In Collegiate’s final MCAA game, the Spartans wanted to show the rest of the league what it will miss. Collegiate showcased its explosive offense in its 35-13 victory over Halstead on Friday. The Spartans (6-0, 6-0 MCAA) clinched the league championship.
“We wanted to win this championship, and now we are MCAA champions forever,” Collegiate coach Bill Messamore said. “I think (Halstead) did just a great job and I want to give them a lot of credit, but I’m proud of our kids, too.”
Brett LeMaster scored four touchdowns, three via passes from Blake Jablonski and the other coming on a 45-yard punt return.
Halstead started the game by recovering an onside kick. It marched down the field on a 9-play drive that ended with Cody Ratcliffe scoring on a four-yard touchdown run and the Dragons led 7-0.
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Halstead (4-2, 4-2) recovered another onside kick. But it was all the magic they would get out of it after a three-andout.
Collegiate quarterback Blake Jablonski connected with LeMaster, who had six inches of height over any of the starting secondary for Halstead, for a 29-yard catch. They hooked up again seven plays later for his first touchdown catch to tie the game 7-7.
“They gave us everything that we could handle, and I knew they would,” Messamore said. “Two onside kicks, that’s one way to stop our offense — don’t let it on the field.”
Even when Halstead kept Collegiate’s offense off the field, LeMaster found a way to score. Collegiate held Halstead to a three-and-out again. LeMaster returned the punt 45 yards and gave Collegiate a 14-7 lead.
LeMaster added his third touchdown on Collegiate’s next possession. On third and goal, Jablonski scrambled to his left and found LeMaster in the back of the end zone to put the Spartans up 21-7.
Raymond Taylor rushed twice for 55 yards on Collegiate‘s first drive in the second half. The success Taylor had opened it up for LeMaster’s fourth touchdown catch to extend the lead to 28-7.
“I couldn’t have done it without Blake Jablonski and also the other receivers,” LeMaster said. “There are four really good receivers on our team and without them it’s harder to get open. It’s the best game of my life. It was fun, for sure.”
Meanwhile, the Spartans defense was led by the return of Tyler Coughenour, who was injured in the season opener. Collegiate shut down Halstead’s passing game, allowing just 35 yards in the air. Although Halstead rushed for 143 yards, the defense had 12 plays for a loss.
“Our defense played really well against a very good team,” Messamore said. “It’s nice to have (Coughenour) back. That was the first game he’s been at full strength.”