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Danbury loses in heartbreaking fashion, 22-17

The Danbury Lakers are two plays away from being 4-2 instead of 2-4.

One of those plays came in their 22-17 loss on Friday to Toledo Christian.

With Danbury holding a 17-13 lead late in the third quarter, TC quarterback Brett Freeman scored on a 10-yard touchdown run to put the Eagles ahead in a hard-fought game that featured several key momentum swings.

Following a tough loss to Edon last week, the Lakers responded, taking a 3-0 lead after driving the length of the field to set up James Dorko for a 25-yard field goal. Unfortunately, a 10-yard touchdown pass from Seth Vargo to Jimmy Chamberlain was called back earlier in the drive because of a penalty.

TC would respond, scoring two touchdowns in the second quarter to take a 13-3 into the half.

James Dorko scored on a 3-yard run in the third quarter and Vargo hit John Brooks from 35 yards out in the fourth to help Danbury take back the lead, 17-13, before the Eagles rallied.

The Lakers had some misfortune late in the fourth quarter. Trailing 20-17 with a first down at the TC 39-yard-line, it was ruled that running back Cody German had fumbled the ball even though it appeared his knee was down. 

With the win, TC improved to 4-2 and 3-0 in the Toledo Area Athletic Conference. The Lakers are now 2-4 and 1-2 in the league. 

“I told the kids that they played hard and that we have to learn how to win close games,” said Danbury head coach Bryan Dudash. “We've got to learn how to finish (these games) out. In our last seven games, five have been losses, and in three of those, we led with four minutes to play.”

Dudash was especially impressed with Vargo's touchdown pass to Brooks.

“It was one of the best throws I've ever seen in person,” Dudash said. “It was a college-level throw.”

Vargo finished 10-of-18 with 136 yards and a touchdown. Chamberlain caught seven passes for 75 yards and Brooks had two catches for 45 yards. German had 29 carries for 194 yards to help pace the Lakers.

This Friday, the Lakers host Northwood (4-2, 3-0 TAAC), the reigning league champion.

The Rangers, who have won nine of the last 12 TAAC titles, are perennial playoff contenders and run a wishbone offense that features a stout rushing attack. After going 10-1 last season, Northwood graduated 17 seniors and started this year out 0-2. However, the Rangers have been on a tear as of late, winning four straight games while outscoring their opponents 172-73 along the way.

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