8/31/2012 11:40:00 PM Big second quarter leads Antigo to win over T-Birds Lakeland struggled in first quarter to find offense
John Aguirre (center) slides between a pair of Antigo defenders during Friday's game on the road. Aguirre and the Lakeland offense played well in the second half but could not overcome a 34 point hole in the loss. Bryan Rose photograph
Last week at Kingsford, the Lakeland Union High School football team took until the second quarter to get its first down of the game. Friday night, the Thunderbirds looked like they had turned things around early until disaster struck moments into the start of the game. Lakeland (0-2, 0-1 conference) received the opening kick and in four plays had picked up a first down and was moving the ball against a good Antigo team on their home turf. But on the next play, the Lakeland pass was intercepted and Antigo promptly went on a scoring drive that resulted in six points and from there the Red Robins would not look back, going to earn a 41-17 win. After intercepting the Lakeland pass on that first drive, Antigo found the endzone at the 8:30 mark as they took the ball in from six yards out. The Red Robins held the Thunderbirds to a three and out on the next possession and again went on a long drive, culminating in a one yard touchdown run to go up 12-0. On the ensuing possession, Lakeland turned to their big fullback, Tom Bruckner. Bruckner pound the ball inside against the Red Robin defense and drove Lakeland across midfield for the first time as the first quarter came to an end. The Thunderbird running back capped the drive as he scored from two yards out to put Lakeland on the board at 12-7. But Antigo would respond, taking the ball 70 yards in just seven plays on their next possession. The Red Robins would finish off the drive with an eight yard touchdown run to go up 18-7. After holding Lakeland to a punt, Antigo went on the march again and scored on a two yard plunge with 1:45 to play in the half. With plenty of time left in the half, the Thunderbirds tried to make something happen on their own but an errant pitch gave the ball back to the Red Robins deep in Lakeland territory with less than a minute to play. Antigo took the ball into the endzone, this time on a 26 yard run, making the score 34-7 at halftime. Lakeland's defense came out on the first drive of the second half and held Antigo to a punt. But after the Thunderbirds gave the ball back to the Red Robins after going for it on fourth and short, Antigo found the endzone for the sixth time on the night. This time, the Red Robins took it in from 14 yards out and the score was 41-7 with 4:12 to go in the third. Lakeland did not fade away, however, collecting a pair of scoring drives near the end of the game. The first came with 8:14 left in the fourth quarter as Arin Alesauskas booted a 36-yard field goal. He also was 2-for-2 on extra point attempts for the night. Lakeland's second scoring drive came with less than a minute to play as Nik Boyer capped an 85-yard drive wtih a three yard touchdown run to cut the lead to 41-17. But that would be all Lakeland could muster as Antigo ran out the clock and handed the Thunderbirds the loss in the conference opener. Bruckner was Lakeland's leading rusher, carrying the ball 23 times for 96 yards. John Aguirre completed three passes including two to Josh Roza, Lakeland's leading receiver. Lakeland will return to action Friday when they travel to Medford for their third straight road game to open up the season. Bryan Rose may be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.