In a must-win game for both teams’ playoff hopes, Lakewood put themselves in good position by taking a 13-7 lead on Compton before Friday’s game was called due to lightning, with five minutes left in the third quarter. The Lancers won on Saturday, too, scoring three touchdowns and taking advantage of some Compton miscues in what would become a 34-7 Lancers victory.
“This is really tough,” said Lakewood coach Mike Christensen said of playing back-to-back days. “I don’t think people understand how tough it is, mentally, physically. I don’t know which is harder.”
In a bizarre twist, it’s the second time this year that lightning has forced Lakewood to retake the field on Saturday–the same thing happened to them in the first week of the year when they visited Florida.
“I do think having gone through it once before makes it a little easier,” said Christensen.
That was especially true given that both Lakewood and Compton rely on a lot of inside runs, a more bruising style of football than the more in-trend spread offenses of today. Typically players from both teams need Saturday to recover from Friday–not to play another game.
Lancers running back Sebastian Kronberger said his father had to wake up him up for the game since he usually sleeps most of Saturday away.
“He woke me up and said, ‘Let’s go!’,” said Kronberger. “I was like, ‘Go where?’ I totally forgot we had the game.”
It was a good thing for Lakewood fans that he was able to make the trip. The senior piled up 114 total yards and two touchdowns in the 17 minutes and change that were played on Saturday evening.
“We knew we had to win this game tonight, we weren’t going to let up,” said Kronberger.
With such a condensed amount of playing time, it was no surprised that small mistakes in either direction took on a heightened significance. Compton had two critical drives altered by butterfingers, as QB Jesse Brew had it squirt out of his hands and had to fall on it for a big loss, and receiver Maepu Sao fumbled on his way into the end zone, a ball recovered by Lakewood’s Kingston Foster to end the Compton threat.
The next drive saw Kronberger fumble after picking up 25 yards–instead of the ball being recovered by Compton to start trying to close a two-score gap, it was scooped up by Lakewood’s Jeremiah White, who sprinted 40 yards to score and effectively put the game away.
White and Kronberger are close, and White said he had to help his friend when he saw the ball come loose.
“I had to do it,” he said. “My boy fumbled, I wasn’t going to let it happen to him, not like that.”
Brew gained 83 total yards for Compton on Saturday but mistakes kept the home team off the scoreboard.
“We knew with how short it was tonight we couldn’t make any mistakes, and we had a few bad ones,” said Compton coach Calvin Bryant. “More than anything we just couldn’t handle the ball.”
With the win Lakewood improves to 2-6 and 2-2 in league, with home games against Poly and Cabrillo remaining. Compton (5-3, 1-3) has road trips to Cabrillo and Wilson left on the schedule.