Cards grow up fast

Big Rapids football looks to continue growth against Hornets

BIG RAPIDS — With a young group of players, Big Rapids football coach Mitch Cumings knew there was going to be a time of growing.

What Cumings didn’t expect was how fast his team would grow.

The Cardinals dropped the opening game of the 2011 season 32-18 to Reed City. It was the second half that has Cumings excited about tonight’s contest with Central Montcalm at Top Taggart Field.

WRAPPED UP: Big Rapids' Tony Byrne (72) and John Morningstar (54) tackle a Reed City ball carrier during last week's game. (Pioneer photo/Martin Slagter)

Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Big Rapids scored twice in the second half as they outscored the Coyotes 12-8 in the third and fourth quarters. Nick Baldwin led the Cardinals offense with 89 yards rushing on just nine carries.

“You can never play a half of football and come away with a win, but we grew up in a very large way,” Cumings said. “The big thing, they now have experience under their belts. I can’t wait to watch them play.”

Central Montcalm enters the contest fresh off a 30-0 victory over Lakeview in its opener. Cumings said they have size up front and will mix up their offense from what it did in the past, which was to run the veer.

“They showed a lot of different things in week 1 and we will have to be prepared for everything they do,” Cumings said.

The Cardinals will have to run their offense without the services of quarterback Derrick Defever who is out for the next two games for what school officials said was “breaking a school violation.”

Defever rushed for 76 yards in the game-one contest and was a big part of the defense.

Regardless of who is at the quarterback position, or any other position, Cumings said each of the players have to be ready to play. He said his team had one of the best practices of the season Tuesday and is optimistic that will carry over to the game.

“Whoever is in there has to be ready,” Cumings said. “We have to acclimate to that level of football. I believe in the boys and interested to see what they can do. I think people are going to be surprised what they can do (Thursday).”

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