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Second half surge lifts Colonels past Wildcats, 28-9

Woodland held leads of 6-0 and 9-7 Friday night, but Cass scored 21-unanswered points in the second half to earn a Region 7-AAAAA road victory, 28-9. The Wildcats, who had three games canceled or postponed in recent weeks due to COVID concerns at the school, led 6-0 on their first offensive play of the night.

After a Cass punt was downed at the Woodland 10-yard line, Asa James took a handoff right up the middle and split the Colonels' defense for a 90-yard scoring run. The snap was bobbled on the ensuing PAT attempt. Cass struggled on offense through much of the first half. The Colonels fumbled twice in the first quarter, but Woodland failed to capitalize on the takeaways. Meanwhile the Cass defense kept their team in the game including a stop on a 4th-and-short in Colonels' territory.

Cass was able to take a 7-6 lead before halftime on a 64-yard drive with 7:39 remaining in the half. Cass freshman quarterback Devin Henderson connected with freshman wideout Sacovie White for a 29-yard scoring play to cap the seven play drive. White went high in the air near the 2-yard line to pull down the reception and then stretched his way to the pylon for the score. The first of four PAT kicks by Kaleb Speights gave Cass the intermission lead. On the opening drive of the second half, Woodland regained the lead but lost their starting quarterback Johnathan Thomas. Thomas ripped off a 21-yard run to the sideline, but came up hobbling on the sideline and left the game. He was seen on crutches later and did not return. Sophomore Chase Carson took the reins at quarterback and -- along with James -- had several nice runs as the Wildcats drove into the red zone. The drive stalled, however, and the Wildcats settled for a 42-yard field goal by Christopher Sanchez to take a 9-7 lead with 7:44 remaining in the third quarter.

Colonels' head coach Steve Gates and the Cass offense picked up the tempo on their next possessions and move the ball more effectively. Cass drove 64 yards on 14 plays and scored on a 27-yard pass from Henderson to Tanayce Calhoun with 2:18 left in the third period to regain a 14-9 lead. On the Colonels' next possession, running back Josh Varnum had a pair of runs that covered 58 yards to the Woodland 1-yard line. That set up a one-yard keeper by Henderson with 0:16 remaining in the third quarter as Cass took a 21-9 advantage. Later in the fourth quarter, Varnum gave the Colonels a 28-9 lead on a 55-yard jaunt with 7:14 remaining. Woodland (3-1, 0-1) hosts Calhoun next Friday. Cass (6-1, 1-1) will be on the road at Hiram.


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