Rangers fall to Pewamo-Westphalia

Published 5:12 pm Sunday, November 15, 2015

A.J. Green (40), Nick Baker (6) and A.J. Watson (65) try to clear a path for Marquise Curtis during the Division 7 Regional Championship Game Friday. (Leader photo/AMELIO RODRIGUEZ)

A.J. Green (40), Nick Baker (6) and A.J. Watson (65) try to clear a path for Marquise Curtis during the Division 7 Regional Championship Game Friday. (Leader photo/AMELIO RODRIGUEZ)

PEWAMO — The Cassopolis Rangers were unable to rope Pewamo-Westphalia junior Jared Smith in their 40-3 loss in the Division 7 Regional Championship game Friday night.

Smith, a junior, rushed for 215 yards on 20 carries and scored four touchdowns and how has 50 on the season. Smith has also rushed for more than 2,800 yards in 12 games.

Smith scored on runs of 12, 63 and 10 yards on his way to the state record.

“I told our guys after the game that they (Pewamo) won that game back in December, January and early August in the weight room,” Cassopolis coach Dan Purlee said. “They basically just out-manned us up front. Their running back was a physical specimen. He was tough.”

The night started out well for the Rangers (9-2) as they drove down the field after taking the opening kickoff and scored on a 26-yard Matt Lock field goal.

But on Pewamo-Westphalia’s first play from scrimmage, Garrett Trierweiler hauled in a 67-yard touchdown pass from Jimmy Lehman and after Jason Smith’s 2-point conversion run the Pirates had an 8-0 lead and would never look back.

Smith scored again on a 6-yard run to make it 14-0 after one quarter. His 12-yard run in the second quarter gave the Pirates a 20-0 halftime lead.

While Cassopolis’ defense stepped up in the second quarter and limited the Pirates to just the one score, the Rangers’ offense was going nowhere against Pewamo-Westphalia.

Cassopolis managed just 50 yards rushing and 52 yards passing.

It was all Pirates in the third quarter as they scored 20 points to put the running clock into motion.

Smith started the scoring with a 63-yard run and capped it with a 10-yard romp.

In between, Ryan Smith returned a punt 62-yards for the other touchown.

Either team scored in the fourth quarter.

Pewamo-Westphalia finished the game with 392 yards of total offense, including 309 on the ground. Lehman finished the night 2-of-4 for 83 yards.

Cassopolis had just 178 yards of total offense. Marquise Curtis finished with 46 yards on 11 carries and A.J. Green 45 yards on 12 attempts.

Shane Los was 3-for-12 for 73 yards and an interception.

“When you lose the battle up front, it is usually on both sides of the ball,” Purlee said. “We just couldn’t do anything on either side of the ball.”

Despite the loss, the Rangers had a historic season as they captured the school’s first district championship.

That was no lost on Purlee and his players.

“I told them after the game I was proud of them and this was a great accomplishment,” Purlee said. “I also told them if they want to win a big game like this, you have got to put in more work in the offseason. We have to get into that weight room and get bigger and stronger.”

The nine wins also ties the Rangers for second most in a single season. The last time the school won nine games was in 2007. The school record for win was set in 2006 when Cassopolis went 10-1.



At Pewamo

Cassopolis     3        0      0      0 – 3

Pewamo          14      6      20    0 – 40

C — Matt Locke 26 field goal

PW — Garrett Trierweiler 67 pass from Jimmy Lehman (Jason Smith run)

PW — J. Smith 6 run (run failed)

PW — J. Smith 12 run (pass failed)

PW — J. Smith 63 run (J. Smith run)

PW — Ryan Smith 62 punt return (pass failed)

PW — J. Smith 10 run (run failed)

Varsity records: Cassopolis 9-3, Pewamo-Westphalia 12-0