-0 first quarter, Dobrozsi opened the scoring with a 1-yard touchdown, capping off a nine-play drive.
“Jack’s having a great year,” East coach Rick Haynes said. “When you run the triple (option), you have to have a good fullback. I think we have a pretty good one.”
Through six games, Dobrozsi is comfortably leading the GMC with 922 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns. His 60-yard TD run, his longest run of the season, pushed the East lead to 28 late in the third.
East extended its lead to 14 with just over a minute left in the first half on the second Thunderhawk passing touchdown of the season. Junior running back Sean Church took a pitch from quarterback Dylan Fry and threw down the sideline, finding Evan Yablonsky for a 23-yard touchdown.
“When we call a play, we don’t know who is going to end up getting the ball,” Haynes said. “I think Dylan did a great job of reading the option tonight. He’s having a great season, and we’re just happy with the way he is playing.”
Fry, a junior, carried 14 times for 79 yards and two touchdowns, his first two scores of the season. Fry’s first TD pushed the East lead to 21-0 in the third quarter, while his second touchdown punctuated his team’s win.
Church and Jeff Garcia rounded out the rushing attack for East, running for 48 and 59 yards, respectively.
For West, which is 1-5 overall and 1-3 in the GMC, a costly turnover and untimely penalties barricaded the Firebirds from turning 334 total yards into any points.
“We’ve just got to keep coaching our kids and find a way to get them to learn what we’re trying to get them to do,” West coach Larry Cox said. “It starts with me. I’m the head coach of this program, so I take responsibility for it.”
Sophomore running back David Afari was the bright spot for the West attack Friday, gaining 137 yards on 22 carries. The Firebirds picked up 15 first downs and possessed the ball for over 29 minutes, but were never able to score.
“It’s been the story for the past couple of weeks for us, not being able to get the ball across,” Cox said. “We’ve had self-inflicted wounds, bad decisions, dropped passes and bad reads.”
West had promising drives end abruptly in the early moments of the game. Dropped screen passes and a costly holding penalty killed a drive as the Firebirds attempted to respond to falling down 7-0. On their very next drive, West squandered a first-and-goal opportunity by settling for — and missing — and 31-yard field goal try.
East (5-1, 3-1) now sits alone in third place in the conference behind Colerain and Fairfield. The Thunderhawks will travel to Colerain next Friday, while West visits Princeton.
“I’m not going to give up on these kids, and I don’t want them to give up on themselves,” Cox said. “We’ve got some kids that are playing hard. We just have to get the right combination is all.”
Lakota East 0-14-14-7—35
Lakota West 0-0-0-0—0
E: Jack Dobrozsi 1 run (Tommy Capano kick)
E: Evan Yablonsky 23 pass from Sean Church (Capano kick)
E: Dylan Fry 17 run (Capano kick)
E: Dobrozsi 60 run (Capano kick)
E: Fry 2 run (Capano kick)