Brookfield ends East Buchanan's season
By Chris Bils The St. Joseph News-Press
For the past two years, East Buchanan’s mantra has been to get to the Edward Jones Dome and bring home a state championship.
On the backs of one of the most talented classes in school history, the Bulldogs from Gower at times look destined to do just that. Unfortunately for those seniors, that dream died Friday night in a 43-18 loss to Brookfield at Lathrop High School — a rematch of last year’s Class 2 District 8 championship.
“Sometimes in life you just come up short,” said a tearful Colby Rapp, who finished with 3,259 passing yards in his senior season. “It’s not about coming up short, it’s about getting back up and keeping going. We’ve got a good group of guys and I wouldn’t trade them for the world.”
For only the second time in 25 games, East Buchanan (11-1) ran into a team that thoroughly outplayed it. Behind a relentless defense, physical run game and the incredible skill of an all-state wide receiver turned quarterback, another group of Bulldogs will continue its quest for a Class 2 state title.
“We didn’t handle them very well up front,” said East Buchanan coach Kevin Bryan. “They flat just physically beat us up front. When you cannot run the ball and they can drop eight people in the passing lanes it’s hart to throw the ball.”
The game between No. 2-ranked East Buchanan and No. 3 Brookfield (12-0) had to be moved from Gower because of concerns about field conditions, but penalties are what gave East Buchanan’s offense fits early on.
Backed up to third-and-37, Rapp was intercepted by Seth Speichinger on the game’s first possession. The pick led to a missed 47-yard field goal attempt, and East Buchanan struck first on a 36-yard run by senior wide receiver Jason Daugherity which made the score 6-0 with 3 minutes, 41 seconds left in the first quarter.
Speichinger — starting just his second game at quarterback after original starter Bryce Howerton broke his arm in the first round of districts against Lathrop — answered quickly with a blistering 52-yard touchdown run to make it 7-6 with 1:23 left in the first.
Speichinger gave East Buchanan problems all day with both his legs and his arm, finishing with 238 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 17 carries to go along with 99 yards and two scores through the air.
“It’s just execution,” Speichinger said. “We had been working on it all week. We don’t practice until we get it right, we practice until we can’t get it wrong.”
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