Rangers rout BobcatsPublished 12:23am Saturday, October 10, 2009
By DON EDEN
Niles Daily Star
Homecoming at Brandywine Friday evening was for Bobcat graduate and Cassopolis coach Andy Hubbard as the Rangers ran away with a 56-0 Lakeland Conference victory. It was the seventh straight victory for Hubbard over his alma mater and the fourth successful season qualifying for the playoffs.
“Our number one goal is always the playoffs and then be successful in the conference,” proudly noted Hubbard. “I am so proud of the kids and coaches for all the hard work in the last four years as we graduate a lot of good players and each year come back.”
Cassopolis (6-1, 3-1) senior DaShaun Curtis broke the 5,000 yard barrier on his third carry and ran untouched up the middle for 37 yards on his fourth for the Ranger first touchdown before three minutes left the scoreboard.
Brandywine (1-6, 0-5) looked good for two plays as senior Jesse McCombs (34 yards) and junior Dustin Sater (10 yards) ran for consecutive first downs, but the Bobcat offense went backward for the rest of the first half until a 17 yard gallop by senior Matt Bricker late in the second stanza.
“It is disappointing that the homecoming varsity is the game of the year and we weren’t ready to play as our minds weren’t on the football game, which was obvious,” stated Brandywine coach Mike Nate. “We tried everything, but nothing worked and it didn’t get better.”
The Rangers though were much better in the second quarter with a trio of touchdowns by junior Marcus Ruff to tie Curtis with three at half as the star also reached pay dirt twice.
Ruff’s scores came on a 12 yard (11:29) sweep, a nine yard (5:48) up the middle run after an interception by senior Steven Eleazer and a four yard (37.4) bully run carrying a pair of Bobcats.
Curtis scored on a fourth down sweep from 10 yards (6:56) and from five yards (4:46) after also eluding a pair of defenders.
Fumbles and the interception allowed the Rangers to succeed with good field position as the Rangers totaled 247 yards on the ground at intermission compared to 23 for the hosts. Curtis led a quintet of visiting ball carriers with 128 yards on a dozen carries.
“DaShaun ran very hard in the first half after seeing a physical therapist this week for his ankle,” commented Hubbard. “Ruff and Jackson Connor both ran and blocked well along with the offensive line.”
“The injury hurts, but I am doing my best in my last year and very proud to make the playoffs every year,” said Curtis. “Every summer the team has worked hard for us to have a winning season which makes me proud to play at Cass.”
The rapid second half moved quickly as the clock ran like the Rangers with senior Connor scoring from six yards (2:04) in the third quarter and sophomore back-up quarterback Dwayne Morgan sneaking in from two yards with just under five minutes left. Sophomore Blaise Suseland completed all eight conversion kicks with classmate Devin Roberts picking off a pass from his defensive line position on the final attempt for Brandywine to score.
“We played a good game and proud that it didn’t become chippy,” stated Hubbard. “Penalties are not allowing us to gain positive yardage which we want on every play.”
All the penalties came in the first half as six infractions were whistled on the Rangers for 30 yards and Brandywine went back 19 yards on two flags. Cass had 16 first downs compared to six for the hosts as the Rangers totaled 348 (all on the ground) yards to 103 for the Bobcats with a 46-yard Sater jaunt being the only highlight.
“Cass is no slouch and played a fine game and belong in the playoffs, but they have a good program which put it to us tonight,” explained Nate.
Brandywine faces River Valley and Bridgman to finish the season.
Nate previously coached in South Bend where all teams make the playoffs instead of obtaining the privilege with six victories, as is the rule in Michigan.
“I like Michigan’s rule better where you belong in the playoffs and we didn’t this year,” concluded Nate.
Cassopolis 7 35 7 7 -56
Brandywine 0 0 0 0 – 0
CASS – DaShaun Curtis 37 yard run (Blaise Suseland kick)
CASS – Marcus Ruff 12 yard run (Suseland kick)
CASS – Curtis 10 yard run (Suseland kick)
CASS – Ruff 9 yard run (Suseland kick)
CASS – Curtis 5 yard run (Suseland kick)
CASS – Ruff 4 yard run (Suseland kick)
CASS – Jackson Connor 6 yard run (Suseland kick)
CASS – Dwayne Morgan (Suseland kick)