UNION MILLS -- Culver won the battle up front against South Central on Friday, rolling to a 52-22 win.
“Our guys up front are nasty,” said Culver head coach Mike Zehner. “Last week, we put up over 400-yards and still lost the game, so our guys were hungry tonight.”
The Cavaliers used its size and power to dominate on the ground throughout the first half. Coming out with a full house back field, Culver never stopped pounding the ball through the interior of the Satellites. Culver led by 10-points at the half.
Culver scored on three drives in the first half, all with plays on the ground. To begin the game, Culver began with a monster drive, covering 94-yards in just under eight minutes. From there, the Cavs used a quick cadence and overwhelming line play to sustain its drives throughout the half.
“Culver is big, strong, and physical,” said Satellites head coach Buzz Schoff. “They kind of beat us up. It’s hard to get a passing game together when you have three guys in our quarterbacks face.”
The Satellites eventually got the ball rolling with the help of Jake Osburn and Brady Glisic. In the second quarter, SC was able to get on the board with a drive that began with a 25-yard keeper by Glisic. This was followed up with a nice run to the outside by Osburn, who put the Satellites down inside Culver’s 10-yard line. From there, Osburn scampered in for a 10-yard touchdown, putting the Satellites back in the game.
The Satellites continued to respond to the ground-and-pound style of Culver by relying on its own speed and air attack. Osburn began the drive with a 37-yard run plunging into Culver territory. He followed it up with an 8-yard run to put the Satellites in scoring position. The drive was capped off by a 16-yard pass from Glisic to Osburn for the score. A steadfast Andrew Karsten was perfect kicking in the first half, getting the PAT on each score.
“I’ve been playing with Jake (Osburn) since middle school,” said Glisic. “We have great chemistry on the field, and I know we are always on the same page.”
Osburn had similar sentiments on his teammate of nearly 6 years.
“We watch film together and talk about how we are going to play through challenges,” said Osburn. “I worked hard in the off season as well, adding speed and agility to my game. The line works great, and Glisic and I are great friends.”
However, the chemistry was not enough as Culver was able to respond with yet another clock-controlling drive, with 11 plays covering 35 yards taking just under six minutes off the clock. Culver’s Zac Ditmire burst through the defensive line and secondary to run for 26-yards, putting the Cavs inside South Central’s 1-yard line. Ditmire took the hand off and ran it in to complete the drive in the end zone.
It looked as if South Central would be able to tack on another score to end the half after it forced a Culver fumble. The Satellites recovered on Culver's 38-yard line. However, an offensive pass interference and stout Cavalier defense thwarted that attempt. The Cavs led 22-14 at half time.
The second half started strong for the Cavs as they scored on their first drive. After going for it on fourth down, Culver didn’t look back. Carter Stevens took ran for a 5-yard touchdown and followed it up with a 2-point conversion, extending the Cavs lead 30-14 early in the third quarter.
Culver’s special team’s unit played a well-disciplined game, helping to aid its offense in the field position game. The contain and kill responsibilities coupled with well-executed squib kicks helped keep SC at bay, denying it opportunities to take advantage of big plays on kickoff returns.
Stevens scored three touchdowns along with scoring on four two-point conversions. It was the breakout game he’s been waiting for, as Stevens had never earned 100-yards in a high school game.
“I believe we have the best linemen in the conference,” said Stevens. “We are able to fight through injuries and play selfless football, which I think was the key to our success tonight."
Zehner also sang his praises of the senior running back.
“Carter is an absolute beast out there,” said Zehner. “He is intense in the weight room and never stops moving. He can squat over 500 pounds."
Stevens and fellow running back Jalen King took firm control of the rest of the game. King also tacked on three touchdowns of his own, adding to the rout.
“The loss is tough, but now we know what we are up against for sectionals,” said Schoff. "Hopefully next time, we learn from tonight and are ready.”
Culver 52, South Central 22
Jake Osburn scored twice for the Satellites.