You wouldn’t be faulted if you thought you heard Coldwater coach Jeff Schorfhaar humming a 1963 hit by the Crystals during Friday night’s matchup with Battle Creek Central as his Cardinals did ‘run, run, run’ all over C.W. Post Field during its 35-12 SMAC East victory.
The Cardinals (1-6, 1-3) tallied 316 total yards on the ground, while only attempting one pass.
Cooper Murphy led the charge for the Cardinals picking up 139 yards on 19 carries including four touchdowns. His second touchdown came on a 20-yard, second quarter scamper that gave the visitors a 14-6 lead – a difference that would hold into the half.
“It’s not that we can’t throw, but we’re still learning that position out there and my quarterback’s (Ryan Hadley) back has been messed up. I didn’t even know if he was going to play tonight,” Schorfhaar said.
But he did play, or at least he facilitated the play of Coldwater’s tailbacks.
“We’ve been running probably 75-percent of the time,” Schorfhaar said. “Tonight we said it would be close to 100 percent.”
Junior Kenneth Garrett made the play of the game when the tailback took a pitch right and scampered 78 yards for a third quarter Cardinal touchdown. Garrett would end the game as the contest’s leading rusher, amassing 141 yards on only 11 carries.
Despite Coldwater’s rushing dominance, it was the Bearcats (0-7, 0-4) that jumped on the board first when a booming BCC punt landed deep in Coldwater territory, rolling to the 11 yard line. The live ball was touched by a Cardinal returner before being scooped up by Battle Creek Central’s De’Andre Sawyer at the three.
The fumble recovery set up BCC for a first and goal and was followed by a scoring plunge from Phil Robinson.
Ground based highlights didn’t just come from Robinson as his backfield mate Victory Conley racked up 60 yards on 14 carries.
“He was a little banged up,” first-year BCC Coach Lorin Granger said of Conley. “I was proud of his effort.”
The Bearcats had their chances to pull off the victory in this battle of winless teams, but in the end they were unable to pick up the first ‘W’ of the Granger era.
Penalties were a major issue for BCC as the Bearcats netted 65 negative yards on nine miscues, including two during an opening game drive that saw the club stall out deep inside Coldwater’s territory.
“Penalties have been a story for us. I think it’s a discipline thing more than anything else,” Granger said. “I was impressed with the first drive though. I’m just continuously working on these kids to sustain that for all four quarters.”
Trailing by three scores in the third quarter, the Bearcats took to the air. A 41-yard scoring strike from Anfernee Boykins to Joe Bowser capped off a drive and helped to swing some of the game’s momentum back to the hosts.
Boykins would finish the game 7-for-18 for 75 yards, while Bowser chipped in with 57 yards receiving.
“(Boykins) is a guy that is developing as a quarterback. We’ve had to put a lot of work into where we are comfortable with him running the plays. For the most part he tries really hard, has a great attitude and I’m really proud of the kid,” Granger said.