SULLIVAN TWP. — In the hit television show “Duck Dynasty,” when a member of the Roberston family walks away from the group and doesn’t come back, the phrase “He gone” is usually uttered.
When Black River running back Andrew Vaughn hits the corner or breaks through the line, opposing coaches have to be thinking the same thing.
Vaughn was at it again Friday, this time leading his Pirates to a 51-20 Patriot Athletic Conference Stars Division win over Brookside.
The senior rushed for 344 yards on just 18 carries, caught a 57-yard pass and scored four total touchdowns.
Vaughn had five plays of 40-plus yards and had yet another record-setting night, as he became the third member of Medina County’s 2,000-yard rushing club with 2,123.
“I never thought I would accomplish those things,” he said. “That’s a team stat right there. I can’t just run for 2,000 yards. I don’t care who you are, you have to have great linemen to do that. I don’t even know what to say. That’s quite an accomplishment to be mentioned with those names (Wadsworth’s Dru Jones and Jack Snowball).”
In typical Vaughn fashion, he wanted to make sure the guys clearing the way got credit for his performance.
“They did a great job,” Vaughn said. “All of our linemen, all those guys up there did a great job. They know what they are doing out there. When you run behind those guys — anyone in this conference would want to play behind those guys — it’s a blessing to have those guys up there.”
The individual accomplishments for Vaughn helped his team secure some significant goals as well. Coupled with Buckeye’s upset win over Keystone, the Pirates clinched at least a share of the PAC Stars title and locked up a playoff berth in Division V, Region 15.
“It’s been a blast to be around the kind of kids we have, the community we have and I’ve got great assistant coaches,” Black River coach Al Young said. “There are some very dedicated men that take a lot of pride in coaching kids and making them better. Not just football, they deal with kids on a personal basis and they have a lot to do with these kids on and off the field. It shows, and those kids want to play their butts off. It’s been special. Everything is clicking for us, and it’s tough to find any negatives.”
The Cardinals started the scoring with an 82-yard touchdown run from Dudley Taw (12 carries, 149 yards, 2 TDs) and added a 60-yard catch and run from Tyler O’Malley (133 passing yards, 27 rushing) to Jake Morgan that was sandwiched around a 42-yard Vaughn touchdown and a 3-yard score from David Bell (84 total yards, 2 TD).
But then the Black River defense cranked things up a notch, resulting in a 30-14 halftime lead.
“That’s a heckuva football team,” Brookside coach Thom Lesiecki said. “We fought our hardest to stay in that football game in the first half. We didn’t take advantage of all the opportunities we had to score. It could have been 30-28, but we didn’t take advantage of it. I am extremely proud of our guys. That’s the best we’ve played.”
The Pirates sacked O’Malley eight times, recovered a pair of fumbles and shut out the Cardinals in the second half until a late fourth-quarter touchdown from Taw.
“We made a few adjustments with our defensive line,” linebacker Brett Nagy said. “We started getting our reads on corners a little bit and started locking things down. Our line was getting a lot of pressure, too. Our defense gets insane (when we sack the quarterback) we all start yelling and it just gives us so much more momentum.”
The Black River “D” was exceptionally stingy in the second half after allowing 286 yards in the first. The Pirates held Brookside to just 64 yards in the final two quarters.
Chris Kane led the pass-rushing onslaught in the second half with three sacks and a forced fumble.
“The biggest thing is that we are playing so much more physical,” Young said. “We’re playing on their side of the line of scrimmage, our tackling has become so much better, our coverage and pressuring the quarterback. … I’m excited about that. I hope we can keep it up.”
Contact Chad Grant at email@example.com.
Black River 51, Brookside 20
BROOKSIDE 7 7 0 6 — 20
BLACK RIVER 8 22 21 0 — 51
Bro — Dudley Taw 82 run (Brandon Bellman kick), 4:22
BR — Andrew Vaughn 42 run (David Bell run), 4:03
BR — Bell 3 run (Bell run), 8:39
Bro — Jake Morgan 60 pass from Tyler O’Malley (Bellman kick), 6:03
BR — Colin Filak 1 run (Bell run), 5:32
BR — Vaughn 66 run (run failed), 2:19’
BR — Vaughn 45 run (Cory Bartolic kick), 10:11
BR — Bell 4 run (Bartolic kick), 7:04
BR — Vaughn 57 pass from Brock Waltz (Bartolic kick), 3:29
Bro — Taw 5 run (kick blocked), 3:18