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Lake Catholic Defense Locks Down Padua For Shutout Win

The Cougars don't allow any points for second consecutive week

The prevailing logic is that the football team that makes fewer mistakes usually wins.

But both the prevailing logic and Padua Bruins (2-6) were overrun by the Lake Catholic (5-3) defense Friday night.

The Cougars held the Bruins scoreless en route to a 26-0 win -- the second time Lake Catholic had shut out their opponent in as many weeks.

"They're playing tremendous right now," Lake Catholic Head Coach Mike Bell said of his defense. "We've had several scores from this unit, as well, which is the cherry on top.

Padua won the turnover battle 4 to 2 but the Bruins could not capitalize on any of their opportunities. Meanwhile, the Cougars scored after both Padua turnovers.

Lake Catholic established their momentum early. Cornerback Mitch Spittler intercepted the Bruins quarterback on their first drive of the game.

The Cougars capitalized soon thereafter when running back and University of Toledo recruit John Stepec rumbled 23 yards into the end zone.

Lake Catholic had an opportunity to pad its score twice in the first half. However, twice Cougars quarterback Dylan Bell was intercepted while deep in Padua territory.

"I'm a little disappointed by the turnovers," Bell said. "You have to protect the ball more.

The Cougars sacrificed the ball again, fumbling on their first drive of the second half; but, once again, Padua could do nothing with it.

In the mean time, Lake Catholic stretched its lead with two more touchdowns, courtesy of running back Bret Zimmerman. Zimmerman had 5- and 34-yard touchdown runs in the third and fourth quarter, respectively.

Padua had a final chance to score late in the fourth quarter. They recovered a fumble and marched the ball down to Lake Catholic's red zone. But the Cougars' defense clamped down, as it had all night.

Stepec grabbed an interception and ran it back 79 yards for the final touchdown of the night.

"It was awesome," Stepec said of the interception. "I still can't believe that happened."

The Cougars have turned their season around after a 1-3 start.

"Everybody on the team knows the feeling of losing and we know we don't want that feeling," Stepec said.

"This is a playoff team," he added. "We just need to keep playing and eliminate mistakes."

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