Bobcats off to fast startPublished 4:03pm Tuesday, September 24, 2013
The Brandywine football team continues to march toward a second straight MHSAA playoff berth.
The Bobcats won their fourth consecutive game last Friday when they held on to defeat Bridgman 26-18 in the Lakeland Conference opener for both schools.
It was the first time since 1997 that Brandywine has won its first four games of the season. If the Bobcats can knock off LaLumiere (Ind.) Friday night, it can equal the streak of five consecutive victories it opened the ’97 campaign with.
That season, Brandywine defeated White Pigeon (35-7), Coloma (48-21), River Valley (41-12), Edwardsburg (22-8) and Cassopolis (35-24) to open the season.
That streak was snapped by Berrien Springs, which handed the Bobcats a 46-19 setback. Brandywine went on to finish that year with an 8-1 record.
You have to go back to 1995 to find a longer winning streak to open the season. Brandywine went undefeated in the regular season (9-0) before falling to Hopkins in the opening round of the MHSAA playoffs.
Brandywine was outgained by the Bees in its victory, but used a few big plays on offense, defense and special teams to pull out the victory.
The Bobcats continued to play well on defense, despite giving up the most points it has this season. Coming into the game, Brandywine had allowed just eight points in its previous three games.
It’s homecoming at Selge Field this week. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Niles at St. Joseph
The Vikings are coming off a week where it had to deal with adversity, including the loss of both quarterbacks.
Niles coach Antwon Jones had been alternating Sean Craig and Alex Harpenau at the QB position, but with Craig serving a one-game suspension, along with four other Vikings who were involved in the incident at Benton Harbor and Harpenau out with a concussion, he was forced to his third quarterback — Joe Avance.
Avance responded in a big way as he threw for a school record 326 yards on 11-of-25 passing. He also threw three touchdowns. With Craig back this week, but Harpenau still a question mark, Avance may split time under center against St. Joseph.
The Bears are a surprising 4-0 after beating arch-rival Lakeshore and perennial powerhouse Portage Northern last week.
St. Joseph has been strong on both sides of the football this season. Its defense is allowing 13.3 points per game and is giving up 275.5 yards per contest. The defense is led by Zach Lear with 44 tackles and Connor Myers, who has 10 tackles for loss.
On the offensive side of the ball, quarterback A.J. Montoya has already thrown for 437 yards and six touchdowns. His favorite targets are Jack Turak and Justin Gambrell.
Kickoff at Dickenson Stadium in St. Joseph is set for 7 p.m.