Cascade’s football team (2-1) will not soon forget its 21-14 upset win, Sept. 11 against the ninth-ranked Bears of West Branch (1-2) on a rain-soaked field in Solon.
West Branch started on offense moving the ball with a combination run and pass game inside the Cougars’ 20-yard line before senior Ted Weber got a key sack, holding the Bears to a field goal attempt that they failed to make.
The Cougars could not get things moving on their first series of the game and West Branch took advantage with an interception deep in Cascade territory. They moved the ball back inside the Cougars’ red zone, but again, the Cougar defense held strong on a fourth-down attempt giving the ball back to their offense. A pass from quarterback Justin Roling to sophomore Mason Otting and some nice running took the game into the second quarter. The Cougars moved quickly with, a pass from Roling to Tanner Simon, but West Branch held strong forcing a punt.
The Cascade defense did its part again holding the Bears to another three-and-out giving the ball to the Cougars on their own 31-yard line. The Cougars responding quickly with a pass from Roling to senior Cael McDermott for a 68-yard pass putting the Cougars up 6-0. West Branch moved the ball down into the Cougars red zone again but a failed field goal put the Cougars up 6-0 at the half.
Coming out for the third, both teams’ defenses held strong, not allowing the opposing offenses to get any rhythm going until Cougar defensive back Simon intercepted the ball and returned it for a touchdown. A fake extra-point kick and pass for a two-point conversion gave the Cougars a 14-0 lead.
The Cougar defense forced another three-and-out. With great starting position on the Bears’ 44-yard line, Roling threw to senior Jackson McAleer to put the ball deep into Bear territory at their nine-yard line. A six-yard run up the middle by sophomore Jack Menster put the Cougars up 21-0 heading into the fourth quarter.
The Bears scored twice in the fourth quarter courtesy of more defensive miscues by the Cougars making it 21-14. But some tough running by Menster and a key defensive stand by the Cougars with less than a minute in the game allowed the Cougars to run out the clock and upset ninth-ranked West Branch.
Coach Tim Frake was pleased overall with how his team played, “We told our players all week that you win by scoring more points. It didn’t always look pretty, and we need to learn to put teams away, but a win is a win. Our defense definitely played its best game of the season, but our offense struggled a little bit. The players are buying into what we practice all week and applying it on Friday nights. We are looking forward to homecoming week and a big game with Beckman Catholic.”
Quarterback Roling completed 7-of-12 passes for 151 yards and one touchdown. Menster led the rushing attack with 86 yards and one TD. Senior Casey Koppes continues to shine on the defense side recording 13 tackles, eight of them solo. Weber recorded both sacks and five tackles. Senior Isaac DelaRosa had 7.5 tackles, five of them solo.