LATHROP — Back-up quarterback Mikey Page got his first start on senior night, and he made the most of the opportunity Friday at Lathrop High’s Bennie Gatto Field.
With normal starter Justin Manuel out with a concussion, Page completed 9 of 16 passes for 163 yards, two touchdowns and an interception as the Spartans drubbed Johansen, 48-19.
“He made big plays tonight,” Lathrop coach Joe Pirillo said. “He put the ball where it needed to be and made quick decisions. He was doing a good job of managing the game.”
Lathrop (3-2 Western Athletic Conference, 3-5 overall) was sparked early by two key seniors on the defense. Cornerback Maurice Saulsbury II returned an interception for a touchdown on the third play from scrimmage, and linebacker Mariano Rocha (six tackles) had a pick-six covering more than 70 yards in the second quarter.
The Spartans were comfortably ahead by halftime, 28-7.
“With senior night we had all kinds of emotions and stuff going on, so it was great for the defense to come out and set the tone,” Pirillo said. “Our defense was playing some great football tonight. We were on defense most of the time because of the pick-sixes and Johansen kept running the ball and killing the clock.”
The offense had its share of big plays, racking up 335 yards. Paul Kiggins (five receptions, 85 yards) Saulsberry (three receptions, 72 yards) each had a touchdown. Sophomore Isaac Ramos scampered for 137 yards and three touchdowns on just nine carries.
Johansen fell to 1-4 in the WAC, 2-6 overall. Lathrop hits the road for its final two regular-season contests, first against Los Banos on Oct. 19.