East Buchanan powers past St. Joseph LeBlond
By Chris Schoonover St. Joseph News-Press
East Buchanan’s offense ran in high gear for 48 minutes, moving the Bulldogs one step closer to their goal of a state championship with a 58-34 win over Bishop LeBlond on Friday night at East Buchanan High School.
The Bulldogs (11-0) put up 22 points in the first quarter, hardly slowing down as the Golden Eagles (5-6) attempted to match them score for score but could not keep up as the game wore on.
“We got a two-score lead and we kind of took a breath a little bit,” East Buchanan coach Kevin Bryan said. “Then we got a three-score lead and kind of just said ‘all right, we feel pretty comfortable now.’”
East Buchanan reached the end zone on its first drive when junior quarterback Colby Rapp hit junior wide receiver Nate Griffin for a 32-yard touchdown pass. Senior running back Ryan Kilgore tacked on the two-point conversion to make it 8-0 less than four minutes in.
That drive was the first of many in the first half that made it feel more like a track meet than a football game.
After a Bishop LeBlond punt and a Bulldogs turnover on downs, senior quarterback Jack Schanze evened the score with a 59-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Cort Patrick and a two-point conversion toss to junior wide receiver Trey Hartman.
Patrick hauled in 10 catches for 261 yards and four touchdowns in his final game in purple and gold.
“That young man plays with a tremendous amount of passion, I think in some instances more than a lot of kids,” LeBlond coach Tony Dudik said. “... He’s kind of a gift to the game. He is truly a joy to watch and has been for four years.”
A few plays later, Rapp found junior wide receiver Jason Daugherity from 36 yards out, then hit Griffin for the two-point conversion to make it 16-8 with less than five minutes left in the first quarter.
The Eagles answered with a drive that included a 37-yard pass from Schanze to Patrick and a 24-yard scamper by Schanze, and was finished off on a 2-yard scoring burst by senior running back Alex Pyatt.
A Schanze pass on the conversion attempt fell incomplete, leaving the score 16-14 in favor of the Bulldogs.
A week after rushing for more than 200 yards, Pyatt was held to 69 yards on 12 carries, making it more difficult for Schanze to throw the ball down the field as the game wore on.
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