The Berrien Springs Shamrocks and West Catholic Falcons began their season on Thursday night down in St. Joseph, Michigan. These two teams have frequently crossed paths in the postseason over the last five years, with West Catholic winning all three meetings in 2014, 2016, and 2017. In the first ever regular season meeting, the Shamrocks were able to use their tremendous size to springboard their running game early and often. This led to a dominant 28-3 season-opening victory.
About midway through the first quarter, Berrien Springs started the scoring with a nine-yard touchdown run by Danny Vinson. Faith Vinson was able to knock in the extra point to give them a 7-0 lead. In the second quarter, they went to the air for their first touchdown when Nicklas Nelson connected with Anthony Latin for a 14-yard strike. A 26-yard field goal by Chris Curry was able to allow West Catholic to trim the deficit to 14-3 heading into the locker room.
The second half was even more Berrien Springs as they scored a pair of touchdowns. In the third quarter, it was Nick Nelson from a yard out to extend the lead to eighteen. Halfway through the final frame, Nelson went to the air again and connected with Marshall McFarland for a 67 yard touchdown strike. This brought the game to its 28-3 final score.
Berrien Springs was able to tally 306 total yards of offense on the night. Nelson was 5/10 for 104 and two touchdowns in a very limited passing game for the Shamrocks. He was also able to add 33 yards on eight carries on the ground. Leading the rushing game was Danny Vinson, who had 17 carries for 144 yards and a touchdown. The offensive line for Berrien Springs created big holes leading to 202 total rushing yards and 14 first downs for their offense.
West Catholic’s leading offense weapon tonight was quarterback Spencer Zobro. He was 11/27 for 136 and two costly interceptions, but he did add 55 yards on 11 carries to his total. Zach Patin added 27 yards on 13 carries and Joe Phan got 22 yards on six carries.
Berrien Springs will now try to add another win to their total next week when they face Constantine. For West Catholic, they start 0-1 for the fourth time in five years. They will look to even their record on the road next week when they visit Lansing Catholic. Last season, the Falcons lost a 15-14 heartbreaker in their regular season meeting against the Cougars.