Three rush for more than 100 yards in Lancers' win over Hubbard

News-DemocratAugust 31, 2013 

— The Belleville East Lancers' running game was able to churn out yards even without standout running back Brandon Mason.

The Lancers had three players -- DeMarius Ward, Arkim Lewis and Lawrence Butler Jr. -- rush for more than 100 yards in beating the Chicago Hubbard Greyhounds 35-0 on Friday night.

The Lancers opened the season with a win for the seventh consecutive season.

With Mason sidelined with a broken leg, the Lancers spread the carries around in piling up 410 rushing yards.

Ward had 13 carries for 121 yards and one touchdown, Lewis had five carries for 111 yards and a touchdown and Butler had 11 carries for 111 yards and a touchdown.

Damone Witherspoon chipped in nine carries for 50 yards and one touchdown to the rushing assault.

"We still miss Brandon Mason an awful lot," East coach Tim Funk said. "The first two guys who were in there -- Ward and Witherspoon -- are defensive starters for us, but they did a good job sharing time. Arkim did a good job, and then also Lawrence Butler there at the end.

"He earned that spot working his tail off in practice this last week. It's good to see guys step up."

The Lancers managed to keep the Greyhounds out of the end zone despite their big-play potential.

Speedy freshman running back Joshua Land had a 42-yard run, an 18-yard reception and a 60-yard kickoff return for the Greyhounds, but he was unable to reach the end zone.

"(Land) can flat out run," Funk said. "He's fast. We gave him too many opportunities with the ball in his hands, but we kept him bottled up pretty well."

The game was scoreless until East tight end Josiah Bergt leaped over a defender in the right corner of the end zone for a 5-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Ryan McDonald with 14.5 seconds left in the first half.

The Lancers' offensive and defensive lines seemed to wear down the undermanned Greyhounds in the second half.

"In any football game, the game has to be controlled up front, and I think our guys did a nice job," Funk said. "We were kind of giving them body blows, punching at them, punching at them. Our running backs and our line did a good job of taking care of the football and getting first downs."

The Lancers went up 14-0 on a 45-yard touchdown run by Ward early in the third quarter and then got a 7-yard touchdown run by Witherspoon to go up 21-0 with 4:47 left in the third quarter.

Lewis took a shotgun snap from center and ran 85 yards for a touchdown as the Lancers padded their lead early in the fourth quarter.

Butler had a 6-yard touchdown run with 2:07 remaining to cap the scoring.

Hubbard coach Elton Harris feels like his young team will get better as the season progresses.

"We're playing a lot of freshmen," Harris said. "We're playing eight freshman on the varsity, so you're going to take your lumps right now. We have to get better conditioned, and the freshmen, it is a hard situation for them playing on the varsity team.

"These are the numbers we are stuck with right now. By the end of the season, we are going to be all right."

The Greyhounds were hurt by penalties as they were flagged 17 times. All of the penalties were of the 5-yard variety.

Contact reporter Steve Korte at skorte@bnd.com or 239-2522.

Contact reporter Steve Korte at skorte@bnd.com or 239-2522.

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