Lutheran's starters didn't play much but still managed to rack up some impressive statistics.
The unbeaten Lions demolished Summit, 48-2, in a Class 3A Metro-West League football game Sept. 21 at Sports Authority Stadium.
“We are always trying to get better,” said Lutheran coach Daryl Moe. “Every week is a chance to get better. We only had 13 or 14 offensive plays for our starters.”
Seventh-ranked Lutheran scored on its first five possessions and also had a 42-yard interception return for a touchdown by Noah Halseth. The Lions grabbed a 41-0 lead and the mercy-rule running clock was started with 8:27 remaining in the second quarter.
“I didn't play that much,” admitted Lions quarterback James Willis. “The win builds confidence for us. We have a really hard-working group of guys.”
Willis, a 6-foot junior, completed all five of the passes he threw for 245 yards and three touchdowns. That's an average of 49 yards per pass.
Alex Nemers caught two passes for 79 yards, including a 67-yard scoring strike from Willis. Joshua Clausen hauled in a 79-yard TD pass from Willis and had two receptions for 89 yards or 44.5 yards per catch.
Darian Perez, one of only nine seniors on the roster, had one catch for 70 yards and a touchdown.
Junior Jamil Bond rushed for 73 yards on four carries and a touchdown. He averaged 18.3 yards per carry. James Waite, a 200-pound senior who led the Lions defense with 16 tackles, rushed for two touchdowns on runs of 2 and 11 yards.
Lutheran, 4-0 and 1-0 in the Metro League, averaged 18.5 yards a play during the game, but Moe isn't taking anything for granted.
The Lions, playing with a sophomore-dominated team, finished second in the league a year ago but didn't qualify for the state playoffs.
“We were 7-3 and missed the playoffs by one wild-card point,” recalled Moe. “We thought we should have been in the playoffs. We thought we were one of the top 16 teams. Our kids have the motivation to make the playoffs so they come focused and ready.
“We're getting better. One thing I'm happy with is, every week we kind of focus in making sure we keep our in-season strength and conditioning program where it was in the summer. We've had a good start now we have a tough stretch going against Conifer, Evergreen, Arvada and D'Evelyn.”