By BRIAN DULIK
LYNDHURST â€” Brunswick and Brush are listed side-by-side in the Ohio High School Athletic Association school directory. Their football teams, however, arenâ€™t nearly as close.
Brit Musal rushed for four touchdowns before halftime on Friday night, allowing the unbeaten Blue Devils to build a huge lead before cruising home with a 36-14 win over the host Arcs.
The senior running back gained 80 yards on 15 carries, many of them featuring beautiful cutbacks and power moves that left Brushâ€™s players stuck in their tracks on the fast artificial surface.
â€œThis was his game,â€ Brunswick coach Rich Nowak said. â€œBrit had a great night.â€
Really, so did the entire Blue Devilsâ€™ starting lineup, which built a 36-0 lead before calling it an evening at intermission.
Musal, though, was their most visible star. His four-TD festival came in a 17:25 span that saw Brunswick outgain the Arcs 279-28 and build a 19-1 advantage in first downs. Even more frightening for Brush (0-2), it would have been worse had the Blue Devils (2-0) not committed three self-inflicted turnovers.
Brunswick rung up touchdowns on its first, second, fourth, seventh and eighth drives of the game, with Musal accounting for the latter four on runs of 5, 1, 6 and 1 yards. The Blue Devils had opened the scoring just 2:17 in on a 29-yard pass from Ricky Manco to Jared Kaderbek.
â€œI like to say when they call my name, I can do the job,â€ Musal said confidently. â€œI felt real good today and my linemen were outstanding. Without (Mike) Blatnik, Danny (Valore), (Derek) Slovenec, (Kyle) Ballow and Brandon Fay, I wouldnâ€™t have gained any yards.â€
The other story of the rainy, warm night was Brunswickâ€™s first string defense, which was dominant for the second week in a row. The group held Brush to zero or negative yardage on 14 of its 24 plays in the first half. The Blue Devils made life particularly difficult for Arcs quarterback Jacob Turner, who completed 1-of-7 throws for 12 yards and an interception.
The pick came courtesy of junior cornerback Jeremy Salmonski, who set up Musalâ€™s second TD by running the ball back 23 yards to the Brush 1.
â€œOur defense gets a bum rap sometimes because people see our final scores,â€ Nowak said. â€œWhat they donâ€™t see is our first team defense hasnâ€™t given up a true touchdown in the first two games. The only time teams have scored on us are when weâ€™re playing sophomores against their varsity kids, and those guys are a little overmatched at this point.â€
Kaderbek led all receivers with five catches for 90 yards, though he did lose a fumble, while Manco was workmanlike in completing 12-of-23 throws for 166 yards, one TD and two interceptions.
Brush tailback Devaughn Hill was the top ground gainer with 106 yards on 30 carries. The senior scored both Arcs TDs as time wound down in the fourth quarter.
Up Next: Brunswick (2-0) is at Brecksville; Brush (0-2) entertains West Geauga.
Dulik may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 330-721-4059.