0826Cass

BREAKING AWAY: Cass fullback Garrett Segraves pulls away from West Lafayette linebacker Kyle Kingma on his way to a touchdown in the teams’ game Friday night at Owens Memorial Field. Segraves carried the ball 16 times for 98 yards and two touchdowns in the Class 2A No. 2-ranked Kings’ 35-0 win.

WALTON — The Lewis Cass football team is ranked No. 2 in the latest Associated Press Class 2A state poll and while polls at this point of the season are largely attributable to what a team accomplished last season, the Kings looked every bit worthy of the lofty status here Friday night.

Cass clicked on offense, dominated on defense and delivered impressive hits to establish its trademark physical tone in a 35-0 blanking of West Lafayette at Owens Memorial Field. The Kings racked up 341 yards of offense and held the Red Devils to just 51 yards.

“My compliments to them,” West Lafayette coach Marshall Overley said. “They’re ranked No. 2 and they deserved to be ranked No. 2. … They came out ready to play. I don’t think we didn’t come out ready to play, I think they just came out and put it to us.

“They have a lot of good players,” Overley added. “They have a lot of players who seem to be in a good football mode. They’re good-sized, they’re strong and they just keep coming at you.”

The Kings are off to a 2-0 start for the fourth straight season and more importantly, they followed a somewhat uneven performance against Delphi last week with a crisp performance Friday.

“I think it was massive,” Cass coach Scott Mannering said when asked about the Kings’ progress from Week 1 to Week 2. “They say teams should improve the most between the first and second weeks. I had some concerns last week and I have a lot of respect for West Lafayette. We’ll find a lot of corrections when we look at the tape, but I’m just really pleased with our intensity level right now.”

Cass has won 16 straight regular-season games.

Cass scored on its first three possessions to take a commanding 21-0 lead into halftime. In the first quarter, after the Red Devils’ opening drive ended in a punt, the Kings went to work on a nine-play, 63-yard scoring drive. Quarterback Taylor Bowser rolled out and found halfback Justin Kloski alone behind the defense for a 31-yard touchdown pass to cap the drive.

Rory Mannering converted on a fake punt to keep the Kings’ second drive going and Garrett Segraves followed four plays later with a 15-yard touchdown run that saw him bowl over a defensive back. And after Bowser added his 17th career interception, the Kings ripped off a seven-play scoring drive that halfback Alex Evans capped with an 18-yard touchdown run.

The Kings scored again on the opening drive of the second half to put the game away. Scott Mannering sent his second-string offense into the game with three minutes remaining in the third quarter and Gordon Riley capped the scoring with an 11-yard TD run midway through the final quarter.

Segraves finished with 16 carries for 98 yards and two touchdowns to highlight the Kings’ relentless ground attack. Bowser completed 4 of 6 pass attempts for 69 yards and he had three carries for 20 yards. Fourteen Cass players had at least one carry.

The Kings’ offensive line received solid efforts from center Jacob Byers, guards Matt Baber, Trent Horner, Derek Pullen and Kitt O’Brien and tackles Evan Munson, Alex Nicoll and Kelly Badger.

Defensively, tackle Connor McCulley collected six tackles and two sacks, Baber had six tackles and one sack from his end position. Tackle Joe Murphy had five tackles.

“Everything begins up front and they were beating us off the ball offensively and defensively,” Overley said.

Linebackers Seth Burge and Levi Rouch each had five tackles and fellow linebacker Dustin Roberts had a sack. Rory Mannering also contributed to the Kings’ defensive dominance with an interception.

Cass opens defense of its Mid-Indiana Conference title next week at Northwestern.

“It’s really neat to be 2-0, but now it’s time to start conference play. The tune-ups are over, now it’s time to get down to business,” Scott Mannering said.

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