UPDATED: Buchanan wins fourth straight contest

Published 11:30 pm Sunday, October 2, 2022

BUCHANAN — Host Buchanan took another step toward locking up the inaugural Lakeland Conference football championship with a 20-14 win over Berrien Springs at Memorial Field Friday night.

The Bucks, winners of four straight, dominated the first half, racing out to a 20-0 on the previously undefeated Shamrocks. Berrien Springs came back in the second half and made a game out of it, but could not overcome the early deficit.

After getting off to quick starts in its previous three wins, Buchanan scored just once in the opening quarter as quarterback Connor Legault scored on a 1-yard run. The conversion run failed.

Buchanan (5-1. 2-0 Lakeland) would score twice in the second quarter to open up a three-score lead.

Offensive lineman Drew Andersen recovered a fumble at the 1-yard line and took it into the end zone to make it 12-0 after the conversion run failed.

Nico Finn capped the first-half scoring with a 19-yard run. Finn added the conversion run to make it 20-0.

“Last Friday was a special night for the team,” said Buchanan Coach Mark Frey. “We competed well, especially running the ball, when typically, we have been a passing team. We got up early in the game and came out kind of flat in the second half. However, to hold off a solid team, like Berrien Springs, was a good example of how much we have grown as a program and should help us mentally as we approach these next few weeks.”

Berrien Springs (5-1, 2-1 Lakeland) scored a touchdown in each of the final two quarters to narrow the final score.

The Bucks outgained the Shamrocks 259-229. Buchanan rushed for 235 of those yards, while the Shamrocks ran for 156 yards.

Legault led the Bucks with 103 yards on 18 carries, while Leland Payne added 75 yards on 11 carries.

AJ Mcleod and Finn led Buchanan with five tackles each. Jack Ruth added 3.5, while Jaman Brown, Legault, Dillon Oatsvall and Ryder Andersen all had three tackles.

Buchanan has two games remaining in the Lakeland Conference. The Bucks face arch rival Brandywine Friday night before taking on Benton Harbor Oct. 11.

“From here on out, it will be about playing our game and executing at a high level,” Frey said. “We cannot make some of the mistakes we were making in the second half on Friday. We have to believe in each other, but also make sure we are keeping our minds right and focusing on the game at hand.”