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Pishotti wins weekly honor

September 26, 2013
By MATTHEW PEASLEE - Tribune Chronicle (mpeaslee@tribtoday.com) , Underthelights

CORTLAND - At first, he stumbled into it. But now, he's happy to finish it.

Jake Pishotti has embraced his role as the Lakeview Bulldogs kicker.

"I was kind of thrown into it my sophomore year," Pishotti said. "I've gotten better since then because it just takes practice. The hardest part is being in there on a long touchdown play then, a bit winded, lining up for the extra point."

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He had to do just that three times in Lakeview's 36-28 win over Champion last week. Pishotti scored three touchdowns. He hauled in passes of 31 and 37 yards from Angelo Marino in the first quarter and ran for a 23-yard score in the second quarter.

The senior finished with 111 rushing yards on 16 carries, 68 receiving yards and four extra points against the Golden Flashes and is named the Tribune Chronicle Player of the Week.

"We went into that game ready to win," Pishotti said after the Bulldogs started 0-3. "We still have the playoffs on our mind and with that win we definitely set the tone for the rest of our season.

"We started off playing three really good teams (Hubbard, Struthers and Howland), so we saw what it takes to win. We're all ready to get focused for Girard this week."

Pishotti has caught 12 passes in the 2013 season for 189 yards and three touchdowns. He received a bulk of the carries last Friday, for the first time all season. His main role is to be a slot receiver, but he enjoys showcasing his versatility.

"The coaches put me in the best position where I can succeed and help the team win," Pishotti said. "I do think the slot position is the best for me."

A senior leader, he's helped Marino, just a sophomore, adjust to the speed of the game and getting a feel for the offense.

"It's hard losing a guy like (graduated quarterback) Erich Schmitt," Pishotti said. "But Angelo did great during two-a-days and really stepped it up. He's growing everyday and is turning into a very good quarterback."

Playoffs are still on Pishotti's mind and it's not a stretch. The remaining six teams, all in the All-American Conference National Division, on the Lakeview schedule have a combined record of 9-13. Still, the Bulldogs aren't overlooking anybody. And why should they? Girard enters with back-to-back wins and nearly 500 yards of offense in the past two games.

"We know they're a strong team and we have to bring our best game on Friday," Pishotti said.

Lakeview has a five-game winning streak over the Indians. Last year, the Bulldogs won, 17-2. Prior to that, they last played in 2007 as members of the TAC-8 and Lakeview won, 24-20.