By By DAN WEISS / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- If the game could have ended after the third quarter, the Brandywine football team would still be celebrating today.
But, the fourth quarter had to be played Friday night and Edwardsburg scored all of its 20 points in the final 7:32 of the game to hand the Bobcats a 20-7 loss in the final game of the regular season.
The loss drops Brandywine to 4-5 overall and 4-3 in the Lakeland Conference. Edwardsburg improved to 7-2 on the year and 6-1 in the league.
Brandywine led 7-0 for most of the game, taking the early advantage on a 14-yard touchdown run by quarterback Evan Smith at 7:27 in the first quarter.
It took Edwardsburg nearly 36 minutes to get on the board, but then the Bobcats couldn't stop the Eddies from scoring.
Following a fumble by Brandywine deep in the Eddies' territory, Edwardsburg tied the game on an 11-yard touchdown carry by quarterback Nathan Peak and an extra-point kick by Anthony Peak.
The Eddies forced Brandywine to punt and needed just six plays to cover 69 yards and take the lead for good. Matt Rinehart set up the score with a 48-yard carry to the five-yard line and finished the drive two plays later with a one-yard rumble into the end zone. Anthony Peak's kick gave Edwardsburg a 14-7 lead with 2:49 left in the game.
Following a short kickoff, Brandywine started its next possession on its own 37-yard line. On third-and-five, Smith's pass was intercepted by Phil Bretschneider at the 45-yard line and returned for a touchdown. Anthony Peak's kick was blocked, giving Edwardsburg a 20-7 victory.
Edwardsburg will find out Sunday night where and who it plays in the first round of the State Playoffs.
Smith finished with a game-high 105 yards on 29 carries. He rushed for more than 1,00 yards this season. Billy Syrette carried the ball 16 times for 94 yards.
Derek Tighe led Edwardsburg with 92 yards on 20 carries and Rinehart covered 91 yards on 10 carries.
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