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Lake Park capitalized off of Metea Valley turnovers to defeat the Mustangs 35-23 Friday in Roselle.
Kevin Teglia had five receptions for 145 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Lancers and Niko Daniello had two interceptions to key two touchdown drives.
The Lancers (2-1) scored on their first possession. Scott Filip took the opening kickoff for 40 yards to the Mustangs 49-yard line. Teglia finished the drive with an 11-yard pass from Zack Gehant to give the Lancers a 7-0 advantage.
The Mustangs (1-2) couldn’t get their offense going as the Lancers defense was relentless. First-year Metea Valley coach Ben Kleinhans hoped his team would bounce back after giving up four turnovers in a 45-16 loss last week to Glenbrook South.
“For the second week in a row we’ve been focusing on being more physical in the first quarter,” Lake Park coach Chris Roll said. “Our defense has been big the last weeks on trying set the tone for the game. Turnovers were beyond our expectations.”
Daniello intercepted a Blaise Bell pass late in the first quarter and the Lancers marched 64 yards for a touchdown capped by Zach Thomson 10-yard run. Daniello’s second interception setup Curtwan Evans (104 yards on 14 carries) for a six yard touchdown run.
Lake Park, which intercepted Bell three times, took a 20-9 lead into the half. Bell completed 12 of 23 passes for 154 yards.
The Mustangs were led offensively by Cameron Wilcox, who rushed 28 times for 134 yards and two touchdowns.
“We have a lot talent on our special teams,” said Filip. “It’s just a matter of time before we bring it all the way back to the house. Guys keep making their blocks and open lanes. We have a bunch of good guys who try to make things happen.
“Our defense got us the ball. We drove it down the field with a lot of good drives and put some points up on the board.”