Berrien runs winning streak against Bobcats to nine games

Published 12:39 am Saturday, September 16, 2023

NILES — Turnovers plagued the Brandywine Bobcats as they fell to the Berrien Springs Shamrocks 26-12 in Lakeland Conference action on Friday night.

Brandywine’s Brock Dye scored the Bobcats’ only two touchdowns of the game in the first quarter, A 40-yard run and a 62-yard pass reception from Kaiden Reith that gave the Bobcats a 12-6 lead.

“He (Dye) is a great guy,” said Brandywine Coach Justin Kinzie. “The nice thing about Brock is that he is just happy doing a role, no matter what it is. Our goal was to get him involved in the offense more, and he balled out tonight.”

However, the turnover bug for Brandywine (1-3) killed any momentum for the last three quarters.

Leading 6-0, Brandywine fumbled the ball, which the Shamrock’s Micah McFarland returned for a touchdown, and with less than a minute remaining in the first quarter gave Berrien Springs a 12-6. Reith’s pass was picked off by Micah Jarvis.

The ensuing possession for the Shamrocks tied the game on an 11-play, 78-yard drive. From there, Berrien Springs never looked back.

“We are a little thin on varsity players,” Kinzie said. “A lot of those turnovers were really just fatigue. There are just some guys that can’t come off the field.”

Berrien Springs’ (2-2) rushing attack was led by the 1-2 punch of Andru Gonzalez and Calvin White, who outrushed Brandywine as a team. Gonzalez finished with 16 rushes for 137 yards and one touchdown, while White had 15 rushes for 117 yards. Brandywine had 220 rushing yards as a team.

“We knew they [Berrien Springs] were going to run the ball,” Kinzie said. “White is a very strong runner, and we were without our leading defensive lineman [Gavin Schoff] for this game. They have some big guys in the trenches that are fast.”

McFarland capped off his night with a 5-yard touchdown pass to Walter Williams in the second quarter and called his own number on a 3-yard touchdown rush in the third quarter.

Berrien Springs has now won nine straight games versus Brandywine, leading the overall series 31-19. The last time the Bobcats beat the Shamrocks was in 2006.

Brandywine travels to Buchanan (2-2) Friday night. This Lakeland Conference rivalry game has been known to get chippy at times.

“It’s going to be tough and physical game,” Kinzie said. “I think that we are a very disciplined team, and if we can get the turnover bug settled down, we will be in good shape.”

Berrien Springs has next week off as they could not find a non-conference game to fill their schedule. They will have their opportunity against the Bucks at home in two weeks.