Many homecoming opponents routinely are scheduled with the idea of an easy victory in mind.
Lake Clifton football coach David White was all too aware of that generality before yesterday's game at No. 2 Poly.
But he was powerless from the sideline as Greg Kyler thrilled Poly's homecoming crowd by running through and around the Lakers, leading the Engineers to a 37-6 victory.
Kyler burned the Lakers (5-1) for 283 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns. He had 154 yards on 12 carries and caught eight passes for 84.
Poly (6-0) trailed, 6-0, before Kyler used his 4.3-second, 40-yard -- speed to set up the Engineers' initial score -- an 18-yard pass to Arthur Peace -- with a 45-yard kickoff return to the Lake Clifton 44. Eight plays later, Brian Scott's extra-point kick made it 7-6 with five minutes left in the first period.
It was 15-6 with 1:29 left in the quarter after Kyler's 26-yard off-tackle sprint and a conversion pass to Peace from Charles English (5 of 12, 102 yards).
With 3:19 left in the half, Kyler out-raced the Lakers' secondary down the Poly sideline for a 57-yard touchdown. His diving conversion catch to the left made it 23-6.
He struck again 1:21 before halftime, catching a pass at the Lakers' 10 before stiff-arming a sprawling defender as he backpedaled into the end zone on a 34-yard play.
"This felt great because I think they came in here strictly to stop me, but if my line holds its blocking, I don't think anyone can," said Kyler, crediting All-City lineman Joe Brown.
"We came out slouching early in the first period, but we put the necessary points on the board."
Louie Randall (63 yards) scored Poly's final touchdown from 11 yards, and English hooked up with Peace again with 3:25 left in the game -- making Lake Clifton's early lead a distant memory.
In the playoff chase, the Lakers entered the game in first place in the 4A North Region ahead of Woodlawn (5-0), No. 9 Patterson (5-0) and No. 14 Perry Hall (4-1).
"This means we've got to come back strong next week and beat Patterson," said White. "Most teams we played we were able to come back on, but not Poly."
Poly has outscored its opponents, 346-24, with two shutouts. Yesterday, it was linebackers Rashaad Kitchen and Zack Jeffers (seven tackles each) and lineman Sebastian Smothers (five) who led the charge.
Lakers quarterbacks Kevin Estep and Greate White were a combined 10-for-16 passing for 101 yards, but White lost 25 yards on three sacks and Estep 4 on a sack.
Running backs Ricky Matthews (23 yards) and Kenny Williams (47) were ineffective beyond midfield.
"We would have like a shutout, but we're still glad we haven't allowed more than six points in any game," said Kitchen, 6 feet, 196 pounds, who had two sacks. "We came out kind of thinking we had the game in the bag, but no one lays down for us."
The Lakers' Dennis Harding caught six passes for 73 yards, raising his totals to 25 catches for 468 yards with three touchdowns.
Harding, who is being recruited by Iowa, Nebraska, North Carolina State and Syracuse, set up the Lakers' only touchdown -- a 2-yard run by Kenny Williams -- with his 26-yard reception to the Poly 2.