POLAND - Lakeview quarterback Anthony Franco completed 24 of 35 passes for 235 yards and ran for a score.
He did all this with a cast on his hand.
Unfortunately for Lakeview, Poland signal caller Colin Reardon did even more with his supporting cast.
Reardon, a senior committed to Miami (Ohio), accounted for 253 total yards and four touchdowns to help his team to a 38-21 victory in a battle of Bulldogs. The hosts improved to 2-2 while Lakeview dropped to 1-3.
"He's our go-to guy," said Poland coach Mark Brungard of Reardon. "We need him to make some plays and tonight he made a lot."
Reardon finished 13 of 17 through the air for 185 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions (unless one counts the one he made defensively). He also ran nine times for 68 yards and two more scores. He was more impressed with Franco, who came back after missing two weeks with a broken bone on his non-throwing hand.
"I just told him I'd never be able to do it," Reardon said. "He doesn't have like fingers with the cast on."
The visiting 'Dogs led 3-0 after the game's opening possession thanks to a 32-yard field goal by Jake Pishotti. Poland fumbled the ensuing kickoff but its defense held. Reardon then led his team on a 10-play, 77-yard drive which ended with Jerry Lawman's two-yard run into the end zone. The lead went to 14-3 after a second-quarter, 92-yard march concluded when Reardon connected with tailback Jordan Smith for a 6-yard score. Lawman, who finished with 115 yards on 20 carries, had a 45-yard scamper on the drive.
Lakeview cut its deficit to 14-6 on another Pishotti field goal just 27 seconds before halftime. Then came one of the most pivotal plays of the game.
Lakeview lined up in what appeared to be an onside-kick formation. After a timeout, Lakeview indeed attempted an onside kick but Poland's John Markota recovered it at the Lakeview 49. A 5-yard run by Reardon and passes of 19 and 15 yards to Jimmy Morocco set up a 27-yard field goal by Connor McFadden as time expired.
"That was a dumb call on my part, flat-out dumb," said Lakeview coach Tom Pavlansky. "I didn't have the guts to change my mind."
Poland rode that momentum into the second half. Reardon and Morocco connected again in the third quarter, this time on a seven-yard score which pushed the lead to 24-6. Morocco finished the contest with eight catches for 103 yards.
Lakeview got right back in the game on the next possession. Franco accounted for all but two yards in a seven-play, 63-yard drive. He connected with Elijah Henderson on a 45-yard pass and scored from a yard out on the next play. Franco then threw a 2-point pass to Pishotti to get his team within 24-14.
Franco, a senior, said he knew Tuesday he'd be able to play.
"I had to keep the ball in my right hand when I ran," he said. "Running with it (was the hardest part). All week we've been working on catching the snaps from center. I was overly cautious carrying the ball."
But not even his heroics, or those of Henderson (who had a monster game with 14 catches for 161 yards), were able to overcome Reardon's play. Reardon had TD runs of 5 and 27 yards on consecutive possessions after Franco's score. The Bulldogs had a late score thanks to freshman Michael Mannella. The tailback ran six consecutive times for 60 yards, including a 2-yard score.