Curtis scores 70th touchdown in winPublished 4:43pm Wednesday, October 7, 2009
By DON EDEN
An ankle injury didn’t prevent senior DeShaun Curtis from moving into the record book in the state with 70 career touchdowns, which is the best in the area and fifth on the all time list.
His two pay dirt runs in the first quarter helped propel Cassopolis to a 42-0 stinging of the Lakeland Conference Bridgman Bees.
“It was a great accomplishment for DeShaun and all the offensive linemen for the past four years to achieve all those touchdowns and he is 20 yards shy of 5,000 yards, which is monumental,” commented Cassopolis coach Andy Hubbard. “It was too bad his ankle injury from last week prevented him from gaining more yards tonight.”
Bridgman (2-5, 1-2) was their own worst enemy as they fumbled the snap on their second play from scrimmage and four plays later Curtis ran six yards on a sweep. Curtis ran four yards off right tackle on the last play of the first quarter and sophomore Blaise Suseland kicked the extra points for a 14-0 advantage.
“Curtis is a fantastic back and sorry to see him hurt, but I’m pretty frustrated how we didn’t come to compete,” stated Bridgman coach Erik Haskins. “Defensively, we stopped them, but our turnovers gave them a short field.”
Turning the ball over allowed junior Marcus Ruff to capitalize in the second quarter for the Rangers with a pair of touchdowns on another fumbled snap and a blocked punt.
Ruff ran up the middle then moved into open ground on a nifty 49 yard gallop and then bullied his way from two yards with 25.1 showing on the scoreboard as Suseland converted on both kicks for a 28-0 halftime lead.
“I was not happy in the first half with how we played up front, but on defense we were attacking rather than sitting back like last week,” observed Hubbard.
Cassopolis (5-1, 2-1) had 220 total yards in the first half with 176 on the ground with five running backs led by Ruff’s 84 and senior quarterback Steven Eleazer completed two long passes to junior Tommy First for 29 and 22 yards.
Defensively, the Rangers put the stinger on the Bees as they couldn’t complete any of the four pass attempts and their 15 attempts at running went backward for six yards.
“Our offensive line had a terrible game so we couldn’t move the ball, but they will get better like they did last week,” said Haskins.
An interception by Eleazer on the third play of the third quarter quickly made the clock run continuously as freshman Evan Brown swept four yards after four minutes.
The final touchdown came five minutes later when junior Nathan Hartline cut through an opening and outraced all the Bees for 58 yards. Suseland was successful on all six extra point kicks.
Excluding a first down in the first half on a roughing the passer penalty Bridgman didn’t convert ten yards on a possession until 8:15 was left in the game and after two more first downs gave junior Josh Bachleda a chance to kick a 50 yard field goal that landed on the goal line.
Cassopolis led all statistics including penalties after being whistled for 60 yards on eight infractions, first downs by a 13-4 margin, plus committing three turnovers to four for the visitors.
The Rangers compiled 347 total yards with 77 coming through Eleazer’s completions as Bridgman completed one pass for a dozen yards and gained 36 inches on 30 carries.
“We need one more win for the playoffs and that is the ultimate goal,” concluded Hubbard. “Brandywine has some athletes looking for their identity so we need to get better to qualify as the penalties were disappointing and practicing fundamentals will be stressed.”
Brandywine will host Cassopolis next Friday as the Rangers attempt to gain the sixth victory of the season to assure a spot in the playoffs.
Bridgman 0 0 0 0 – 0
Cassopolis 14 14 14 0 – 42
C – DaShaun Curtis 6 run (Blaise Suseland kick)
C – Curtis 4 run (Suseland kick)
C – Marcus Ruff 49 run (Suseland kick)
C – Ruff 2 run (Suseland kick)
C – Evan Brown 4 run (Suseland kick)
C – Nathan Hartline 58 run (Suseland kick)