Rebels advance past Southeast
COLUMBIANA — With a bit of a disjointed regular season, the Crestview Rebels have been focused on the playoffs.
Saturday night, on their home field, the sixth-seeded Rebels blasted the Southeast Pirates 33-0 to advance in the OHSAA Division V, Region 17 playoffs.
“The hardest thing was having a week off, playing, and then having another week off,” Rebels coach Paul Cusick explained. “That was tough going through two weeks of practice trying to do different things in practice and keep them fresh. We had to make some adjustments, and I think we did the right things. I think having a senior group helps you get through those kinds of things.”
“Especially since we had that bye we knew we wanted to come out since we have been missing all these games, we knew we wanted to come out and play. Our seniors, we know that we’re running out of time with not many games left, so we put all of our energy into this game,” senior Brandon Yanssens remarked.
“For us seniors, we have all been playing for a long time. This is a brotherhood here and we are a family. We knew we would have to come out and play the best we could,” senior William Hardenbrook added.
With the victory, the Rebels improve to 5-1 on the season and will face the third-seeded and unbeaten Garrettsville Garfield G-Men next Saturday night in Garrettsville. Garfield, ranked sixth in the state in the Div. V media poll, knocked off Cardinal Mooney Saturday night 24-21.
The Rebels dominated from the opening kickoff, both offensively and defensively. The Rebels piled up 297 yards on the ground, 392 total yards in the game. On defense, the Rebels held the Pirates to only 78 total yards.
“Our kids came out and played some exciting football. Maybe too much,” Cusick commented on the Rebels 85-yards n penalties. “We’ll live with that and fix it on Monday.”
He added, “Our defense is fast and it’s physical. As long as we can keep playing defense like that we’ll be in every game. You have to do those things in the playoffs. You’re going to play great teams and you have to do those things to win.”
“We preach defense every day. We go out knowing we are going to be physical,” Hardenbrook stated. “That’s what we do in practice, work on being tough up front.”
Hardenbrook rushed for 133 yards while Ethan Powell added 127 to propel the Rebels offense. Anthony Cusick ran for an additional 30 yards and a touchdown and hit 5 of 10 passes for 95 yards and a score.
The onslaught began with the Rebels scoring on their first two possessions. Brandon Yanssens hit the first of his two field goals in the game at the 7:57 mark from 30-yards, followed by a 7-yard pass from quarterback Anthony Cusick to Yanssens with 5:14 left in the first quarter to give them an early 9-0 lead.
Yanssens hit his second field goal with 8:13 remaining in the second quarter, followed by a 13-yard run by William Hardenbrook with 2:33 left in the half. Yanssens had a 37-yard field goal at the end of the half slice wide left, sending the Rebels to the locker rooms with a 19-0 lead.
“I think that’s the first time actually,” Yanssens remarked about hitting multiple field goals in a game.
The Rebels scored on their first possession of the second half with Cusick scoring on a 2-yard draw play up the middle. That gave the Rebels a 26-0 advantage with 2:58 remaining in the third stanza.
In addition to the outstanding night Yanssens had on offense and kicking, he added a final statement to the game with a 72-interception return with just 37-second left in the third. That score prompted the running clock in the game.
“I was just following my blockers upfront,” Yanssens said of the return. “I heard William (Hardenbrook) say ‘wait for me’, so I waited for him to pass me and I followed his blocking and then number nine, Anthony Bryarly made a heck of a block for me and I was able to cut back across.”
The Rebels closed the game with a nine-minute, fifty-three-second drive to close the game. It consisted of 12-plays and covered 60 yards.
SOUTHEAST: 0- 0- 0-0– 0
C — Brandon Yanssens 30 field goal
C — Yanssens 7 pass from Anthony Cusick (Kick Failed)
C — Yanssens 36 field goal
C — Hardenbrook 13 run (Yanssens Kick)
C — Anthony Cusick 2 run (Yanssens Kick)
C — Yanssens 72 interception return (Yanssens Kick)
First downs 3 17
Total Yards 78 392
Rushes-yards 20-39 46-297
Passing 39 95
Comp-Att-Int 6-10-1 10-5-1
Punts 5-29.4 0-0
Fumbles-Lost 2-1 1-0
Penalties-Yards 4-30 8-85
RUSHING–Southeast, Aiden Fischer 10-23, Kaleb Wright 9-14; Crestview, William Hardenbrook 15-133. Ethan Powell 24-127, Anthony Cusick 6-30.
PASSING–Southeast, Aiden Fischer 6-10-39-0-1; Crestview, Anthony Cusick 5-10-95-1-1.
RECEIVING–Southeast, Joe Percy 2-20, Michael Coleman 3-12; Crestview, Joey Hawkins 1-26, William Hardenbrook 1-24, Brandon Yanssens 2-23, Jack Yerkey 1-22.
INTERCEPTIONS–Crestview, Brandon Yanssens.
FUMBLES–Southeast, JC Stiles; Crestview, Tony Perorazio.