Bobcats handled at home, shut out by Suttons Bay 48-0

Brethren’s Logan Tighe (72) fights for yardage during the Bobcats’ 48-0 loss to Suttons Bay Friday night. (Kyle Kotecki/News Advocate)

Brethren’s Logan Tighe (72) fights for yardage during the Bobcats’ 48-0 loss to Suttons Bay Friday night. (Kyle Kotecki/News Advocate)

BRETHREN — You know a football game is physical when one of the refs misses a few snaps due to a hand injury.

Such was the case in Brethren’s 48-0 blowout loss to Suttons Bay at home Friday, in which the Norsemen jumped out to an early lead and the Bobcats could never respond.

“That’s a good old-fashioned butt-whooping, I would say,” said Brethren head coach J.J. Randall. “All credit to Suttons Bay. They took control from the start.”

The Bobcats (3-2 overall, 3-0 in the West Michigan D League) opened the game with a 10-play, 41-yard drive which unfortunately ended in a turnover on downs. The Norsemen (4-1, 2-1 in the Midwest Central-West conference) marched down the field and scored on a one-yard rush up the middle to take a 6-0 lead. Suttons Bay recovered the subsequent onside kick and scored seven plays later on a 15-yard pass into the end zone to go up 14-0 after a successful two-point conversion.

“I don’t think we were used to getting hit that hard,” said Brethren’s Garrett Fraly. “We didn’t come in prepared enough. I think we could have played a lot better than what we did but we put our heads down. We’ll do better the next time for sure.”

After a Brethren three-and-out, Suttons Bay scored on a 19-yard touchdown pass in the waning seconds of the first quarter to start the second with a 22-0 advantage.

“We knew coming into this game they were going to try to use their power and play power football,” Randall said. “That’s why we have a weight room. We have to start using the weight room. We have to be in the weight room. You can tell Suttons Bay is a program that has traditionally been in the weight room. We have to continue to get in there. We have to get motivated.”

Things went from bad to worse for the Bobcats when Gavin Asiala went down with a shoulder injury. The Norsemen capitalized on a Troy Macurio interception with a 10-play, 87-yard drive capped off with a two-yard dive up the middle for a touchdown. Suttons Bay recovered another onside kick and scored 73 seconds later on a 10-yard sweep. After Brethren denied the two-point conversion the score was 34-0.

“We didn’t get that first down (on the opening drive) and you saw our heads go down,” Randall said. “And then losing Asiala in the second quarter put a little bit of a damper on our offense. And I would say (Suttons Bay’s) physicality (was a problem). Pretty much every single play they had four guys up on the second level.”

The Norsemen capitalized on another Bobcat three-and-out to score on a 24-yard rush with 41 seconds remaining in the half. The subsequent extra point was good and Brethren headed into the locker room trailing 41-0.

“That first half, expectations were a little bit up and were playing out of position at times,” Randall said. “We weren’t doing what we were supposed to do and we got manhandled.”

Macurio finished 2-for-6 passing with 20 yards and an interception. He also rushed for 59 yards on 10 carries. Logan Tighe finished with nine carries for 55 yards, two receptions for 26 more and had seven tackles on defense. Jake Riggs led the Bobcats in tackles with 10.

Brethren started the second half on a good note by recovering a Suttons Bay fumble on the second play of the half. A turnover-on-downs resulted in a 19-yard touchdown scamper by the Norsemen with 4:37 remaining in the third quarter. After the Norsemen’s successful point-after, the Bobcats were able to hold Suttons Bay scoreless the rest of the way.

“Part of the culture change is fighting and battling consistently every play,” Randall said. “Not taking two plays off. Consistently battle, battle, battle, battle. I think we did that. The pressure was off their shoulders and so they just went and they played hard.”

The Bobcats next see action against Bear Lake in Brethren Friday at 7 p.m.

MCC wallops Baldwin

BALDWIN — Manistee Catholic Central football extended its winning streak to 3 with a 68-0 defeat of Baldwin on the road Friday, moving to 4-1 overall and 3-1 in the West Michigan D League.

“Our offensive line — whoever we put in — was able to put a body on theirs and we were able to move them,” said Sabers head coach Jake Szymanski. “Everybody who ran the ball was able to find a hole that was big enough to run through.”

Josue Hernandez rushed for 211 yards and three touchdowns on 11 carries. Mateo Barnett had both a receiving and rushing touchdown for MCC. Eric Stickney, John Slivka and Nolan Fortier each scored a touchdown. Preston Picardat finished 2-for-2 passing for 88 yards and two touchdowns. On defense, Bryant Dozier led the Sabers with eight tackles and two sacks. Slivka added seven tackles and a sack while Fortier snagged an interception.

The Sabers play their Homecoming game against Onekama Friday at 7 p.m.

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