Lexington Back To Work After First Win

  • 9/11/2017 9:55:44 PM
  • Brian Skowronski
  • Local Sports

LEXINGTON, OH- The first 10 quarters of the season were both a learning process and a disappointment for the Lexington football team. A slow start and special teams mistakes led to a 1-point loss in their opener against Ontario, followed by a 41-7 blowout loss at Shelby in Week 2 which Lex followed up with an early 21-point deficit to Orrville at home last Friday.

With little varsity experience on the roster to begin the 2017 campaign, the Minutemen used those first 10 quarters to develop into the team they became in the second half against the Red Riders, though. A physical offensive attack combined with a swarming defense came together for a drastic turnaround that saw Lexington outscore Orrville 34-7 in the final two-quarters to score a 48-35 victory.

Senior RT/DT Keslyr Hooper explained the team's heroics like this, "We needed to find, like in a puzzle sense, the missing piece. That missing piece was just playing together."

Hooper is one of the few returning veterans the Minutemen welcomed back this fall after graduating 18 seniors from last seasons regional finalist squad. Junior RB/OLB Ben Vore was on the varsity roster a year ago but saw little playing time, much like the majority of starters on this years team. Now with three week's under their belts, Vore feels as though his Lexington bunch is starting to get accustomed to playing on Friday nights.

"We had a lot of inexperience and I think guys are getting used to varsity speed and just how fast everything moves," says Vore. "Guys are getting comfortable and confident with what they're doing and I think it's just starting to gel a little more."

At 6' 3", 210 lbs, Vore was expected to be a major contributor on both sides of the ball at the start of the season. On his first offensive touch in the season opener, however, Vore suffered a hip injury that kept him out until Friday's showdown with Orrville. Having his backfield mate back in the lineup was a major help for Jr. QB Cade Stover in the comeback win over the Red Riders, as Vore rushed for a team-high 174 yards allowing Stover to get loose for 6 total touchdowns in the game. With the offensive lineup back in tact, Stover believes the squad is now clicking as a unit.

"I feel we're getting in a groove here," Stover says. "Our line's blocking great and we got Ben running the ball like that and receivers making catches, it makes everything easier."

What won't be easy for Lexington is continuing to find success moving forward, that according to head coach Taylor Gerhardt now in his fourth season running the program. Gerhardt has taken his lumps since taking over the job in 2014 and has a good understanding of what it takes to respond from failure. Coach says he has been preaching the same message to his guys all season about learning from both success and defeat.

"What we talk about is, "You gotta learn how to lose when you lose," says Gerhardt. "What do you do? How do you take it? What do you take away from it? What do you do when you go back to work?" He adds, "It's the same thing with winning only it's a little bit more difficult. You gotta learn how to win. You gotta understand that no, you haven't arrived, you've just taken a step and it starts all over again on Monday."

The Minutemen (1-2) will look to follow up last week's victory with another win when they travel to Mount Vernon (1-2) for their OCC opener on Friday. Highlights from this game can be seen on WMFD'S Scores and More at 11:30 pm on Friday. 


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