As they say in football, the direction of a game can be decided in a single play.
On Friday, it was two plays — back-to-back. Two snaps spelled the difference between a close contest and a decisive 27-13 loss. For the Lansing football team, the two moments led to another defeat, this time at the hands of Turner.
The first play came on third and 17 for the Bears late in the third quarter. Turner had been up 14-7 since their second touchdown late in the first half and still were.
From inside Lion territory, Turner quarterback Paul Barry fired a pass on a quick slant intended for halfback Deandre Fenrick. Lansing defensive back Xavier Chestang’s body was in position to pick it off, but he saw the ball too late.
It bounced off him, went to Fenrick, who ran all the way for a 55-yard touchdown. That made the score 20-7, yet with a quarter still remaining Lansing’s hope for victory was still alive.
That changed on the first play of the Lions’ ensuing drive. Lansing got a good return and had the ball close to midfield. Quarterback Jordan Sommerla dropped back and threw a quick pass intended for Lucas Mein.
But there was Fenrick, now playing defensively for Turner, to jump the route and take the pass the other way for a 55-yard touchdown.
All of a sudden it was 27-7 on two back-to-back plays that shared some cruel symmetry for the Lions. Both scores were made by Fenrick. Both were 55-yards. Both stabbed at the heart of the Lansing Lions Friday.
“You can’t really put your thumb on it,” said Lions’ coach Bill Pekarek after the game. “We’ve just got so many problems right now. Offense, defense, everything’s a problem.”
Pekarek’s solution to the Lions’ problems may be different personnel. The coach used sophomore Krystian Abbott at quarterback in the fourth quarter and saw results. Abbott led the Lions to a late touchdown drive capped off by a pass to Lucas Mein.
“We don’t know who will be starting next week,” said Pekarek.
The Lions, 0-3, will host Basehor-Linwood Friday at 7 p.m.