COLUMBIANA, OHIO (WKBN) – The Crestview Rebels have only played two games in the past month, so they made up for lost time with a 33-0 trouncing of the Southeast Pirates in a Divison V – Region 17 playoff game Saturday night. The win improves the Rebels record to 5-1 on the season as they have advanced to play the Garrettsville Garfield G-Men next Saturday night at home.
“The hardest thing was having a week off, playing, and then having another week off. That was tough going through two weeks of practice trying to do different things in practice and keep them fresh. We had to make some adjustments, and I think we did the right things. I think having a senior group helps you get through those kinds of things,” Rebel coach Paul Cusick explained.
William Hardenbrook led the Rebels with 133 yards rushing on 15 carries while Ethann Powell added 127 yards on 24 totes in the game. The Rebels would outgain the Pirates 392-78 in total yards in the contest.
“We told Ethan at halftime to be ready in situations where we are going to have to flip-flop and give William the ball just because they are a power defense and we need to have a power runner. Ethan doesn’t care, he just wants to win and William delivered when we needed him to,” Cusick said.
But the player who really shined on the night was senior Brandon Yanssens. Yanssens would score a touchdown on a 7-yard pass in the first quarter, return an interception 72-yards for a score in the third quarter, and kick two field goals in the game.
“He’s a kind of kid who is one of the Swiss army knives. We have a couple of those guys,” Cusick said. “If he gets the ball in his hands he has a chance to make a play, and that is what he did.”
The Rebels scored on five of their eight possessions in the game. The Rebels jumped out to a 9-0 lead in the first quarter with Yanssens hitting a 30-yard field goal at the 7:57 mark of the opening frame, followed by a 7-yard pass from quarterback Anthony Cusick to Yanssens with 5:14 left in the quarter.
Yanssens would add a 36-yard boot with 8:13 left in the first half to give the Rebels a 12-0 lead, and then Hardenbrook added a 13-yard run to make it 19-0 with just 2:33 remaining in the half. Yanssens had a chance to add a third field goal following a Pirate fumble at their own 21, but Yanssens kick would sail wide left leaving it 19-0 in favor of the Rebels at the intermission.
The Rebels would pound the ball in the second half as they scored on a 2-yard run by Cusick with 2:58 left in the third quarter to make it 26-0. Then Yanssens picked off Pirates quarterback Aiden Fischer at his own 28, and return the interception 72-yards to provide the final points of the night.
“I was just following my blockers up front. I heard William (Hardenbrook) say ‘wait for me’, so I waited for him to pass me and I followed his blocking and then number nine, Anthony Bryarly made a heck of a block for me and I was able to cut back across,” Yanssens described the return.
“Our defense is fast and it’s physical. As long as we can keep playing defense like that we’ll be in every game. You have to do those things in the playoffs. You’re going to play great teams and you have to do those things to win,” Cusick praised his defense on the night.
“We preach defense every day. We go out knowing we are going to be physical. That’s what we do in practice, work on being tough up front,” Hardenbrook added.