BCC falls to rivals, 20-0

BCC falls to rivals, 20-0

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BCC falls to rivals, 20-0

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KALAMAZOO -The oldest high school football rivalry west of the Allegany Mountains welcomed a new face Friday night as first-year coach Lorin Granger led his Battle Creek Central Bearcats onto the field in a SMAC crossover game against Kalamazoo Central.

Unfortunately for the Bearcats, the Granger era started off with a 20-0 loss in what proved to be a predominantly defensive struggle that was interrupted by a handful of big plays, most of which were made by the host Maroon Giants.

“At times we looked really good, at other times we didn’t look really good, but you take away three big plays and it’s still 0-0,” Granger Said.

Celebrating its 120th season, Kalamazoo Central (1-0) began the game with the first of three big plays when Forrest Drummer returned the opening kickoff 84 yards, setting up a one-yard touchdown run from junior tailback Kenyon Smith. Though the Bearcats (0-1) showed off several promising drives during the game, it was a 7-0 hole that BCC could not dig itself out of.

“I was scared at how they’d react to that,” Granger said. “I was really scared that our kids would just fold, but they didn’t. I was very impressed the whole game with how they held together and the way they stayed positive. It’s not like it didn’t happen but they were just ready to play the next down and that’s what we need to do and we need to have that mentality.”

Smith would score his second touchdown of the game on a nine-yard run with 7:52 remaining, allowing the back to finish with 77 yards on 18 carries.

One of Granger’s goals entering the season was to pound the ball on the ground, re-emphasizing the running game. He did so last night by utilizing a platoon of tailbacks, a group of three that was led by Victor Conley who picked up 56 yards on 11 carries. Phil Robinson was given eight carries tallying 22 yards and Floyd Woodruff carried the rock seven times for 10 yards.

“We have quite a few guys that can carry the ball. None of them have really separated themselves from the pack, they are all able to produce, but we’re still looking for that one guy to grab a hold of that role and make it his,” Granger said.

The Bearcats threw the ball quite a bit too, unleashing quarterback Tre’Vahn Hale who racked up 88 yards on 5-for-17 passing.

“We’re confident in our ability to throw the ball, we want to establish the run, we want to be a running team but when we threw the ball we knew we could because we were able to run on them,” Granger said.

The Bearcats avoided a three possession deficit early in the fourth quarter after Smith ripped off a 35-yard run on a draw over center. The tailback was once again wrestled down on the BCC 1 yard line, and the bearcats held strong from there stopping the Maroon Giants from scoring.

But The Bearcats didn’t have quite enough in the tank to shut down every strike from its rival; as the Maroon Giants second big play of the contest resulted in a fourteen point K-Central lead when quarterback Matthew Taylor rolled right with 6:53 remaining in the first quarter and found senior TE Rasaun Brown for a 65-yard scoring strike.

The tight end took the pass 12 yards from scrimmage and then went to work with his legs, picking up the big gainer for Kalamazoo Central.

Taylor finished the game 2-6 for 67 yards.

The Bearcats too picked up several yards through the air. With less than four minutes remaining in the second quarter Hale found Joe Bowser on a deep slant rout to the left. Bowser put on a quick stutter move, shaking two defenders before finally being dragged down on the Kalamazoo Central 18 with a 47 yard gain.

Two plays later Hale took a sack and the Bearcats went four-and-out, unable to find pay dirt.

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