Bobcats fall to Berrien Springs 29-0 in Lakeland openerPublished 12:04am Saturday, September 12, 2009
By STEVE MORRISON
Niles Daily Star
BERRIEN SPRINGS – The Berrien Springs Shamrocks hosted the Brandywine Bobcats in their first Lakeland Conference football game of the early season on Friday night on a picture-perfect late summer evening.
When it was all over it was anything but perfect for the Bobcats, who were stymied by the Shamrocks’ defense in a 29-0 Berrien Springs win.
Berrien Springs’ senior quarterback Nolan O’Brien was a dual threat as he used his arm and speed to compile 124 yards passing on 7-of-15 attempts and 79 yards on the ground in 11 carries.
Using a fake with a quarterback draw, he shook loose for some important gainers in critical situations. O’Brien scored the only touchdown of the first half on a fake to running back Anthony Johnson and lumbered into the end zone on Berrien’s first possession of the game.
Johnson took a handoff from O’Brien for a 2-point conversion and an 8-0 Shamrock lead.
Brandywine’s first possession, after the kickoff, started out well with a 55-yard gallop to Berrien’s 14-yard line by Dustin Slater on third down. After gains of three and two by Slater and Dyllon Yaw, the offense ground to a halt at the nine yard line as Brandywine quarterback Stone Hadley couldn’t connect on third and fourth down passes to Cody Udell in the end zone.
Despite O’Brien and Johnson, who handled the ball for 50 yards on 11 carries in the first half, the Bobcats’ defense kept the Shamrocks out of the end zone for the rest of the half.
They just couldn’t click on offense.
Matt Bricker was a stalwart at outside linebacker for the ‘Cats, delivering some vicious hits and solid tackles. Jacob Frazier, Shane Zelasko, Udell, Ralph Sater and Max Hostetler made some significant plays on to stop the ‘Rocks
Two fumbles by Dustin Sater, one on their last offensive play of the first half and then on the first play from scrimmage after the second half kickoff changed the momentum of the game.
A bench-clearing melee, right after the second half fumble resulted in Sater and Dustin Bell being ejected.
With two of their most important players deactivated, the Bobcats were in jeopardy.
Johnson streaked for a 20-yard touchdown with 9:50 left, five plays following the Brandywine turnover. Later he added another six pointer at the 5:30 mark in the fourth quarter.
Johnson accumulated 105 yards on 19 carries in the contest. Deontae Scott finished off the scoring with a 19-yard touchdown with 3:29 left in the game.
Brandywine coach Mike Nate lamented the outcome.
“The kids came out and played a great first half. After the fight, we got guys ejected. We’re not deep enough. They’re both excellent football players, two-way players. Once that happened, the wheels came off. We never recovered,” Nate commented.
“We’re not deep enough to man the fort. The defense has played well all year. Bricker played great. The defense, as a whole played well,” he added.
Berrien Springs stands at 2-1 while Brandywine’s record drops to 1-2.
The Bobcats will travel to Coloma to take on another league contender, while the Shamrocks will face Buchanan, a 29-0 winner over Bridgman Friday night.
Brandywine 0 0 0 0 – 0
Berrien Springs 8 0 7 14 – 29
BS – Nolan O’Brien 7 run (Anthony Johnson run)
BS – Johnson 20 run (Nathan Siebenmark kick)
BS Anthony Johnson 1 run (Siebenmark kick)
BS Deontae Scott 19 run (Siebenmark kick)