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GAME OF THE WEEK: Lakers rally to stun Cardinals 40-33

It was worth the wait.

Triad-football_825

ABOVE: Triad’s Tre McIntyre picks up a big gain during Friday’s home game against Indian Lake. FRONT PAGE PHOTO: Indian Lake’s Chris Teague catches a pass on his way to the end zone as Triad’s Tre McIntyre (3) attempts to make the tackle during the second quarter of their game Friday at Triad. (EXAMINER PHOTOS | AARON LABATT)

See more game photos in slide show below.

Indian Lake and Triad had waited more than a decade to play each other after being former rivals in the former West Central Ohio Conference.

Both teams exchanged blows that made for a memorable reunion Friday that saw the Lakers rally for a 40-33 victory.

“We knew it was going to be a game like this,” said Indian Lake head coach Dave Coburn. “Coach (Payton) Printz coached his guys very well. We know they’ve got plenty of heart, too.

“It was a shame one of these teams had to lose this game. We feel very fortunate to come away with a win tonight.”

Triad led 33-20 near the end of the third quarter, but Indian Lake refused to quit and rallied to score three touchdowns to come away with the win.

“It was a really special game,” said Triad head coach Payton Printz. “Like Dave and I said when we shook hands, it was unfortunately a shame someone had to lose. Both teams played extremely hard.”

The Cardinals had one final shot at tying the game when they recovered a Laker fumble near midfield with 1:12 left in the fourth quarter.

Indian Lake led 40-33 and a score by Triad would have sent the game to overtime. However, Triad fumbled the ball three plays later and Indian Lake fell on it. The Lakers then took a knee to run out the clock.

“We kept bringing our best and it just wasn’t good enough,” said Printz. “I was going to go for the win if we scored. I had a two-point conversion play ready to go. They seemed to keep making one more play than us, though. They got the big play or the big stop when they needed it. Hats off to coach Coburn and his team.”

There was no shortage of offensive firepower as both teams danced back and forth all night. Indian Lake piled up 430 yards of total offense, while Triad finished with 383 yards of total offense.

Triad’s high-powered spread attack struck first in the opening quarter when Tre McIntyre broke free down the visitors’ sideline for a 60-yard TD run.

Indian Lake answered quickly with a 10-yard touchdown run by L.J. Henderson to tie the game 7-7 with 5:32 remaining in the first quarter.

In the second quarter, Christian Grider showcased the Lakers’ passing game with a 34-yard TD strike to Chris Teague. That put Indian Lake on top 14-7 with 11:17 to go until halftime.

Grider would finish the game 8-of-17 passing with 184 yards and two scores.

Triad freshman quarterback Trent McIntyre, who was filling in for injured veteran Colton Young, fired a 28-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Edwards over the middle. That evened the score 14-14 with 8:45 until the break.

After a mishandled kick return, Indian Lake put together an 11-play, 99-yard drive that culminated in a 5-yard touchdown run by Montel Morgan. The extra point was blocked, but the Lakers led 20-14 with 3:27 left in the first half.

Triad was unable to score on its next possession and turned the ball over.

Indian Lake missed two scoring opportunities in the red zone on their next drive and turned the ball over on downs.

That forced Triad to work from its own 9-yard line. The Cardinals didn’t hesitate as Trent McIntyre sent a blazing touchdown pass 91 yards to Edwards. The extra point missed and the teams entered halftime tied 20-20.

Triad jumped back in the driver’s seat in the third quarter. Tre McIntyre scampered 32 yards to paydirt. The two-point conversion failed, but Triad led 26-20 with 3:49 to play in the period.

The momentum stayed with Triad as Tre McIntyre broke free for another touchdown run when he raced 41 yards to the end zone. That put the Cardinals ahead 33-20 with 2:59 left in the third quarter.

Indian Lake found a spark after that, though.

Hunter Vance began the scoring for the Lakers in the third quarter when he ripped a 15-yard touchdown run, making the score 33-27 with 1:47 left.

The fourth quarter saw Ben Wahl bruise and bully his way into the end zone from 19 yards out, giving the Lakers a 34-33 lead with 10:43 remaining in the game.

Grider recorded his second touchdown pass of the game when he found Ivan Reichert for a 55-yard score with 8:02 left to play.

Triad was never able to recover.

“This is what we wanted,” said Printz. “This is why we wanted to play a bigger school, to test us. We saw they were getting better and we wanted to face them. I think win or lose it was an advantage for us.”

Indian Lake made its share of errors, too. The Lakers finished with more than 100 yards in penalties.

“I think the main thing to take away from this game is that we made mistakes and were still able to get a win,” said Coburn. “We made a lot of first-game mistakes, but we were able to battle through those.”

Teague led the Lakers’ rushing attack with 96 yards on 12 carries, while Reichert led the receivers with 55 yards and a score.

For Triad, Tre McIntyre ran for 171 yards on 11 carries and had three touchdowns. His brother Trent threw for 124 yards on eight completions. Edwards powered the wide receivers with two catches for 118 yards and two scores.

Triad travels to Riverside on Friday for another non-league contest, while Indian Lake hosts Kenton Ridge.

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