Brandywine wins battle of unbeatens

Published 9:19 am Saturday, October 12, 2013

Brandywine's Alec Nichols hauls in a touchdown pass from Andrew Duckett. (Leader photo/JOSEPH WEISER)

Brandywine’s Alec Nichols hauls in a touchdown pass from Andrew Duckett. (Leader photo/JOSEPH WEISER)

Brandywine’s defense was stout again Friday in a showdown against another high school football unbeaten Lake Michigan Catholic.

The Bobcats held Lake Michigan Catholic to 176 yards in posting a 24-6 win over the Lakers.

Brandywine, which has allowed only 58 points on the year, improved to 7-0 for the first time since 1995.

“Defense wins championships,” said Brandywine coach Mike Nate. “That’s no lie. We’ve got a good defense. Our offense is good too, but our defense is our money group. They really played well tonight. They stopped Lake Michigan Catholic’s offense. They had one drive. We bent, but didn’t break.”

The only blemish for Brandywine’s defense against Lake Michigan Catholic came in the first quarter when the Lakers put together a 16-play, 71-yard touchdown drive capped by a two-yard touchdown run by Lake Michigan Catholic’s Jeremiah McCoy. The game was tied at 6 after the extra-point was blocked by Brandywine’s Bela Tiser.

The Bobcats scored first on an 18-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Andrew Duckett to Alec Nichols with 7:43 left in the first quarter. The extra-point was blocked.

Brandywine had success running and throwing the football.

The Bobcats took the lead for good at 12-6 with 11:49 left in the second quarter after getting a 59-yard touchdown run from Marty Ward Jr. The extra-point was blocked.

“Key, key play,” Nate said about Ward’s touchdown. “It was a nice hole. It was third down and we hit it just right and (Ward) took it to the house. The whole offensive line deserves credit. That was a concern coming in because we thought Lake Michigan Catholic was a physical team.”

Ward finished the game with 112 yards rushing on 16 carries. Duckett added 61 yards rushing on 11 carries with a 1-yard sneak, which gave the hosts a 24-6 lead with 5:35 left in the game. Brandywine totaled 218 yards on the ground.

Duckett completed 6-of-11 passes for 125 yards with two touchdowns. His second touchdown through the air was a 10-yard connection with Nichols with 8:07 left in the second quarter. That gave Brandywine an 18-6 lead going into halftime.

“Most of our passing success came on play-action,” Nate said. “(Lake Michigan Catholic) put eight or nine guys in the box and they had some blown coverages. If teams are going to put eight or nine guys in the box we’ll make them pay.”

Brandywine also didn’t make mental errors. The Bobcats had only four penalties for 35 yards, while the Lakers committed 11 penalties for 80 yards.

“You can’t go forward eight yards and go back 15,” said Lake Michigan Catholic coach Steve Graziano.

Brandywine opened the second half with a drive that took over six minutes. The Bobcats didn’t score, but valuable seconds came off the clock. The Bobcats punted only once in the game, while the Lakers punted five times.

“It was a good win,” Nate said. “Lake Michigan Catholic played a heck of a game. We had to earn it. These kids weren’t going to lose on Senior Night.”


 LMC 6 0 0 0 – 6

Brandywine 6  12 0 6 – 24

B – Alec Nichols 18 pass from Andrew Duckett (kick blocked)

L – Jeremiah McCoy 2 run (kick blocked)

B – Marty Ward Jr. 59 run (kick blocked)

B – Nichols 10 pass from Duckett (pass failed)

B – Duckett 1 run (pass failed)