Instead, the Colonels’ seniors and the rest of their teammates completed a true bounce-back season, ending a four-game slide with a dominating 35-15 victory at LaFayette.
“… We said we had to go out with a win, and we did,” Cass coach Rick Casko said. “We made a couple of mistakes, but our kids played really hard and I think the kids focused and played for the seniors. … The kids know that they played well together; the seniors were happy, they leave with a victory; and it’s what you need to do. You don’t want to lose your last one … ”
Despite an early deficit following a safety by the Ramblers (1-9), the Colonels (5-5) never looked as if they would enter the offseason with a five-game losing streak. Brandon Etheridge and the Cass offense scored four straight times, with the defense setting up two of those scores.
Following a fumble recovery by Cass at the LaFayette 32-yard line, a 15-yard completion from Etheridge to Kelin Wells on fourth-and-9 kept the drive alive, and the Colonels scored when Chris Morton hauled in a screen pass and raced 17 yards to paydirt. Pablo Delores kicked the extra point as Cass grabbed a 7-2 lead with 5:02 to play in the first quarter.
The Colonels’ second touchdown also came with the benefit of excellent field position after Rambler punter Joe Clayton dropped a high snap and was tackled at his team’s 25.
As Cass took possession near the red zone, Etheridge quickly hit Jordan Cothron and Wells for back-to-back first down passes, getting the ball down to the 2-yard line. From there, Chaz Rokins bulled his way into the end zone to give the Colonels a 14-2 lead in the second quarter.
LaFayette continued to add to its woes on its ensuing possession as quarterback Alize Woodall uncorked a badly overthrown ball that was intercepted by Cass’s Letrize Thompson, who returned the ball 18 yards to the Rambler’s 12-yard line.
On their third snap, which followed a holding call that backed them up to the 15, Etheridge eluded danger from the LaFayette defense, which chased him out the backfield. The junior signal-caller turned a potential loss into more points for the Colonels, who led 21-2 after Delores’s third extra point.
With the Ramblers avoiding a turnover on their next possession, Cass had to start its final scoring drive of the first half at its own 45. The Colonels showed that having to drive a few extra yards was no obstacle as the coaching staff again dialed up a screen pass for Morton. The sophomore receiver pulled in Etheridge’s throw and began his 45-yard march toward the end zone, one that was aided by a crushing block by Wells.
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