Bucks hold off Bobcats 28-22Published 12:29am Saturday, September 29, 2012
BUCHANAN – Brandywine’s football team began its game Friday against Buchanan with a big scoring play.
The Bobcats were looking to repeat that feat on its final play against the Bucks.
There was no such drama as a shorthanded Buchanan squad held on for a 28-22 Lakeland Conference win over the Bobcats.
With :02 left, Brandywine had a 3rd-and-7 at Buchanan’s 37-yard line. Bobcats’ quarterback Andrew Duckett then attempted a Hail Mary pass on the game’s final play. The pass deflected off of Brandywine wide receiver Alec Nichols and then off a Buchanan defender and fell to the ground inside the Bucks’ 10-yard line.
Buchanan, which improved to 5-1 overall and 2-0 in the Lakeland Conference, has now won seven straight games over Brandywine. The Bobcats fell to 4-2 overall and 0-2 in the league.
“We were trying to get the ball in the end zone,” said Brandywine coach Mike Nate. “Everyone knows it’s coming. But, I’ve seen stranger things happen.
“It was a great high school football game in front of a packed house. We just came up six points short. I’m proud of the way we played. We showed up and played a great ball game and so did Buchanan. It’s a tough loss for us. We just have to regroup and come back next week.”
Brandywine got possession of the ball at its own 20-yard line with :55 left in the game after Kenneth Laurita intercepted a pass for the Bobcats in the end zone. Buchanan had a 3rd-and-8 at Brandywine’s 20-yard line before attempting that pass.
“We knew that (Brandywine) was just thinking dive and wham and to stuff the line there on third down,” said Buchanan coach Mike Kuntz. “The play before that they did not have anyone over our tight end Dallis Reynolds so I thought we would walk into the end zone with a dive pass. (Buchanan quarterback) Lyman (Thomas) knew he couldn’t throw the pass to (Reynolds) because they had somebody over him so he just rolled out and threw the ball into the end zone, which he’s taught to do. I told him it was a good play. They had to go 80 yards and they almost did.”
Brandywine moved the ball 43 yards on 11 plays on its final drive. Duckett completed two passes to Brian Kline and one to Brenten Bunde-Schau for 37 yards.
“It was a hell of a game and a lot of fun,” Kuntz said.
“I told my kids to keep their heads high because there’s nothing to hang them about,” Nate said.
Kuntz’s team played without standout running back and cornerback Doug Freeman. Freeman suffered a high ankle sprain in practice last Monday and is out indefinitely. Freeman has rushed for 885 yards this season and scored 19 touchdowns.
“He can walk OK, but he can’t run,” Kuntz said.
Without Freeman, Buchanan got clutch performances from quarterback Lyman Thomas and running backs Jeff Mucha and Spencer Thompson. Thomas completed 11-of-21 passes for 209 yards with two touchdowns. Mucha rushed for 84 yards on 20 carries with two touchdowns and Thompson rushed for 69 yards on 10 carries.
“Losing Doug, we planned on throwing all week,” Kuntz said. “Spencer and Jeff would be fine inside (running). That outside game with Doug we’re missing.”
With the game tied at 14 with 1:21 left before halftime, Buchanan started a drive at its own 28-yard line and were aggressive. The Bucks went 72 yards on seven plays with Mucha scoring on a 1-yard run with :39 left in the second quarter. Thomas completed two passes for 64 yards during the drive.
“That drive before halftime was the ball game,” Kuntz said. “We can’t be conservative. We have to be all out.”
“That was a big drive, but I’m not going to fault anybody on that,” Nate said. “Our defense played great and kept us in the game in the second half.”
Brandywine running back Courtlan Gordon rushed for 180 yards on 24 carries with three touchdowns. The first play of the game was a 65-yard touchdown run on the outside from Gordon.
“That’s been a good play of ours all year,” Nate said. “Courtlan’s a great back. He took it to the house. I would have liked to have given him the ball even more tonight, but we were behind and had to go to the spread.”
Gordon’s 4-yard touchdown run and 2-point conversion run pulled Brandywine within 28-22 with 2:18 left in the third quarter.
Brandywine 6 8 8 0 – 22
Buchanan 7 14 7 0 – 28
BW – Courtlan Gordon 65 run (run failed)
BU – Jeff Mucha 4 run (Alex Martinez kick)
BU – Dallis Reynolds 5 pass from Lyman Thomas (Martinez kick)
BW – Gordon 2 run (Gordon run)
BU – Mucha 1 run (Martinez kick)
BU – Mac Elliott 11 pass from Thomas (Martinez kick)
BW – Gordon 4 run (Marty Ward Jr. run)