Buchanan finishes season with fourth straight win

Published 7:34 pm Friday, October 24, 2003

By By MICHAEL BASHARA / Niles Daily Star
CASSOPOLIS -- Buchanan's football team took the momentum from its victory over Berrien Springs last week and defeated Cassopolis 42-14 Friday night for a fourth straight Lakeland Conference win.
Again Buchanan used its quickly developing line to dominate early.
The rest of the Buchanan line opened holes all night. John Dickey and Justin Helt did a great job of trapping. Jake Allen and Ryan Carrigan played strong all night. The ends, Jacob Brown, Karl Schmidt and Brian Villowock did a nice job of hooking the ends and getting to the linebackers.
Cassopolis coach Pete Anderson put it this way, "They blew us off the line both offensively and defensively tonight. We had a winning season. But we weren't very physical tonight."
The Bucks scored on their first possession with Jared Rusher carrying the final five yards. Josh Wahlstrom's kick put Buchanan up 7-0. Both Kyle Cornwell and DuJuann Bennett had big gains in this five-play, 35-yard drive.
Buchanan's defense took advantage of four turnovers by the Rangers. Their first drive was stopped when they lost a fumble recovered by Brian Villwock.
It took the Bucks 13 plays to score after the fumble recovery, but with 3:18 to go in first period, Cornwell carried the final yard for the touchdown. Wahlstrom's kick made it 14-0.
Cassopolis' next drive was stopped when Cornwell intercepted a Justin Lee pass. This Buchanan drive ended with the Bucks punting.
Cassopolis scored at 9:42 in the second period when Kirk Baucom ran 37 yards up the middle. The kick was wide to the left, making the score 14-6.
Cassopolis tried an onside kick which Buchanan recovered. It took Buchanan just 20 second and three plays to answer the Ranger score. First there was a 23-yard pass from Gordon Bryant to Kyle Tracy. Then Rusher ran for 23 yards, leaving one yard for Cornwell. Wahlstom's kick made it 21-6.
On the next series Cassopolis went four-and-out, turning the ball over on the 46-yard line. It took Buchanan just four plays to score with Bennett picking up a strong 19 yards on the first play before going 33 yards on the last play of the drive. Wahlstrom's kick made it 28-6.
With 5:22 to go in the first half Cassopolis started on the 20-yard line. The Rangers looked like they were going to start to grind out first downs when Simom Ballard scored on a 73-yard run. Baucom scored the two-point conversion making the score 21-14 with a little more than three minutes to go in the half.
Buchanan was forced to punt on its next series, but got a big break when Helt recovered a Cassopolis fumble on the 10-yard line with :28.6 to go in the half.
Cornwell carried twice, going nine yards and one yard, respectively, but it was Rusher who carried it into the end zone on the third play. Wahlstrom's kick made it 35-14.
The third quarter saw neither team score. Cassopolis did go four-and-out on the opening series. Buchanan moved down to the 29-yard line before they turned it over on downs.
The final period started with Cassopolis facing a second-and-nine from the 23-yard line. Buchanan ended up holding on fourth-and-eight.
Starting on the 31-yard line Buchanan had its first turnover when Justin Lee intercepted a Bryant pass on the 10-yard line. Cassopolis started to drive up the field and moved down to about the 35-yard line before turning the ball over on a fumble.
Brian Villock picked up the fumble and returned it 65 yards for the final score with Wahlstrom's kick making it 42-14 with just 5:35 left to play.
The game ended with a flurry of penalties. Cassopolis ended up facing a second-and-50 before turning the ball over on fourth down. Buchanan took two knees and waited for the clock to run out.
Cassopolis ended the season 5-4, and the Bucks ended it 4-5 with all of their wins coming after an 0-5 start.