Brandywine beats Buchanan for first win of season
By By MICHAEL BASHARA / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- Brandywine controlled the line of scrimmage and the clock to get the first win of the season, defeating Buchanan 21-14 Friday night in the Lakeland Conference football season opener.
Senior Billy Syrette scored all but one of the points as he gained 203 yards in 23 carries. Quarterback Evan Smith rushed for 105 yards in 33 carries, as the Bobcats put together an evening of clock-controlling drives.
Brandywine scored on its second possession with 5:02 remaining in the first period when Syrette picked up some blocks and rambled 79 yards for a touchdown. The kick was wide to the left.
The Bucks started slowly as they went three-and-out on their first three possessions. Then late in the first quarter Buchanan held on fourth-and-one at the 15 yard line.
After running a coupe of plays Buchanan was forced to punt again early in the second period. Brandywine took over on the 40-yard line. It took 11 plays to score with Syrette carrying the final 15 yards on a race to flag around left end at 5:47. Syrette added the two-point conversion to put Brandywine up 14-0.
Buchanan then got its offense going. First Quarterback Gordon Bryant hit Jacob Brown with a 30-yard pass. Then at 3:20 Bryant went three yards on a quarterback roll out to score. Josh Wahlstrom added the extra point.
As the first half ended Buchanan's Kyle Tracy intercepted Smith's pass to end Brandywine's drive.
Buchanan started the second half with the football. Buchanan again moved the football, but had to punt. With nine minutes to go in the third quarter Brandywine started on its own 10-yard line. The Bobcats drove all the way down to The Buchanan 20-yard line, where the Bucks, for the second time in the evening, held on fourth-and-two.
After holding, the Bucks put together a nice drive that ended in a touchdown. Facing fourth down and inches following a seven-yard pass to Brown, Kyle Cornwell broke left after clearing the line of scrimmage and scored from 39 yards out. DuJuan Bennett also had a 30-yard run in the drive. Walhstrom added the extra point to make it 14-14 with 1:43 to go in the third period.
The final period saw Brandywine run 20 plays to Buchanan's eight plays. With 8:47 left to go in the game Syrette went 13 yards for the final touchdown. Garrett Semrinec kicked the extra point.
With 3:30 left to go in the game, Buchanan was facing a fourth-and-12 on its own 29-yard line. Jared Rusher broke open 50 yards down the field. The pass may have been a little underthrown, but Syrette raced over from center field, jumped up and knocked the ball out of the air before Rusher could catch it.
Brandywine simply picked up a first down, and ran the clock out.
The Bobcats now stand at 1-2 and 1-0 in the conference as they host Cassopolis next Friday night.
Buchanan's record is now 0-3 and 0-1 in the conference. The Bucks travel to Coloma next Friday night.