By DOUG DONNELLY
OTTAWA LAKE – Shea Ruddy didn’t play for Whiteford the first time they played Britton Deerfield and the Bobcats squeaked by the Patriots 22-20.
Friday was a different story. Ruddy rushed for 157 yards and passed for 160 more and directed a Whiteford offense that piled up 457 yards in a 58-26 home field playoff victory over the Patriots. Whiteford won for the fourth straight week, improved to 5-2 and await to find out their next opponent.
Ruddy said watching the game vs. BD the first time from the sidelines helped him going into Friday’s contest.
“It was a little bit easier for me because I got to see how everything was going down,” Ruddy said. “I got to see where the cutting lanes were and what passes would be there. I watched a lot of film of that game, too.”
Ruddy gained most of his yards on designed runs where he faked a handoff to either Devon Shaw or Cole Giesige. He averaged more than eight yards a carry. Shaw had a huge game as well, rushing for 105 yards and five touchdowns. Giesige had 32 yards rushing, including two scores.
“If we are going to be at our best, that’s what we are going to have to do,” Whiteford coach Jason Mensing said. “We need our QB and our tailback and our receivers as well. I think tonight all four of our receivers made some big catches.”
Shaw scored Whiteford’s first two touchdowns on short runs and Giesige scored on a 24-yard run as the Bobcats took a 24-0 lead with 57 seconds left in the first quarter. BD got its first scoring play on its next drive when Nico Johnson ran 47 yards for the touchdown, making it a 24-6 game.
Shaw scored again early in the second quarter, but BD responded with a touchdown drive to make it 30-14 with 7:39 left in the second quarter. Giesige’s touchdown with two seconds left in the first half gave the Bobcats a 36-14 lead, then Shaw scored on the first drive of the third quarter to make it 44-14. Ruddy and Shaw both added touchdowns while Johnson scored one and passed or another for BD to make the final score 58-26.
The Bobcat offense had 297 yards rushing on 51 attempts. Many of those yards came behind junior All-State tackle Noah Bauman, already playing in his 28th career game.
“The offense is clicking really well,” Bauman said. “We’ve had two real good weeks of practice that has helped a lot.”
Levi Hillard was Whiteford’s lead pass receiver with 62 yards on three receptions. He also led the Bobcat defense with nine tackles and two tackles for loss. Bauman was disruptive on the defense as well, with a sack and two tackles for loss.
“I like playing both ways,” Bauman said. “It suits me. That’s what I’m made for. I like playing both offense and defense because either way I get to hit people.”
Johnson had a great game with 148 yards rushing and 83 yards passing for BD, which finished the season 1-6.
Whiteford will play the winner of Detroit Leadership Academy and Melvindale Academy for Business and Technology, who play at 1 p.m. Saturday.