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Football: Second half improvements lead to Lakers' 6-5 season

In the early going of the 2012 football season, the Minnewaska Lakers seemed poised for a repeat of their 0-9 record of 2011.

But, after opening with four straight losses, the Lakers regrouped and ended their season at 6-5, reaching the Section 5AA championship game.

Much of the success for that turnaround needs to be credited to an offense that saw three 200-plus yard rushers as well as a pair of receivers with more than 200 yards emerge.

Austin Ostrander led the rushing attack as he finished with 309 ground yards, while Jack Schultenover had 300 rushing yards and Sam Long 276. Justin Helander was right up there as he rumbled for 198 yards on the ground.

Ostrander was the Lakers' main quarterback this year, completing 69-of-153 attempts for 1,096 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Jake Amundson was his main receiver for the Lakers, accumulating 669 yards through the air on 31 catches, with Jayden Beecher adding 219 receiving yards on 17 catches.

Amundson also took his turn at quarterbacking, throwing for 303 yards on 23-of-39 attempts.

The Lakers also had a pair of 100-plus yard gainers on kickoff returns as Schultenover ran the ball back 10 times for 238 yards and Long nine times for 143 yards.

The defensive side of the ball was also strong and was led by Nathan Snider, who out tackled everyone with 102 solo and 24 assists for the season. Taylor Lundebrek had 54 solo and 28 assisted tackles, with Amundson making 38 solo and four assisted tackles. Gary Steffensen had 34 solos and 26 assists, Long had 37 solos and 24 assists and Isaiah Adams had 32 solos and 23 assists.

In all, the Lakers finished the season with 1,325 yards rushing on 323 carries and added 1,415 yards passing on 93 of 196 attempts for 11 touchdowns.

Mnnewaska had a total of 707 yards in kickoff returns on 32 carries and scored 33 touchdowns.