Niles’ Travis Edwards tries to bring down Mattawan running back Brok Lamorandier Friday night. The Wildcats defeated the Vikings 34-12. (Leader photo/SCOTT NOVAK)

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Mattawan’s ground game too much for Vikings

Published 11:48pm Friday, September 7, 2012

Visiting Mattawan rolled up more than 560 yards on the ground and held Niles scoreless in the second half to earn a 34-12 Big 16 Conference West Division victory.

The Wildcats, the defending West Division champions, rushed for 328 yards in the first half alone, led by standout running back Trevor Sweeney, who had 159 of those yards.

Sweeney finished with 210 yards on the night and three touchdowns.

But Sweeney wasn’t the only Mattawan running back to find success against the Vikings’ defense. Brok Lamarandier also had over 100 yards rushing in the first half as the Wildcats built up a 21-12 lead.

Niles (2-1) was able to stay in the game in the first half behind the passing of Cole Clemens, who was 11-of-18 for 193 yards. Clemens did not have the same success in the second half, due in part to dropped balls. He was replaced in the fourth quarter by Darek Bullock-Mills.

Leading 7-6 heading into the second quarter, Mattawan scored a pair of touchdowns to take control of the contest.

Quarterback Ryan Payerle called his own number from 10 yards out to make it 21-6 following BJ Butler’s extra point.

Sweeney followed with the first of his two touchdowns, this one on a 79-yard run on the first play following a Niles fumble.

The Vikings quickly responded with a drive that kept them in the game.

The drive was capped off with a Clemens to Anthoney Bice 22-yard touchdown pass.

In the second half, Mattawan just chewed up giant chunks of yardage as it controlled both the line of scrimmage and the clock.

Sweeney scored on a 10-yard run in the third quarter to back it 27-6 after the extra point attempt failed.

Austin Collison, the Wildcats’ other quarterback who alternates with Payerle, capped the scoring with a 23-yard scoring run in the fourth quarter.

Sweeney opened the scoring with a 58-yard run, while Niles countered with a 10-yard Fritzel Findeisen run. The Vikings’ extra point attempt was blocked and Niles trailed Mattawan 7-6.

The Wildcats finished with 564 yards in total offense, all of which came on the ground. Mattawan’s massive offensive line knocked the Vikings off the ball pretty much all night long.

“We have some guys I wouldn’t want to line up against,” Mattawan coach Matt Stephens said. “We got some really good quality offensively linemen. A lot of leadership in there.”

Niles finished with 252 yards passing and 64 yards rushing. Clemens and Bullock-Mills combined to go 16-of-31 with two interceptions.

“Underachieving,” Niles coach Antwon Jones said. “It’s just frustrating when you see a defense can’t stop you and we’re killing ourselves with dropped balls, dropped touchdowns. The same stuff we have said we needed to work on. Being consistent. It’s just frustrating because we are under achieving right now.”


Mattawan 7 14 6 7 – 34

Niles 6 6 0 0 – 12

M – Trevor Sweeney 58 run (B.J. Butler kick)

N – Fritzel Findeisen 10 run (kick blocked)

M – Ryan Payerle 10 run Butler kick)

M – Trevor Sweeney 79 run (Butler kick)

N – Anthoney Bice 22 pass from Cole Clemens (run failed)

M – Sweeney 10 run (kick fails)

M – Austin Collison 23 run (Butler kick)

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