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Devils downed 42-7 in season opener

Germantown’s offense was unable to score Friday against Lausanne. The Red Devil’s lone score came from a Rodney Williams kickoff return. ABOVE: Williams (left) poses with senior defender  Joshua Puryear during Germantown’s media day event earlier this month.
Germantown’s offense was unable to score Friday against Lausanne. The Red Devil’s lone score came from a Rodney Williams kickoff return. ABOVE: Williams (left) poses with senior defender  Joshua Puryear during Germantown’s media day event earlier this month.

Germantown’s offense was unable to score Friday against Lausanne. The Red Devil’s lone score came from a Rodney Williams kickoff return. ABOVE: Williams (left) poses with senior defender Joshua Puryear during Germantown’s media day event earlier this month. Photo by Kevin Lewter

By Mac Trammell
It couldn’t have been a more pleasant evening for football to recommence: temperatures in the mid 70s, no badgering bugs and a nice orange-pink reflection off the streamlined clouds from the sunset to the west.
That’s how Lausanne supporters saw the game Friday night as the Lynx toppled Germantown High School 42-7.
But as a Germantown fan, the pleasant atmosphere was about the only thing to be happy about. The Lynx dominated the formerly No. 8 ranked Red Devils on both sides of the ball despite a flurry of penalties.
“It certainly wasn’t a mistake-free game,” Lausanne Head Coach Kevin Locastro said. “In terms of great effort and great intensity and great focus and doing the things we thought we needed to do and the things we talked about before the game, I couldn’t ask for more.”
Germantown’s offense played it safe with runs up the middle and unsuccessful screen passes. When the team did try to go for the big play, quarterbacks Myles Guyton and Marcus Mitchell showed less-than-solid arms.
Lausanne’s defense deserves credit. It blew up every screen pass, stopped the Red Devils multiple times on third and fourth down, covered receivers long enough downfield for the defensive line to force Guyton and Mitchell out of the pocket where they were ineffective, and allowed Germantown’s offense a total of zero points.
“We knew going in, defensively, we couldn’t give up the big play,” Locastro said. “They have some really good receivers. They like to throw the deep ball. We didn’t give up a big play in the passing game. I thought if we didn’t do that, we’d have a chance to be successful defensively.”
“We do a great job breaking down film, seeing what they’re going to do weeks before we play them, days before we play them,” junior Lausanne linebacker Mike Babb said. “Our work ethic and mentality in practice helps us. So, when we get out into the game it’s just second nature.”
Babb recorded an interception in the second quarter, one of two turnovers by the Red Devils.
“I saw the receiver coming in a slant,” he said, “and in high school, unless you’re really good, you don’t know how to look off the receiver very well. I just watched the quarterback’s eyes. His eyes got big and I just happened to be in the right place at the right time and made the play.”
After Rodney Williams returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown for Germantown, the Germantown defense was tasked with stopping the two-headed attack in the backfield of junior quarterback Mario Nolan-Dillard and sophomore running back Chris Witherspoon.
Witherspoon ran the ball 15 times for 109 yards and three touchdowns and Nolan-Dillard’s scrambling ability caused all kinds of trouble for the Red Devils. Whenever Germantown finally managed to force the Lynx into a third and long, Nolan-Dillard would escape pressure in the pocket, roll out, and complete a pass downfield to keep the drive alive.
Nolan-Dillard was 15 of 20 for 265 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. He also ran one in from about 11 yards out. In a navy uniform with yellow numbers, thin dreads hanging past his shoulder pads, small stature, a strong arm and an ability to create outside of the pocket, shades of former University of Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson show themselves in his game.
“We fought through adversity, especially after that first kickoff return,” said Nolan-Dillard. “Our team stayed strong. It’s just a great start for us.”
Even after Nolan-Dillard’s performance, he was quick to give credit to his backfield mate, Witherspoon, the offensive line, receivers and especially Locastro.
“We came in with a different type of mentality,” Nolan-Dillard said. “Coach’s main statement was ‘Redefine the Grind.’ That’s what we’ve been doing the whole offseason. I transferred here halfway through the semester last year, and what caught me was not only his way of football, but the way he wanted to train his young men to be not just football players, but to be men overall.”
Nolan-Dillard transferred from Olive Branch High School, known for it’s perennial football prowess.
The Lynx will prepare to go to St. George’s for a matchup against the Gryphons, hoping to continue their good play.
Germantown will host St. Benedict on Friday night.