Pictured is #22 Darryl Kattich and #53 Jace Baker
With quarantines shutting down games left and right, teams have been scrambling to make up ground in non-conference play. Cedarville was one of those teams as they had their rivalry game stolen from them when Mountainburg was forced to back out due to low numbers. The search for an opponent to take Mountainburg’s place didn’t take long though. Conference foe, Mansfield, was forced out of three weeks of playing time so the Pirates made a deal to play a non-conference game with the Tigers on Friday, September 17th.
Cedarville started off the game with an onside kickoff which the Tigers bobbled giving the Pirates an early turnover and the ball. One play later the Pirates pulled an old trick-a-roo with a double handoff reverse pass to a wide-open Bradlee Blankenship for the first touchdown of the game. Darryl “The Kraken” Kattich punched in the two-point conversion and in less than 30 seconds, the Pirates were up 8-0. Cedarville’s defense shut down the Tigers forcing them to punt. The punt was blocked by the Pirates giving them great field position again. Cedarville’s offense again jumped on Mansfield with a pitch to “The Kraken” who rolled 58 yards for a touchdown. The Pirates couldn’t tack on the two-point conversion, but you can’t beat running just two offensive plays and scoring on each one within minutes of opening the battle.
Cedarville fumbled on their next possession but the Pirate defense docked Mansfield by forcing a three and out giving Cedarville the ball right back. The Pirates then began to use their two-edged sword rushing attack pounding the Tigers with Kattich and Hayden Partain. Partian found a ship-sized hole in Mansfield’s defense and sailed 49 yards for what would have been another Cedarville touchdown, but the play was called back on a penalty. No matter though, Cedarville continued their dominance on both sides of the ball. Kattich again gashed the Tiger’s defense for 20 yards and a touchdown. With the two-point conversion failing, Cedarville went up 20-0. The Pirates offense definitely was getting the shine of the game, but it was the defense that helped polish that shine. Cedarville’s defense made sure that every Tiger to touch the football was marooned on an island then cut down.
Mansfield scored twice later on in the game to close the gap on the scoreboard, but Cedarville would not be denied in the quest for a blowout. Quarterback Cody Dickens found Blankenship in the corner of the end zone for the score. Dickens then took the ball in himself for the two-point. Play by play, Cedarville kept their sails up and went full steam ahead. The Pirates would continue to score with ease against Mansfield piling up the stats in a huge non-conference win. Cody Dickens was 7 of 11 passing for 154 yards and 4 touchdowns. Darryl Kattich surpassed the 4,000-yard mark in his illustrious career by gaining 168 yards on 17 carries and two touchdowns on the night. Bradlee Blankenship and Bradley Perkins caught 2 passes each. Two each sounds rough, but three of those combined 4 catches were for touchdowns as Blankenship had 54 yards receiving for two touchdowns and Perkins gained 58 yards and a touchdown. Although his touchdown was called back on a penalty, Hayden Partain still had a dominant performance. Partain averaged 9.4 yards per carry with 11 carries for 104 yards in the game.
With an undefeated non-conference series done and over with, Cedarville now eyes their main goal. A 3A-1 Conference Championship. The conference seas have been treacherous for the Pirates in the past few years, but the Pirates will not surrender nor lower the flag this season. Cedarville will set sail for Lavaca on Friday, September 24th for their first conference game of 2021. It only fits that the Pirates start their conference season with the Golden Arrows since it is gold that the Cedarville Pirates plan to end the season with!