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Pishotti’s kick leads Lakeview

October 13, 2012
By MATT WAGNER - Tribune Chronicle correspondent ( , Underthelights

CORTLAND - Despite missing two field goal attempts earlier in the game, Lakeview coach Tom Pavlansky had no qualms about sending out Jake Pishotti for the potential game-winning field goal.

With 3 seconds remaining and the game tied at 14, Pishotti went out for a 37-yard attempt, having missed tries from 35 and 31 yards already. That didn't matter to Pavlansky - he had faith in his kicker.

"Jake's got a strong leg," he said. "His teammates got confidence in him, and he's got confidence in himself. (I had) no worries whatsoever."

The coach's faith in his kicker paid off, as Pishotti drilled the 37-yarder to give his team the 17-14 victory over Campbell Friday night.

"(My teammates) always tell me to keep my head up," Pishotti said. "They did a great job blocking, great snap, great hold I just did what I'm supposed to do - make a field goal."

After struggling for most of the game, the Lakeview (5-3, 4-1 All-American Conference, National Division) offense woke up, driving 57 yards to set up the field goal. It was one of the most productive drives from the Bulldogs all evening.

Pavlansky said that when the team took over the ball with 2:26 remaining, the offense had a sense of urgency.

"We had two-and-a-half minutes to do something with it," Pavlansky said. "The kids executed, and we took care of the football in the last series. I couldn't be more proud of the kids."

The defense set up that final drive for Lakeview, which was a theme throughout the game.

The Bulldogs stopped Campbell (4-4, 2-1 AAC, National Division) on a fourth-and-1 from the Lakeview 23-yard line. This marked the second time in the second half that the Red Devils charged deep into Lakeview territory, only to stall and turn the ball over on downs.

The defense made an important stop at the end of the first half as well. Starting at the Lakeview 31-yard line with 35.8 seconds remaining, Campbell looked like it could possibly tie the game going into halftime, but thanks to back-to-back sacks by John Guinn and Justin Journey, the drive stalled.

Along with the stops, Lakeview caused four turnovers - two fumbles and two interceptions - and also blocked a punt on the last play of the first quarter, when Pishotti came around the edge unblocked and got a hand to the ball.

Between the turnovers and blocked punts, the short fields for the Lakeview offense turned into 14 Bulldog points in the second quarter.

"This week, we practiced with a lot of energy," Pishotti said. "We had to keep it up the whole game, and when we did, it carried over to the offense."

As for Campbell, coach Mickey Sikora said he was proud of his team with the effort it put on the road.

"I couldn't be more proud of our kids," Sikora said. "You have to give our kids a lot of credit because they battled till the end. That was a heck of a football game."