“Road warriors.” That’s how coach Ryan McCarney describes his team after being 6-1 away from their home field this season.
It has been a tough go for Lakeland to get to this point. The Lancers had to travel to Caldwell in the semifinals to face a team that hadn’t lost in 37 straight games. After facing a 21-7 deficit, Kyle Keyes’ 90-plus yard pick-six helped the Lancers come all the way back, winning 33-28, stunning Caldwell.
Friday night’s sectional title game – which you can hear live on Central Jersey Sports Radio by clicking here – against Bernards is no different. The Mountaineers are 11-0 this season and have scored 30+ points in ten of their 11 games. Defensively Bernards also has been outstanding, holding opponents to fewer than 14 points in every game this season, including three shutouts, one of which came in the 48-0 semifinal win against Sussex Tech. Despite Bernards being able to win eight-plus games over each of the last five seasons, they still look to capture that first sectional title Friday night at home.
This is the sixth championship appearance in Lakeland program history and with a win, it would make it the Lancers’ first sectional title since 2010 and its third ever. It would also make McCarney a sectional champion in his first year as head coach of the Lancers. The last championship appearance for Lakeland was in 2017 where McCarney served as an assistant coach under then-head coach Tom McCormack, who’s now an assistant coach on the 2023 staff.
You can hear Friday night’s game on Central Jersey Sports Radio with pregame starting at 6:30 and kickoff at 7. Mike Pavlichko and Dylan Allen will call all the action; click here to listen.
Click below to hear Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Dylan Allen talk with Lakeland head coach Ryan McCarney: