BELDING — For the fourth-straight game, the Belding Redskins got off to a quick start and eclipsed 40 points.
Belding scored three touchdowns in the first quarter and two in the second, while holding the Blackhawks of Leslie scoreless over the opening 24 minutes Friday night as the Redskins improved to 4-0 with a 49-14 homecoming victory.
Belding coach Joe Schwander said he was happy with his team’s start and seeing them get a win on homecoming night.
“If we sat down during the summer and say you are going to be 4-0 after week four our kids would be very happy,” he said. “Without a doubt we happy for our kids, and with it being homecoming week we are happy for our community, but we have to sit down, watch film and see what areas we need to improve to get more depth on both sides of the ball. It’s been great to have opportunities to work on that (in games).”
The night started with a moment of silence in remembrance of 10 year old Devon Morrison, who died last weekend of an accidental drowning. The Belding band and many community members released balloons into the air in memory, as well.
On the opening possession of the game, the Redskins took the ball and concentrated on their running game. They covered 43 yards on eight plays (seven on the ground), capping the drive with a three-yard touchdown run by Neil McCully to take a 6-0 lead 4:02 into the game.
Leslie was able to move the ball to about midfield on its first possession, but following two penalties that put the Blackhawks into a second and 20 situation on their own 45, the Belding defense earned their first turnover of the night as McCully stripped the ball from Leslie quarterback Josh Hayes, and teammate Japheth Willmore pounced on it.
The following play, the Redskins ran a flea flicker as Kole Hart handed the ball off to Nick Price on an end around. Price pitched the ball back to McCully, who threw a strike to receiver Cameron Dombrowski for a 45-yard TD pass.
After forcing the Blackhawks to punt on their second possession, the Redskin offense struck quickly again.
On first and 10 from the Belding 39, Hart connected with a long pass to Dombrowski that ended in another score. Gio Delgado added the extra point to give the Redskins a 20-0 lead at the end of the first quarter,
With 10:35 left in the second, the Redskins added to their advantage with a five-play drive that ended with a six-yard touchdown run by Michael Walker. Delgado tacked on his third PAT of the night to give the home team a 27-0 lead.
Belding added another score before halftime when McCully picked up his first rushing TD of the night on a 15-yard run. Price found the end zone on the two-point try to up the Redskins lead to 35-0 before halftime.
Dombrowski said he and his teammates are excited about the perfect start the Redskins have earned four weeks into the season, and ability the offense has shown to make big plays.
“It’s great. We are 4-0 and right now we are just rolling,” Dombrowski said. “(Our success on offense) starts with our offensive line. Without them we wouldn’t be able to do anything out there.
“We have a great quarterback and just a great group of guys.”
The Redskins defense forced five turnovers. Along with the two fumble recoveries, Andrew Swinder, Jeremy Visser and Blake Rodarmer each intercepted passes.
McCully led the Redskins with 123 yards rushing, while Dombroski had 99 yards receiving. Hart went 3-for-4 for 108 yards.
The Redskins (4-0, 1-0 O-K Blue) will travel to Comstock Park Friday night to take on the Panthers in a battle of unbeatens.
“Next week is going to be tough. Starting tonight we need to get a plan together.” Schwander said. “Our kids can enjoy this win tonight, but we’ve got to get back out there and our kids have to start battling in practice to get better because next week (at Comstock Park) is going to be a tough, tough game.”