SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – It’s on to the District 10 championship game for Lakeview.
Mitchell Tingley ran for 163 yards and four touchdowns and the Sailors held Mercer without a first down in the first half en route to a 35-6 District 10 Class 1A semifinal win on Saturday.
The win was even more sweet considering Mercer handed Lakeview one of its two losses in the regular season.
“We played our game this time, not anyone else’s,” Tingley said during the Cole Orthodontic Associates postgame interview.
Tingley scored on runs of 3 and 4 yards in the first half on drives that chewed up more than a combined 14 minutes off the clock.
After a Mercer fumble deep in their own territory, Aiden Osborne gave Lakeview a 21-0 lead just before the half at the 2:37 mark.
The defense, meanwhile, got big plays in the form of a Blake Skiles interception and a Luke Klonowski sack, among others.
“I feel like we did what we practiced all week,” said Danick Hinkson, who had a big game on the offensive side of the ball and also picked up 16 yards on a fake punt in the third quarter in a drive that ended with Tingley’s third touchdown. “The coaches had a plan and we stuck to it.”
See the full interview with Tingley and Hinkson:
Mercer got brief life in the third quarter when Rider Chiappini connected with Daemyin Mattocks on a 25-yard touchdown pass to make it 21-6.
That was short lived, however. Hinkson’s fake punt run led to Tingley’s 3-yard touchdown run with 10:07 to go in the fourth quarter, and Tingley put the finishing touches on his night with a 49-yard scoring run with 3:09 to play.
“It’s our community,” said Lakeview coach Bill Hickman of what makes his team special. “Lakeview, Sandy Lake, Stoneboro. We’re doing this as a collective group. We’re doing it for everyone in the program, but we’re doing it for our community also. Our community has been through a lot. We’ve had some tragedies, too many. We want to live through them on the football field, and we’re doing that. These kids have had so many challenges this year, and they’ve overcome every single one.”
Leyton Zacherl was 3-of-4 through the air for Lakeview, with all three completions going to Hinkson for 53 yards. Zacherl also had 31 yards rushing, as did Hinkson.
For Mercer, Chiappini was 4-of-8 through the air for 85 yards, while Mattocks had 46 yards rushing and Carter Addison 36 yards on the ground.
“I’m more of a defensive guy myself,” Hickman said. “That was the goal, play physical, play disciplined in your assignments and don’t make mistakes. We have some physical kids on this football team.”
With the win, it’s on to the D10 title game against Cambridge Springs. The Blue Devils scored twice in the final five minutes to rally past Eisenhower, 22-20.
The two teams met during the regular season, a 28-22 Lakeview win.
“It’s something I could only have ever dreamed of,” Hinkson said.