Late in the afternoon on Aug. 25, the sun began to set on the field and the stadium lights flickered on. The stands were filled with fans from both teams, who buzzed with excitement eager to watch Lane Tech Varsity football’s first game of the season.
Despite this being his fourth year playing football, Nate Segura, Div. 963, still felt first game jitters. A defensive back, Segura admitted that it wasn’t the best game, but is satisfied with the outcome.
“Football is not just about the ‘bigger, badder’ team,” Segura said. There’s a lot of strategy that goes into football and outsmarting the other team is just as important as physical play, according to Segura.
Rauner had the first possession of the game, but Lane countered with a strong defensive push. After an interception, Lane scored the first touchdown of the game, four minutes into the first quarter.
In the second quarter, Lane fumbled the ball twice and was pushed back to their own 40-yard line, but recovered and worked their way back to Rauner’s 30-yard line. Before the end of the first half, Lane led 14-10.
There were a few points in the game where the teams made simple mistakes; however, Lane was able to recover, according to Assistant Varsity Coach Patrick Czerwiec.
“Just like any first week, there’s always going to be a lot of mistakes, a lot of jitters,” Czerwiec said. “That’s exactly what happened with us, and the same thing with [Rauner].”
During the third and fourth quarters, the game significantly slowed down as both teams made little progress and multiple penalties were called on both teams.
“We have a lot of work ahead of us, lots of work,” Head Coach Anthony Faltin said. “We made a lot of mistakes, lone assignments, lots of penalties, and that stuff will lose the ball game; we got lucky tonight.”
Rauner played very well, and Lane’s win was fortunate, according to Faltin.
By the last quarter, Rauner had a chance to score a go-ahead touchdown, but after a fumble on Rauner’s final play, Lane took their first win 14-12.
Even though it wasn’t the best game, it gave coaches and players a perspective on the upcoming season.
The first game sets the tone for the entire season, according to Segura.
“Physically, we’ve done the work, and that’s evident, but the biggest growth is everyone mentally,” Segura said.
Rauner vs. Lane was the first of nine games the football team has scheduled, and it was the first of five home games.
The Indians’ next home game is against Calumet-Perspective on Friday, Sept. 7, at 7:15 p.m.