The Coaches: Lakeland‚??s Jeff Wasilchak (31-14, 5th season); GAR‚??s Paul Wiedlich Jr. (22-4, 3rd year)
Last Meeting: GAR 41-21 in 2011
All-Time Series: Tied 5-5
Quick Fact: The teams have met in the playoffs in four of the past five seasons, with GAR winning the last two.
Scouting Lakeland: The Chiefs will be strong up front led by Cody DelFino, who returns on the defensive line. They also have a very good QB in Kyle Kiehart and a solid runner in Tyler Brady. They also have the desire to avenge the loss to GAR in the District 2 Class 2A playoffs.
Scouting GAR: GAR has three excellent linemen ‚?? Zac Faust, Shakir Soto and Christian Skrepenak ‚?? back. Multi-purpose threat Lucas Benton returns. Then it gets a little dicey, although new QB Corey Moore threw for 308 yards in a relief role last year vs. Lakeland in a 34-31 loss during the 2011 regular season.
What To Expect: This is a difficult game to figure out. It really looks like a toss-up, but home-field advantage should give GAR the edge. Both teams will get better as the season wears on.
-- John Erzar