Reed City team overwhelms Baldwin
BALDWIN — The Reed City football team used two 150-plus yard rushing performances on Friday to defeat Baldwin 58-18 in both teams’ season opener.
“The kids played hard and we executed very well offensively,” Reed City coach Monty Price said. “We were very sound overall. It’s a big win, and we are 1-0, which is what counts.”
Coyote senior running back Andre Jones finished with a game-high 166 rushing yards and three touchdowns, while senior Collin Hatfield had 156 yards and one touchdown.
“First of all, it’s a privilege to coach against Monty,” Baldwin coach Doug Bolles. “I respect the heck out of him and his great program. But we are still Division 8 and they are Division 5. They’re bigger, physical and have a lot of depth.”
After a Baldwin three-and-out, Hatfield scampered up the away sideline for a 79-yard score for the game’s first touchdown on the Coyotes’ first possession.
With 6:17 left in the first quarter, junior running back Logan Straub scored on a 10-yard run. After a failed 2-point conversion, the Coyotes led 12-0. Baldwin answered on its next possession, scoring on fourth-and-7 after senior quarterback Da’Ron Copeland connected with sophomore Blake Dockery for the Panther’s first score.
As time expired in the first quarter, Jones split the Panthers’ defense for a 26-yard rushing score. Junior Logan Straub pushed into the endzone for the 2-point conversion to give the Coyotes a 20-6 lead at the end of the first quarter.
With 2:48 left in the half, Copeland connected with senior Brandon Beane for a 34-yard receiving touchdown to close the gap to 26-12. On the next possession, Reed City junior quarterback Derrick Rasor threw a 24-yard touchdown pass to Straub with 1:47 left in the half. The ensuing 2-point conversion run by Jones put the game at 34-12.
With one minute left in the second, Baldwin drove down the field to the Coyote 6-yard line. Mykel Dillard stalled the drive with an interception off a Copeland pass to the endzone.
“I thought we got great push from the offensive line,” Price said. “We were getting the defenders vertical and creating holes for our kids wherever we put the ball.”
Midway through the third quarter, Straub scored on a 20-yard run to give the Coyotes a 48-12 lead and a running clock by mercy rule. Rasor scored the 2-point conversion to put Reed City up 50-12.
Less than a minute into the fourth quarter, Copeland connected with Beane for a 82-yard touchdown pass to make it 50-18.
Reed City running back Brandon Evans scored on a 61-yard run, and the 2-point conversion run from Rasor made it 58-18 with 6:08 left in the game.
Straub finished with 60 rushing yards and two touchdowns, while also leading the defense with nine tackles. Sophomore Jeffrey Phenix had seven tackles, while Taylor Pelton had six. The Coyotes allowed the Panthers only 31 rushing yards on 19 carries.
“We need to tighten up everything,” Price said with a smile. “We’re gonna go back to practice, evaluate the film and get better.”
For the Panthers, Copeland was 17 for 34 passing with 245 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. Beane had 168 receiving yards and two touchdowns.
“Copeland had a great game, especially because he’s basically a receiver playing quarterback,” Bolles said. “He did a great job and he’s a team leader. We’re going to be OK.”
Reed City hosts Tri County on Thursday, while Baldwin travels to Tri-Unity Christian on Friday.