Bobcats ‘swarm’ all over Detroit Edison

Published 7:32 am Friday, September 2, 2016

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Mosquitoes got after it at Selge Field.

But it was what head coach Mike Nate called the “new Bobcat Swarm” defense which helped lead Brandywine to a 36-8 football victory against visiting Detroit Edison Public School Academy Thursday.

That swarming defense rose to the occasion after giving up some big gainers early to squelch the attack for he Pioneers (1-1).

“That’s all they had all night,” Nate said after seeing the visitors gain 26, 20 and 10 yards on its three-play scoring drive (capped by a quarterback keeper by senior Robert Kennedy. “After that, they got nothing.

“We got aggressive. Once we figured out what they were doing, we were fine.”

On a night when Edison (1-1) was held to 124 total yards — 13 in the second half — with 14 plays for lost yardage, Bobcats senior outside linebacker Dillan Plew blocked a punt and returned it for a touchdown, caused a fumble and made seven tackles.

“We were trying to stop the outside (runs) because that’s where they were willing to go,” Plew said. “The first game (a 32-16 loss to Cassopolis), we weren’t really aggressive. We had to step our defense for sure.”

Senior two-way lineman Sam Burge made an impact for the Cats (1-1) on both sides of the football.

“We really didn’t know what [Edison] was going to run,” Burge said. “When we adjusted, we just kept corralling them in.”

“We knew they ran the pistol (formation). They went under-center early and went into the shotgun late,” Nate said.

With a swarming mentality, Brandywine kept applying the pressure on the Pioneers.

“We sent the house on them,” Nate said. “We had a lot of inside stunts and outside stunts.”

Besides Plew, Bobcat tackle leaders were seniors Nathan Kemp (11), Alex Shell (10), Kaci Lintz (7) and junior Jake Swanson (7).

The fumble caused by Plew was scooped up by senior Andrew Okayama.

On offense, Brandywine racked up 154 rushing yards — 55 for senior Vinny Peel and 46 for senior Ryan Buchar — plus 37 through the air (Corbin Eckenberger ran 3 and 6 yards for two scores and tossed touchdown passes of 7 and 20 yards to Kemp).

“Our first game was really rough,” Burge said. “We only had 22 rushing yards. This week, we adjusted greatly (on the offensive line). We had a big addition with (senior) Aaron Casto coming back (after missing week one with too few practices). Moving (6-foot-1, 230-pound junior) Jordan Mickiewicz down to center gave us a bigger body and a bigger front.

“We’re just doing a great job.”

Thursday’s game marked the first in any sport between Brandywine and Edison. Before the contest, the farthest the Pioneers had traveled to play football was Saginaw.

Brandywine’s third straight home game to open the 2016 season is scheduled for  Sept. 9 when Lake Michigan Catholic comes to town.

At Brandywine

Edison                        8          0          0          0 – 8

Brandywine               8          12       8          8 – 36

B – Nathan Kemp 7 pass from Corbin Eckenberger (Ryan Buchar run), 7:34.

E – Robert Kennedy 10 run (Julius Smith run), 6:25.

B – Eckenberger 3 run (pass failed), 5:35.

B – Kemp 20 pass from Eckenberger (pass failed), 3:22.

B – Dillan Plew 26 blocked punt return (Eckenberger run), 6:21.

B – Eckenberger 6 run (Marquell Peterson run), 11:06.

Varsity records: Brandywine 1-1, Edison 1-1.