Unhappy Homecoming by Mike Siroky
In this gut-check portion of the season, it is not so much for the Bremen football Lions to win as it is to survive, as in come out healthy.
Right now, both the starting runnngbacks are out. The opportunity for Homecoming against Washington was to hand the ball to senior Rom DePalma.
He passed the test, with his first TD run and 154 yards. Classmate and lifetime guard Drew Coffell also stepped out and also had his career first TD run. All-State receiver Ryan Topper kept his streak of TD catches alive as well But that’s all there was against a more-talented and deeper Washington team in a second straight Northern Indiana Conference South loss, 46-18.
Bremen coach Bob Holmes said afterward the scouting report had Washington with abundant speed and athleticism and they got on the bus home with the assessment certified, They rolled up 516 yards of offense and twice scored on the first play of a possession.
The opening Bremen drive was the one that ended with the Coffell run from the 2. Bremen actually led, 6 -0. After that play, the only welcome sight in Don Bunge Field was the glorious multi-colored sunset and the coronation of the Homecoming court.
Bremen could not fathom a defense against a team which could score on any given play from any placement on the field Washington quarterback Tyler White – playing more like a point guard in basketball on grass — hit 17-of-20 passes for 371 yards and six touchdowns. It is the Panthers’ fifth straight win.
Anthony Brazier caught eight for 184 yards and had touchdowns of 25, 41, and 76 yards. Deonne Witherspoon added 135 yards on three catches and two scores.
His first nullified Bremen’s short –lived advantage (but they did lead the entire first quarter), a simple flick from White horizontally then a Roadrunner impersonation down the home sideline for 85 carriage yards. He has a nifty finish as he pantomimes leaning into the end one as if he were a track athlete breaking the tape. There was no one close enough to object. It opened the second quarter scoring avalanche.
Washington had several exuberance fouls early, hits carrying over to out of bounds and one dustup in the middle of the line,. The first two helped Bremen’s opening score and the third one of the first quarter called for a time out and an onfield lecture by the Washington coach. It stopped happening, thought they did accumulate 135 yards in penalties. The first Washington play was a wonderful catch and run by Brazier in which he swivel-hipped two defenders into noncompliance, turned around in mid-flight to stiff-arm another pursuer into the twilight zone and just glided 25 yards for the go-ahead score to start the rout.
The no-huddle offense gave Bremen no time to breathe, what with eight Lions playing both ways.
The BoxTop connection for a score when it was 19-6 was pretty enough to draw ahhhs from the homefolks. As Topper’s defender fell down, Box spotted it and all he had to do was loft a cloud spiral to the end one from 44 yards out.
At,19-12, it would have been a fine halftime for the home team. But hey left 52 seconds on the clock. White started at midfield and Witherspoon handled most of the 50 yards himself after the catch, so it was 25-12 at the break.
Holmes made no excuses but did allow as to how the tackling was not that great – or was the opponent that much better?
He did point out all four losses have to been to four good teams.
Another one is next in the final road trip of the regular season in Jimtown of Class 3A and another NIC confrontation . The Jimmies average 38 points in the wins (coming off 52 last week) and allow nine.