Buchanan still unbeaten with win over Cass

Published 11:45 pm Friday, October 8, 2010

Cordel Johnson

Cordel Johnson


Niles Daily Star

BUCHANAN — The Buchanan Bucks kept their record spotless Friday night with a 42-21 Lakeland Conference varsity football win over Cassopolis at Buchanan’s Memorial Field.

The Bucks improve to 7-0, 4-0 (LAC) with the wi,n while the Rangers drop to 5-2, 2-2 (LAC).

Buchanan jump out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter and tacked on their third touchdown of the night early in the second quarter.

Cordel Johnson opened the scoring for the Bucks, breaking free for a 37-yard romp into the end zone. Quarterback Bryan Kuntz put his soft touch on the ball and connected with Doug Freeman for a 31-yard strike, which was set up by a 50-yard run by Johnson. Freeman made several great moves on the play to break through the Ranger defense and hit pay dirt.

The score came after the Rangers had driven the ball 84 yards before coughing up the ball at the 15.

“We knew coming in tonight if we want to be successful we had to play our best football,” Ranger coach Bernard Thomas said after the loss. “I was proud of our offense and I thought we moved the ball fairly well but we had to many turnovers at critical times. And Buchanan, what can you say about them offensively. They do a lot of good things and they have a very talented team. They came at us in a lot of different ways. We wanted to give them a better battle then what we did but it wasn’t to be.”

Nine minutes into the second quarter after another Cassopolis fumble Kuntz hit Ryan Catalano for a 16-yard touchdown to put the Bucks up 21-0.

The Rangers countered with a 7-play drive that covered 42 yards, capped off with a 3-yard tote by Marcus Ruff to leave them down 21-7.

Buchanan’s next drive resulted in a interception by the Rangers’ Evan Brown, but the snake bitten Rangers fumbled the ball away as Nick Troxel covered the loose pigskin at the Cass’ own 17 and six plays later it was Kuntz hitting Freeman for the 14-yard score. The big play of the drive was a 62-yard pass to Catalano.

The Bucks were sitting on a 28-7 lead at the half.

“It was a hard hitting affair with two good Lakeland teams going after it and this is what it is all about,” Buchanan coach Joe Austin said. “We were very nervous with Cass a very explosive team. That first drive was 14 plays. We didn’t want to give them the long run. We bent but we did not break. The kids filled in the gaps and we are real excited as we picked up at least a share of the Lakeland title tonight.”

In the first half Kuntz hit 7-of-9 for 139 yards passing and Johnson racked up 106 yards on the ground on seven carries.

For the night Johnson ran for 210 yards on 15 carries as the Bucks finished the with 261 rushing yards and 163 yard through the air on 11-of-17 passing by Kuntz.

Cass was limited to 243 total yards, 208 on the ground and 67 passing on 3-of-4 passing by Dwayne Morgan.

The Ranger cut the lead to 28-14 on 1-yard run by Brown, but the Bucks had an answer for the score by taking the ball 60 yards in eight plays finished off by Johnson’s 2-yard plunge into the end zone for a 35-14 lead.

After the Rangers moved the ball down the field the Buchanan once again came up with another turnover with Dalton Shearer picking off Morgan in the end zone to squash the Rangers’ drive.

Six plays later the Bucks were back in their own end zone on a 41-yard run by Johnson.

The Rangers tacked on a late touchdown in the closing seconds of the game on a Morgan to Ruff 5-yard pass.

Buchanan 14 14 7 7 — 42

Cassopolis  0 7 7 7 — 21

B- Cordel Johnson 37 run (Ryan Catalano kick)

B- Bryan Kuntz 50 pass Doug Freeman (Catalano kick)

B- Kuntz 16 pass Catalano (Catalano kick)

C- Marcus Ruff 3 run (Blaise Suseland kick)

C- Evan Brown 5 run (Suseland kick)

B- Johnson 2 run (Catalano kick)

B- Johnson 41 run (Catalano kick)

C- Dwayne Morgan 5 pass Ruff (Suseland kick)