Jordan Plonka wanted to do something special for his father’s 51st birthday Thursday.
When a loose ball in the end zone presented itself, the Lakeland senior defensive tackle pounced.
Plonka’s fumble recovery for a touchdown, a blocked punt return for a touchdown, an otherwise solid defensive performance coupled with some timely offense allowed Lakeland to shut out Rogers 28-0 in a nonleague game at Albi Stadium.
“The ball was right there. It was a gift for him,” Plonka said. “We played really great. I’ve got to give kudos to my other linemen. They made great plays the whole game. … Our secondary played lights out. Everyone made great tackles and the fundamentals looked good.”
Lakeland (2-2) could very well be undefeated. The Hawks lost one-point decisions at Colville and against East Valley last week.
Hawks coach Tim Kiefer is pleased with the progress. The schedule gets more difficult starting next week when Lakeland takes on Post Falls followed by an in-district showdown with Timberlake before opening league play.
Lakeland is coming off a 1-8 season.
“Winning one game and coming out here we fight a lot of demons,” Kiefer said. “Our kids are still learning how to win and still learning how to put the ball in the end zone.”
Behind its Wing-T attack, Lakeland scored on its second possession. Wyatt Gatten bounced out of a run up the gut for an 11-yard touchdown to put the Hawks ahead 6-0.
Plonka’s fumble recovery came after Rogers intercepted a pass at its 1-yard line, giving Lakeland a 14-0 lead going into halftime.
Rogers had the first possession of the second half and was forced to punt. That’s when Lakeland’s Owen Dickens blocked the kick and teammate Andrew Neilson scooped it on his way to a 51-yard TD return.
Gatten led the Hawks with 95 yards on 15 carries.
Rogers slipped to 0-3.
Subscribe to the sports newsletter
Get the day’s top sports headlines and breaking news delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.