Schoolcraft slips past Brandywine

Published 7:41 am Saturday, November 2, 2013

Brandywine's Brandon Earles tries to bring down the Schoolcraft quarterback Friday night. (Leader photo/JOSEPH WEISER)

Brandywine’s Brandon Earles tries to bring down the Schoolcraft quarterback Friday night. (Leader photo/JOSEPH WEISER)

For the second straight year, Brandywine faced Schoolcraft in a Division 6 pre-district football game.

The final seconds were much more intense on Friday.

The Eagles needed a defensive stand in the final minute to hold off the Bobcats, 28-21. Brandywine fell to Schoolcraft, 41-8, in the opening round of the playoffs last year.

Blake Zemek’s four-yard touchdown run with 1:17 remaining gave the Eagles a 28-21 lead and it turned out to be the game-winner. Schoolcraft moves on to the district final with a 9-1 record.

“This hurts more because we were in the game and had a chance to win it,” said Brandywine coach Mike Nate, whose team finishes at 8-2.

After Zemek’s score, Brandywine got the ball at its own 31-yard line with 1:12 left in the game with all three of its timeouts. Brandywine drove to Schoolcraft’s 29-yard line with 40 seconds left. Bobcat quarterback Andrew Duckett completed three passes for 50 yards with those completions going to Austin Knapp, Alec Nichols and Kenny Laurita.

The drive then stalled for Brandywine. Duckett spiked the ball to stop the clock on first down. Duckett got sacked for a yard loss on second down and he got sacked again for a minus 10 yards on third down. On fourth down, with no timeouts, Duckett lost track of downs and spiked the ball to end the game with 2.5 left.

“Basically, we had the two-minute drill,” Nate said. “We were throwing the ball and tried to get something going and we did. On fourth down, we were trying to throw the ball deep and Duckett lost track of the downs and he spiked the ball. Lack of experience. He’s just a junior. He’s a great quarterback. I wouldn’t trade him for anybody.”

Duckett completed 7-of-14 passes for 103 yards. He also rushed for 83 yards on 15 carries with two touchdowns. Duckett’s 31-yard touchdown run gave Brandywine a 7-0 lead with 11:52 left in the second quarter. His 24-yard touchdown run with 11:49 left in the game tied the game at 21.

Schoolcraft’s game-winning drive started at its own 35-yard line with 3:46 left in the game. The Eagles converted two third downs on the drive. Brandywine was called for pass interference on a 3rd-and-10 play at Schoolcraft’s 35-yard line.

“The one call that I question is that pass interference that gave them new life,” Nate said. “That looked like a great defensive play.”

With a 3rd-and-7 at Brandywine’s 47-yard line, Schoolcraft quarterback Tom Hurst hooked up with Charlie Schultz on a 43-yard pass play. A play later, Zemek scored.

“(Schoolcraft) had 1-on-1 and they just beat us,” Nate said. “They made a great play. They made the plays when they had to.”

The game-winning drive came after Brandywine lost a fumble. The Eagles also scored seven points after recovering a Bobcat fumble in the second quarter. A play after that turnover, Hurst tossed a 33-yard touchdown pass to Trevor Stoddard with 1:16 left in the second quarter. That scored tied the game at 14.

“You can’t make mistakes against good teams,” Nate said. “But, they were hustle mistakes. Schoolcraft had something to do with those turnovers.”

Brandywine running back Marty Ward Jr. rushed for 79 yards on 16 carries. His 34-yard touchdown run gave the Bobcats a 14-7 lead with 3:08 left in the second quarter. Ward finished the year with 1,068 yards rushing on 141 carries with 14 touchdowns.

“(Schoolcraft) has played like 42 playoff games and won three (state) championships,” Nate said. “My kids played tooth and nail with them. Our kids have nothing to hang their heads about. It was a great high school football game.”


Schoolcraft  0 14 7 7 – 28

Brandywine 0  14 0  7 – 21

B – Andrew Duckett 31 run (Zach Schmidt kick)

S – Trevor Stoddard 12 pass from Tom Hurst (Brennan Vaughn kick)

B – Marty Ward Jr. 34 run (Schmidt kick)

S – Stoddard 33 pass from Hurst (Vaughn kick)

S – Cody Mikel 2 run (Vaughn kick)

B – Duckett 24 run (Schmidt kick)

S – Blake Zemek 4 run (Vaughn kick)