Brandywine rallies to nip Comets

Published 12:35 am Saturday, September 24, 2011

Coloma’s Dakota Shelby is brought down by Brandywine’s Joey Jena and an unidentified Bobcat defensive player Friday night. Brandywine rallied to defeat the Comets 8-7 in a Lakeland Conference clash. (Daily Star Photo/JOSEPH WEISER)

It took a gutsy performance for the youthful Brandywine Bobcat football team to capture an 8-7 victory over Lakeland Conference Coloma on Homecoming Friday night.

“This was guts, that was just guts as the kids deserve all the credit,” repeated a jubilant Brandywine coach Mike Nate. “These kids got it done with a gutty, gutty gutty performance.”

Coloma scored in the second quarter and held a 7-0 advantage until the Bobcats set senior Mykal Toxopous down the north sideline for a 58-yard touchdown pass from freshman Andrew Duckett with 4:13 showing on the final quarter clock.

Duckett the found senior Austin Searles open for the 2-point conversion for the winning points.

“We battled, battled and battled until we got Toxopous loose and then our other senior receiver Searles caught the 2-pointer with both of them having lifetime memories from their Homecoming game,” noted Nate. “(Andrew) Duckett has a ton of sense for a 14-year old kid.”

Brandywine (4-1, 1-1 Lakeland) controlled the entire opening stanza as Coloma (1-4, 1-2 Lakeland) only had three plays with a fourth down and 12 play not finding success as it had around midfield for 17 yards when Duckett found sophomore Alec Nichols.

The Comets capitalized on rushes by junior quarterback Andrew Steinhoff and sophomore Dakota Shelby got them to the red zone where Steinhoff found classmate Darius Steed open in the flat for the final yard.

“Our kids played hard and both teams had chances in the red zone,” commented Coloma coach Mark Eddy. “They made one more play than we did.”

At intermission, Brandywine totaled 123 yards compared to 82 to the leading Comets with junior Courtlan Gordon accumulating half of the yardage on 18 rushing attempts. Duckett completed 7 of his 10 aerials for 50 yards.

“I told them at halftime to win the second half ‘8-0’ that we would win the ball game,” stated Nate, and then added, “everything goes back to guts.”

There were no penalties in the first half, but a couple became costly in the second half for the Comets as a false start from the 14-yard line on a fourth down and 6 play sent them back and then they jumped offsides on defense when the Bobcats were pinned down at the two on the game winning 99 yard drive.

“That drive tied a state record, but (Courtlin) Gordon is a honey as he battled with everybody else out there blocking for him in the offensive line,” said Nate.  “Our defense was just phenomenal and blanketed their offense, except for one drive.”

Coloma was stopped twice on their last possession on short yardage when Shelby had negative yards in attempt to achieve the first down.

“It was a little bit out of our kicker’s range and thought our offense could pick up the first down,” remarked Eddy, about not going for the field goal from the 14 to give them a ten-point advantage.

Brandywine had 15 first downs to seven for Coloma and were penalized 20 yards to 15 for the visitors.

Gordon amassed 157 yards on 38 totes and Duckett added 162 with an 11-21 passing performance.  Searles and Nichols each caught three passes for 57 and 36 yards, respectively.

Selby ran the ball 17 times for 89 yards to lead Coloma as they were outgained by a 330-159 total in the contest.

“We are young with a lot of growing to do, but (Courtlin) Gordon was a workhorse for them and wanted it bad by breaking tackles,” conclude Eddy.

Coloma 0 7 0 0 – 7

Brandywine 0 0 0 8 – 8

CO – Andrew Steinhoff one pass to Darius Steed ( (Omar Hernandez kick)

BR – Andrew Duckett 58 pass to Mykal Toxopous (Duckett pass to Austin Searles)