By Mark Saluke
For the Pharos-Tribune
The Lewis Cass football team looks like it’s starting to hit its stride at exactly the right time.
The Kings moved above .500 for the first time since Week 1 in Friday’s 48-0 shutout at Taylor, improving to 4-3 overall and 3-2 in Mid-Indiana Conference play.
Cass has won three straight games for the first time this season, setting up a juicy homecoming game when Maconaquah visits next week. The Braves have won four straight and hold a 5-2 overall record and 4-1 MIC mark after defeating Peru 28-19 Friday.
“This is the best team they’ve had in several years,” Cass coach Scott Mannering said of the looming matchup with Mac. “We’ll see a very good team with several outstanding players.
“Congratulations to our kids for getting over .500,” Mannering added. “I think we’re playing better, doing what we need to do. We had a good week of practice, kids were hitting the weight room, and it showed [Friday.] This was a good game for us. We needed to play well early, and we got it done on offense and defense.”
After racking up more than 500 yards rushing a week ago, it didn’t take long for the Kings' ground game to heat up again as Cass tried to outshine the Titans' homecoming fireworks with a display of its own.
After Taylor (0-7, 0-5) was forced to punt on its first possession, Cass opened its first drive on its own 29 and needed just four plays to light up the scoreboard as Gabe Welch broke loose for a 57-yard touchdown.
On its next possession, Cass found paydirt again when Hunter Clark raced in from 20 yards for a score as the Kings were up 14-0 after 12 minutes.
Once the Kings had the ground game going, junior QB Owen Ohman went to the air in the second quarter, passing for three scores and finishing 6-of-10 for 104 yards in just one half of action as Cass went up 41-0 at the break and Ohman relinquished QB duties to sophomore Isaac Shaffer over the final two quarters.
“We didn’t defend the pass very well at all. I think that was very obvious,” Taylor coach Eric Davis said. “We had real problems on their intermediate routes. It was the 12-15 yard routes that really got us. Then, our lack of tackling certainly didn't help our cause any.”
Cass turned intermediate gains into huge chunks of yardage throughout the second quarter. Ohman hooked up with senior Kyle Dwiggins for two scores in the quarter. The first TD pass was from 24 yards while the second was from 39. Ohman also connected with Payton Young on a one-yard TD toss in the quarter.
“They were playing their safeties real tight to help against the run and Ohman did a really nice job on the play-action pass,” Mannering said. “When you’re able to do that it’s going to open up some big plays for you. He gets better weekly and opens things up for other guys. Dwiggins had some really nice grabs.”
Dwiggins finished with three catches for 81 yards. J.D. Tharp caught a 57-yard touchdown from Shaffer in the third quarter.
Brendan McGehee added a five-yard touchdown run for Cass. The Kings got a team-high 88 yards on the ground from Welch in just one half of action.
The Titans' loss extended their losing streak to 23 games.