BIG RAPIDS – The Central Montcalm football team had a lot of trouble scoring against Big Rapids the past few years.
The Green Hornets mercied the Cardinals Thursday, shutting them out 45-0. It’s the second straight shutout of the season for Central, as they shut out Lakeview 30-0 the week before.
“I’m dumbfounded,” Central coach Marty James said. “They (Big Rapids) did a great job of stymying us. Big Rapids is a school that’s a red-letter ‘A’ for us. We were able to get rolling and keep it going.”
Lucas Emmons started the scoring with a 17-yard run in the first quarter, and then quarterback Tyler Ruffer made a one-yard scamper and Emmons added a five-yard run in the second quarter for a 22-0 lead at the half.
Emmons ran in from nine yards for the only score of the third quarter, then Sam Rockafello recovered a fumble and ran it back 35 yards in the fourth quarter, followed by a Will Plavin 16-yard run to cap the scoring.
“Big Rapids has given us fits the last three years,” James said. “A lot of close ball games. We had a marathon meeting Sunday to make some blocking scheme adjustments and the kids executed. I can’t say enough about how the kids hung in there.”
The defense did the rest.
“I hate to sound like a broken record, but we knew we had to lean on our defense,” James said. “They put our offense in short field positions. Coach (Kris) Kolbe (the defensive coordinator) put a good defensive plan together and the kids followed it.”
Ruffer didn’t have to throw the ball much, as he was 6-of-10 from 60 yards. The rush was led by Jon Fickle, who had 10 carries for 105 yards. Emmons finished with eight carries for 55 yards and three touchdowns.
“I don’t think there’s a perfect game,” James said. “But walking off the field it felt close to perfect. We dominated in all three facets of the game.”
Central puts their undefeated, unscored-on record on the line next Friday when they host the Hesperia Panthers in another Central State Activities Association game.