by Pedro Velazco
Faced with a soggy field, drizzle which turned to heavy rain and a pesky opponent, Lewis Cass’ football team went back to basics Friday night. The result was the Kings found their stride in the second quarter and surged to a 46-7 victory over previously unbeaten Peru.
“Obviously, the field conditions weren’t great, it was kind of drizzly to start the game out,” Cass coach Scott Mannering said. “[I] didn’t think you could throw the ball well and we were able to move it on the ground so we stayed really basic and that worked. Sometimes you spend all week trying to out-think yourself and the stuff you did in June, or the stuff they’ve been doing since seventh and eighth grade is still good. That was key.”
Cass racked up 450 yards on the ground with Brendan McGehee running for 131 and Payton Young adding 105 as the Kings moved to 2-3 overall, 1-2 in the Mid-Indiana Conference.
“I thought our offensive line and halfbacks really blocked well,” Mannering said. “They were outstanding on both sides. They were physical, had good pad level all night, made a lot of holes for the running backs.”
Cass got another 79 yards out of Gabe Welch, 45 from Leland Bowling and 36 from James Champ.
The rain hit hard in the second quarter and so did the Kings. Cass led 7-0 after the first quarter on a two-yard touchdown run by Welch to finish an 11-play drive, but the Bengal Tigers had a little life after stopping Cass once and showing a dangerous speed element on offense before stalling out with a sack on their first possession.
Cass unloaded in the second quarter, scoring three times. Quarterback Owen Ohman scored on a one-yard sneak, Young punched a hole at the line of scrimmage and surged 57 yards for a TD, and finally near the end of the half John Hartley pounced on a fumble in the end zone on a Peru punt attempt. That made the score 27-0 Cass at the half.
“They were in the defense we thought they’d be in, and to be honest, they just beat us on both sides of the ball with their physicality and their aggressiveness. All the credit goes to them,” Peru coach Bob Prescott said. “We held them on their first drive. I think we got a first down or maybe two and then didn’t execute some things, but that’s credit to them.
“I thought it was a decent quarter for us, I think it was 7-0 at the quarter, and then our second quarter they got on top and got it rolling and the rain was coming down like crazy and they got a lot of momentum going and they took it to us.”
Peru (4-1, 2-1 MIC) scored on its first possession of the third quarter on a six-yard fake and keep by quarterback Nolan Brimbury for its only score.
“We asked our kids to make sure that half didn’t define who we are and I was very proud that we came out in the third quarter and got a drive put together and put points on the board,” Prescott said. “But by far the better team won.”
Brimbury ran for 30 yards and connected on five passes for 51 yards. Michael Richardson added 41 yards on the ground.
Cass scored three times after Peru’s TD. Ohman scored on another one-yard sneak, McGehee punched in from two yards out, and Bowling took a double handoff up the gut for a 20-yard TD.
Mannering praised his backs for running hard and was glad to see his team dominate at the line.
“[Peru has] a pretty good defense. I’ve seen them enough on film to know they’re pretty stout and pretty aggressive,” Mannering said. “The fact that we can control the line of scrimmage against a team like that, I’m pretty proud of my guys.”