LIBERTY TOWNSHIP, Ohio – The Hawks’ Nest had not been the friendly confines for the Lakota East football team against its district rival.
Even though the Lakota East versus Lakota West game has been played annually since 1998, the Thunderhawks snapped a five-game home losing streak against West Friday night.
Lakota East defeated Lakota West 36-3 Friday night in the 22nd meeting between the Greater Miami Conference programs. Lakota East has won three consecutive games in the series.
“You try to play your best game and just let the cards where they will,” East coach Rick Haynes said.
Lakota East (5-2, 4-1 GMC), rated No. 8 in the Division I, Region 4 computer points standings, scored 21 unanswered points in the first half en route to the victory.
Lakota East had 366 yards of total offense. Senior running back Jack Dobrozsi had 13 carries for 240 yards and three touchdowns.
Lakota East senior RB Jack Dobrozsi had three rushing TDs tonight (57, 65 and 64 yards). pic.twitter.com/LPscco4dO2
— Mike Dyer (@MikeDyer) October 6, 2018
Senior quarterback Sean Church was 5 of 9 passing for 96 yards and two touchdowns.
Dobrozsi said he was nervous throughout the entire day. He woke up at 7 a.m., a bit earlier than normal, and felt like he was going to throw up. He kept thinking about his last opportunity to play West.
“This is what you practice for 365 days of the year,” Dobroszi said. “Once you get the chance, you get really excited.”
After three punts opened the first quarter, the Firebirds (2-5, 1-4 GMC) sustained a lengthy drive that ended with senior Nicklas Hjort’s 42-yard field goal at the 1:56 mark for an early 3-0 lead.
The teams traded additional punts until the Thunderhawks recovered a fumble toward the sideline on second down near the nine-minute mark.
The Thunderhawks capitalized five plays later when Church found senior Evan Yablonsky for a 41-yard touchdown pass connection to help give East a 7-3 lead at the 6:23 mark of the second quarter.
East forced another punt and Dobrozsi scored on a 58-yard run up the middle to help give the Thunderhawks a 14-3 lead at the 4:05 mark of the second quarter.
The East defense stuffed West on fourth-and-1 with 2:27 remaining in the second quarter and the Thunderhawks took advantage.
Church found Yablonsky on a slant pattern for a 22-yard touchdown pass connection six plays later to help give the Thunderhawks a 21-3 lead with 50.2 seconds remaining in the first half. Yablonsky finished with four receptions for 93 yards.
Dobrozsi added his second touchdown run on a 65-yarder with 3:44 of the third quarter to help give the Thunderhawks a 28-3 lead.
Dobrozsi added his third touchdown run with 10:57 left in the fourth quarter to help give Lakota East a 34-3 lead. That also started the running clock.
Haynes and Dobrozsi gave credit to five new starters on the offensive line this season.
“We did our job as a team and made some great plays,” Dobrozsi said.
East, projected to be No. 7 in Region 4 by Steve Shuck, plays host to Colerain (7-0, 5-0 GMC) Oct. 12.
“I hope it gives us some momentum,” Haynes said. “Obviously (Colerain) is an absolutely unbelievable team. We have to come out and play well.”
Lakota West entered Friday night tied for No. 13 in the Region 4 computer points standings. The Firebirds play host to Princeton next week.
Lakota High School was split into East and West in 1997. The first four games of the series starting in 1998 were played at Galbreath Field.
The game was also played at Miami University in 2002 and 2003 before it rotated between the high schools starting in 2004.
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