By CHUCK HOUSTEAU
Poland High football coach Mark Brungard said anytime he hears the Bulldogs’ band playing Cool and the Gang’s “Celebration” following a game he knows it’s been a good night.
There was plenty for the Bulldogs to celebrate after a 47-7 All-American Red Tier victory over visiting Niles on Friday night.
Junior Colin Reardon was feeling especially “cool” after he led the way with 201 yards passing and one touchdown. He also rushed for 100 yards on 11 carries and scored again on a 22-yard run in the second quarter.
“That’s the first time I’ve ever done that,” Reardon said. “I was happy with my performance.
“But our offensive line was unbelievable. I never got touched and they opened up some huge holes for me to run through tonight. They keep getting better and better.”
Reardon was not the only weapon the Bulldogs’ offense unleashed.
John Medina rushed for 141 yards on 24 carries and the senior scored on two touchdown runs of 9 yards each.
Jordan Smith caught a touchdown pass from Reardon and scored another on a 2-yard run while Darius Patton, who was double-teamed all night, only caught one pass, but it went for a 51-yard score.
Another gem of a hookup between Reardon and Patton that covered 83 yards was called back.
“I was pleased with the way we came off the ball tonight,” said Brungard. “[Niles] was a team that made a serious effort to take Darius Patton out of the game so we had to run the ball and we did.
“Balance [on offense] like we had tonight is always nice to have. With the skill we have we should be able to be balanced. I was very pleased on the offensive side.”
After a first quarter with no scoring, Poland put 20 points on the board in the second quarter while Niles tallied seven.
With Poland nursing a 13-0 lead on touchdown runs by Medina and Reardon, Niles came to life briefly offensively and marched 59 yards as Reggie Wells scored on a 20-yard run 1:35 before half.
However, Poland went 62 yards in nine plays with Smith scoring with just nine seconds on the clock.
“We didn’t do a good job of stopping their running game tonight,” said Niles coach Brad Yeager. “Poland did a good job of exploiting our weaknesses and that’s how they controlled the game.”
Niles had a chance early in the third quarter to cut the Bulldogs’ lead to six points but a drive ended at the 2-yard line when Poland intercepted quarterback Zack Bailey.
Poland broke the game open by scoring 27 unanswered points in the second half.