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Rivalry rout

October 6, 2018

MICHIGAN CITY — Four.

That’s really how many drives it took for Michigan City’s football team to assert itself against bitter nemesis La Porte.

The Wolves scored touchdowns on their first four drives of the night to build a commanding, 28-0 second-quarter lead, and elusive Lyric McFarrin piled up 240 yards rushing on 19 carries with three touchdowns in the game.

That carried Michigan City to a 52-8 homecoming victory over the rival Slicers at Ames Field on a semi-foggy Friday night. It was the most lopsided win in the series for either team.

When asked after the contest that his team’s offense reached the end zone four times to begin the night, McFarrin quickly replied, “I didn’t know that. The coaching adjustments were huge. Because every single week we change our offense. And coach (Phil) Mason, somehow he always knows what they’re going to be in and what to run. I know whenever I’ve got the ball, I just see the hole and I hit it.”

City (6-2, 5-1 Duneland Athletic Conference) struck first a mere three minutes into the contest.

It took only three plays to score a touchdown and it pounced on excellent field position after forcing a punt by the Slicers (2-6, 2-4 DAC).

McFarrin raced to pay dirt 19 yards up the middle, putting the Wolves ahead 7-0.

“We’re clicking right now,” City coach Phil Mason said. “This is a team where we’re constantly on them about their character, about their maturity. That’s something that’ll be our first focus on Monday. It’ll be our first focus Saturday in meetings.”

La Porte moved the ball a little on its second series, but still had to punt.

City then drove 61 yards in 10 plays, capped by Farrin’s 4-yard TD run up the middle. That made it 14-0 late in the first quarter.

After another Slicers’ punt, the home team marched 71 yards in nine plays. McFarrin finished it with his third TD run of the night early in the second period. That gave the Wolves a comfortable 21-0 cushion.

La Porte got a first down on its next series, however, still had to punt.

City took advantage.

It got the ball near midfield and drove 60 yards in a handful of plays to push its lead to 28-0 after Michael Bradford’s 9-yard touchdown run with just over two minutes left before the break.

The Slicers never fully recovered after trailing by 28 late in the opening stanza.

“Michigan City’s very good,” La Porte coach Dave Sharpe said. “It’s easier said than done saying we have to tackle those guys in space. They’re so good, and so strong and powerful. I’m proud of our guys, though. We did the best we could.”

The Slicers had their most productive drive of the game late in the first half.

Freshman Jayden Parkes and Isaac Alexander both had 20-plus yard runs. La Porte scored a handful of plays later on Jeremiah Ruiz’s 8-yard TD run. That cut City’s lead to 28-8 after Alexander’s two-point conversion run with 26.3 seconds to go in the second period.

With the Slicers still down 20 early in the third, their defense made a nice stop by City’s goal line, forcing them to turn the ball over on downs.

Moments later, quarterback Caleb Kirkham hit a wide open Nathan Smith for a 33-yard pass down to the Wolves’ 12-yard line. Two plays later, the visitors fumbled and City’s Marquan Hurt recovered. La Porte had a chance to trim the margin to two touchdowns. Instead, the Wolves took possession of the ball and scored another touchdown on their ensuing drive.

On the night, City quarterback Bryce Hayman went 7-of-11 passing for 153 yards with one touchdown.

He connected with Justin Wozniak on a 22-yard TD pass with 4:10 remaining in the third. That made it 35-8.

Hayman added a 14-yard touchdown run midway through the fourth as well.

Mason was very proud of his team’s rushing attack in the first half, though.

“We’re running the ball very well and we’ve put in our RPO (run-pass option) schemes we can do with Bryce (Hayman), they’re just a challenge for anyone to defend,” Mason said. “Again, we had some fun. We put in a little bit two-back Wildcat stuff, just to give people something to think about.”

Defensively, the Wolves greatly held down La Porte’s offense for most of the first half, and it pitched a shutout in the second half. In addition, it recovered three Slicer fumbles in the contest.

“Our defense just flies around,” Mason added. “Roy (City Defensive Coordinator Roy Richards) gets concerned with their maturity sometimes because he’s very sophisticated in what he does. Obviously, they did a great job.”

The Wolves’ ‘D’ was paced by the defensive ends Wozniak and Chase Triplett.

Alexander led the Slicers with 47 yards rushing on nine attempts, and Kirkham had 45 yards on the ground on 10 carries. Parkes finished with 34 yards rushing on five attempts.

Michigan City 52, La Porte 8

Lyric McFarrin rushed for 240 yards and three touchdowns for the Wolves, who earned the most lopsided win in the series for either team.

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