Snyder, Card Come Up Big For Trojans
Southwestern Improves To 2-0 With 35-14 Victory
Facing a third-and-15 early in the fourth quarter of Friday night’s Class C South contest against Randolph/Frewsburg, Southwestern needed its playmakers to step up.
Enter Cole Snyder and Alex Card.
Eluding the Cardinals pass rush, Snyder scrambled to his right and lofted a long pass over a broken coverage and Card caught the ball before racing down the sideline for a 57-yard touchdown to propel the Trojans to a 35-14 victory.
“That’s just Cole staying alive in the pocket and making a play. He was being the quarterback that we know he is,” Southwestern coach Jehuu Caulcrick said. “Credit to our receivers … we work on scramble drills and everything down the field … credit to them staying alive.”
“We didn’t relay our coverage over. … That left an out-and-up right up the sideline,” Randolph/Frewsburg coach Brent Brown said. “That’s an easy score.”
Snyder finished 17 of 25 for 223 yards and three touchdowns against one interception while the senior quarterback also ran for two scores. With his last completion of the night, Snyder passed Zach Sopak for first place in the Southwestern record books with 3,679 career yards passing.
Card caught eight balls for 101 yards and a touchdown.
“You have to get pressure on the quarterback. Cole threw the ball super,” Brown said. “When you give him that much time, those kids are going to get open.”
The Cardinals gave Southwestern more of a fight than it faced a week ago, but six penalties and a pair of turnovers — they threw an interception and lost one of four fumbles — were too much to overcome Friday night.
“We did some good things,” Brown said. “We made some big mistakes, had some penalties that killed us, turned the ball over a couple times that killed us.”
Snyder was hit as he threw on the third offensive play of the game and Ty Hind returned an interception to the Trojans’ 32-yard line to start off the night for Randolph/Frewsburg. The Cardinals recovered their own fumble five plays later on second-and-8 from the 14-yard line and following a Southwestern penalty, Deter Miinte scored on a 9-yard touchdown run to give the visitors a 7-0 lead after Brett Boyer’s point-after kick.
The Trojans wasted no time answering, scoring touchdowns on three of their next four possessions to take a commanding 21-7 lead into halftime.
“We knew coming into the game it was going to be a smashmouth, physical game. We prepared all week for that,” Caulcrick said. “They are a well-coached team, a physical team and a good team. We’ll probably see them down the road in the playoffs.”
Steve Raymond made a touchdown-saving tackle on Card’s 40-yard return on the ensuing kickoff before Snyder and Card hooked up for three completions totaling 33 yards to give Southwestern a first-and-10 from the 12-yard line. Snyder then ran a draw straight through the middle of the Randolph/Frewsburg defense to tie the game with Card’s PAT just 1:18 after the Cardinals’ score.
After a three-and-out, the Trojans needed just seven plays to score again. Snyder connected with Mayson Mathews for a 33-yard completion down to the 11-yard line to end the first quarter. Three plays later, the Rutgers-bound quarterback found Faizan Munir for an 11-yard scoring strike to make it 14-7 after another Card PAT with 11:24 left in the first half.
“He’s a guy who is a film junky. He’s another coach on the field,” Caulcrick said of Munir, who also had six tackles and an interception on defense. “You expect him to make plays week in and week out.”
Two possessions later, Southwestern struck again. Running the hurry-up offense, Snyder completed passes of 4, 10, 20, 9, 8 and 29 yards to set his team up with a first-and-goal from inside the 1-yard line. Two plays later, Snyder plunged into the end zone for his second rushing touchdown of the night and a 21-7 lead after Card’s third PAT.
The Cardinals attempted to make a game of it in the third quarter, marching 98 yards on nine plays capped by a 6-yard Nick Marsh touchdown run to make it 21-14 with 7:02 left. The key play on the drive was a 57-yard run by Hind where he pulled the handoff out of the belly of his fullback and scampered around the left side of his offensive line with no Trojans’ defenders waiting for him.
“We had some missed assignments. It definitely stings to give up that big run especially when you have them pinned inside the 5,” Caulcrick said. “It’s growing pains. We have a lot of experienced guys, but we’re still a young team.”
Randolph/Frewsburg to the ball back with a chance to tie the game, getting down to the Southwestern 25-yard line, but a fumbled snap and a sack eventually set up an incompletion on fourth-and-19 from the 35-yard line.
“We tried to control the ball and keep their offense off the field. We didn’t move it bad, but you shoot yourself in the foot when you get down there,” Brown said. “You can’t have penalties to keep those drives going.”
Five plays later, Snyder and Card essentially put the game away.
“I’m proud of the guys that we have. Every guy comes out day in and day out and works his butt off,” Caulcrick said. ” … You can’t ask for anything better than that.”
NOTES: Tyler Williams capped the scoring with a 5-yard touchdown catch from Snyder. … Cooper Pannes led the Southwestern defense with 12 tackles while Drew Wigren had 10. … Andrew Bernard led the Randolph/Frewsburg defense with 12 tackles while Skyler Wright had six and Raymond had five. … Marsh ran 20 times for 132 yards.
RANDOLPH/FREWSBURG 7 0 7 0 — 14
SOUTHWESTERN 7 14 0 14 — 35
R/F–Miinte 9 run (Boyer kick)
Sou–Snyder 12 run (ACard kick)
Sou–FMunir 11 pass from Snyder (ACard kick)
Sou–Snyder 1 run (ACard kick)
R/F–Marsh 6 run (Boyer kick)
Sou–ACard 57 pass from Snyder (ACard kick)
Sou–Williams 5 pass from Snyder (NCard kick)