Rangers end season on high notePublished 11:33pm Friday, October 19, 2012
Even with no playoffs in its future, the Cassopolis football team remained motivated for its regular season finale Friday against White Pigeon.
In a steady rain, the Rangers ran for 394 yards and rolled to a 46-0 win over the mistake-prone Chiefs.
Cassopolis, which finishes at 4-5, scored 12 points off of four White Pigeon turnovers and added six points after blocking a White Pigeon punt.
“I told the kids Monday that I took full responsibility for our 3-5 record,” said Purlee. “I also said that I’m extremely motivated and still excited to work with the team each and every day. We had a great week of practice. Our kids worked hard and were energetic. In the game plan, we were going to keep it simple. We executed tonight and did a nice job. We ran the ball out of the T-backfield and I was pleased with our effort. There was no quit tonight. We finished this thing out on a positive note.”
It didn’t take long for Cassopolis to establish a strong running rushing attack. On their first drive, the Rangers moved the ball 59 yards on 15 plays with the drive ending on a one-yard run by quarterback Vashaun Morgan. All of the yards came on the ground with Jaylin Lawson running the ball eight times on the drive for 55 yards.
Lawson, who came into the game with over 800 yards rushing, totaled 184 yards on the ground on 20 carries against White Pigeon. Lawson had touchdown runs of 37 and 11 yards.
The 37-yarder came after White Pigeon muffed a punt and Cassopolis’ Alex Voss recovered at White Pigeon’s 27-yard line. Two plays later, Lawson scored to give the Rangers a 12-0 lead with 11:51 left in the second quarter.
Lawson’s second touchdown came after Joe Emerson blocked a Chiefs’ punt and the Rangers recovered at White Pigeon’s 11-yard line with 9:44 left in the third quarter.
“He’s been a workhorse for us all year,” Purlee said about Lawson’s performance on Friday. “He works hard every day. You can count on him. He’s just a hard-nosed, throwback kind of a kid. I was happy to see him have a good night tonight because he’s been a consistent piece on this team all year long.”
Tyrone Christopher added 99 yards rushing on 10 carries for the Rangers. He had touchdown runs of three and 63 yards in the second half. The 63-yarder came with 9:38 left in the game and it gave Cassopolis a 40-0 lead, which led to a mercy-rule running clock.
Cassopolis also scored in the second half on Trevon Brown’s 10-yard run and Kevin Hatcher’s one-yard plunge.
The Rangers did a nice job coping with the rain and muddy field. Cassopolis turned the ball over only one time, which was a lost fumble in the second quarter.
“I told the guys that the center and quarterback exchange was going to be a big part of this game,” Purlee said. “We had a sophomore center (Jacob Roth) in there and he hadn’t played center before in his life. He started working there Wednesday in practice and we didn’t have one issue tonight. (Roth) did a nice job getting the ball to the quarterback. (White Pigeon) brought a lot of pressure up the middle and (Roth) did the best he could of slowing that down.”
Defensively, Cassopolis held White Pigeon, which finished at 2-7, to 61 yards and four first downs.
Tempers flared late in the game as three White Pigeon players and one Cassopolis player were ejected. After one play, there was an unsportsmanlike penalty called on an each team and a personal foul called on the Rangers.
“That’s one of those deals where it got chippy out there,” Purlee said. “Sometimes, it’s hard for a 16-year-old to keep his composure. But, you’ve got to be the bigger man. It’s unfortunate that had happen at the end. But I thought our kids did a pretty good job of keeping their composure.”
White Pigeon 0 0 0 0 – 0
Cassopolis 6 6 22 12 – 46
C – Vashaun Morgan 1 run (kick failed)
C – Jaylin Lawson 37 run (run failed)
C – Lawson 11 run (run failed)
C – Tyrone Christopher 3 run (Tyler Prestly run)
C – Trevon Brown 10 run (Kevin Hatcher run)
C – Christopher 63 run (run failed)
C – Hatcher 1 run (run failed)