Vikings grind up Trojans

Published 11:49 pm Saturday, September 1, 2007

By By SCOTT NOVAK / Niles Daily Star
NILES – Senior Ben Brandstatter rushed for 247 yards and scored four touchdowns in the first half as Niles rolled to a 33-7 Big 16 Conference non-divisional victory over visiting Sturgis Friday night.
The win squared the Vikings' record at 1-1 heading into Friday night's game at Kalamazoo Central.
Brandstatter set the tone for the Vikings, as he usually does, with a big run in the opening quarter.
The first touch of the night produced a 28-yard scamper that help set up the Vikings' first of three touchdowns in the opening quarter.
Brandstatter would cap the drive with a 10-yard run. Adarian Haynes added the extra point and the Vikings were up 7-0 less than two minutes into the contest.
The Niles defense also played well right out of the blocks.
After facing a smash-mouth football team last week in Battle Creek Lakeview, the Vikings faced a spread offense against the Trojans.
It didn't seem to matter as Niles shut down both the aerial attack as well as the ground game.
Sturgis finished the night with 119 yards rushing, most of which came from quarterback Shane Porter, who rushed for 108 yards on 16 carries.
The spread also produced just 105 yards passing as the Niles defense was in the face of Porter all night long and in the final quarter, back-up signal caller Sean Merrill.
"Last week our offense was part of the reason they put up some points," Niles coach Dan Brawley said. "This week our offense didn't put us in trouble. They (Sturgis) scored but they had to earn it. Our defense is playing pretty good right now."
The Vikings increased their advantage to 13-0 with 3:59 to play in the opening quarter as Brandstatter scored the second of his four touchdowns on an 11-yard run.
The kick failed however, leaving Niles with the 13-0 lead.
Sturgis cut the lead to 13-7 just over two minutes later as Porter hooked up with Ryan VanDosen on a 10-yard pass.
The Vikings responded and responded quickly as Brandstatter went 65 yards to paydirt to make it a 21-7 contest after Seth Jordan connected with Paul Dreher for the 2-point conversion.
Niles completed the scoring with a pair of second quarter touchdowns.
Brandstatter raced in from 39-yards with 10:36 to play in the first half before Jordan scored from a yard out with five minutes to play in the half.
Things got a little sloppy and chippy for both teams in the second half as the game's outcome had long since been decided.
Brandstatter finished the night with 284 yards on 29 totes, while Asaad Ali added 68 yards on 10 carries.
"You almost come to expect it as a coach and a teammate," Brawley said. "You know what your are going to get out of 24 every single night and that is just a gutsy, gutsy performance regardless of who he is against and who is trying to stop him."
The Vikings finished with 411 yards on the ground and 436 yards in total offense.
Jordan finished the night 3-of-6 for 25 yards.
Sturgis 7 0 0 0 – 7
Niles 21 12 0 0 – 33
N – Ben Brandstatter 10 run (Adarian Haynes kick)
N – Brandstatter 11 run (kick failed)
S – Ryan VanDosen 10 pass from Shane Porter (Kristopher Pitel kick)
N – Brandstatter 65 run (Paul Dreher pass from Seth Jordan)
N – Brandstatter 39 run (kick failed)
N – Jordan 12 run (kick blocked)