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McLane’s Defense Stifles Fort LeBoeuf to Give McCormick First Victory as Coach

General McLane's Dylan Sheeder (15) leaps to try and make an interception during the first quarter of Friday's game against Fort LeBoeuf. Photo by Andy Close.

WATERFORD, Pa. – General McLane was eager to wash the taste of a season-opening loss to Slippery Rock out of its mouth.

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They did just that on Friday, shutting down Fort LeBoeuf’s vaunted rushing attack on their way to an 18-7 win, the first of Marshall McCormick’s tenure as head coach.

“It’s a big one,” McCormick said. “It’s been in the back of my mind, getting that first win. I couldn’t ask for a better group of guys to be around in my first year.”

           

It was a defensive effort that saw the Lancers (1-1) limit the Bison (1-1) to 185 yards of total offense, all on the ground.

Dylan Sheeder threw for 135 yards and two touchdowns to Kyle Cousins and Landon Laskey and had 70 yards on the ground and another score.

The game turned early when GM chewed eight minutes off the clock on its opening drive and lined up for a 23-yard field goal attempt. The kick was blocked and LeBoeuf returned it for a touchdown, but the play was ruled dead.

“It feels good,” Cousins said about the win. “Fort LeBoeuf, were crosstown rivals, we got kind of whooped last week, so it feels good to come out here and see that hard work pay off and get that win.”

See Cousins’ full interview here:

           

The game was scoreless until the midway point of the second quarter when Sheeder scrambled to his right from the 1-yard line and found Cousins in the back of the end zone to make it 6-0.

“We call Kyle Cousins our ironman,” McCormick said. “He played linebacker for us, he caught some big passes for us and when Sheeder went down he was able to step in at quarterback and make plays for us.”

Sheeder exited the game briefly in the second half but was no worse for wear.

LeBoeuf countered less than two minutes after Cousins’ touchdown on a Ryan Welka 7-yard touchdown run. The extra point gave LeBoeuf a 7-6 lead, but it was brief.

           

McLane scored twice to close the half, each time set up by good field positions, once on a kickoff return and the other on an interception.

Sheeder, who carried the ball 19 times, called his own number from seven yards out less than two minutes after Welka’s score to put GM back in front.

LeBoeuf tried to push the ball downfield for a late score on its next possession, but Jace Walls stepped in front of a Conner McChesney pass and returned it to the LeBoeuf 24 with less than a minute to go in the half.

Fort LeBoeuf’s Isaac McGuire finds some running room during the fourth quarter. Photo by Andy Close.

With seven seconds left in the half, Sheeder found 6’4” tight end Landon Laskey over the middle and Laskey did the rest, rumbling his way into the end zone from 22 yards out to give GM an 18-7 lead.

           

“We wanted to establish our offense after last week,” McCormick said. “We struggled a little bit in that first game and had to figure some things out. We knew what we were capable of and we were able to come out and move the ball well. Slow and steady and we were able to punch a few in.”

The Lancers drove inside the LeBoeuf 10 early in the second half but were unable to capitalize. It didn’t matter, however.

The defense was stout, as the combination of Cousins, Sheeder, Aaron Cornejo-Lopez, Owen Martin, Magnus Lloyd, and others did not allow LeBoeuf to sniff the end zone.

General McLane’s Kyle Cousins (8) fights for extra yardage. Photo by Andy Close.

“I have two great coaches running that defense and they had a great game plan tonight and the guys came out and executed,” McCormick said. “We’ve heard about this running game for a while and it was great for those guys step up.”

Laskey finished with four receptions for 58 yards and Cousins five for 47 yards. Owen Martin added 43 yards on the ground.

For LeBoeuf, Justin Leuschen had 52 yards on the ground and McChesney 47.

McLane is at Franklin next week and LeBoeuf hosts Titusville.

“We can’t go to practice Monday and think we’re the best team around just because we won 18-7,” Cousins said. “We need to get back to work.”

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