By Ryan Palencer
CLAYTON — Despite almost 300 yards of total offense from senior quarterback Colin Smith, the Cascade football team fell to visiting South Putnam 30-20 to spoil senior night on Friday.
“We’re right there,” Cascade coach Jason Thompson said. “South Put won our sectional last year and they returned all of their offensive linemen. We were one or two plays away from winning this game. I feel terrible for the seniors. It’s ultimately their goal to win senior night. We came up a little bit short, but the playoffs are next week and that’s when it really counts.”
The Cadets (3-6) got on the board quickly, scoring on a four-play drive to open the game. The drive was capped by 43-yard strike from Smith to Zac Butler on a screen pass and run. The extra point was blocked and Cascade took a 6-0 lead.
However, the Eagles (7-2) responded with a four-play touchdown drive of their own. Lucas Lorian scored on a 25-yard scamper to give South Putnam a 7-6 advantage.
Cascade scored again less than three minutes later on a lateral from Smith to Butler that went 40 yards for a touchdown and Cascade led, 13-7.
Lorian scored again from three yards out with eight minutes remaining in the half to give the Eagles a 14-13 lead going into the break.
Lorian struck again with just over two minutes remaining in the third period with a 35-yard touchdown run — his third of the night – giving South Putnam a 20-13 lead after the extra point was blocked.
Lorian scored on another 35-yard run with 11:53 remaining in the game.
Cascade was able to tack on another score late in the fourth quarter on a 41-yard hookup from Smith to Drew Scott, but it was not enough as the Eagles recovered the ensuing onside kick and ran out the clock.
Cascade had trouble slowing Lorian down as he tallied 207 yards on 32 carries to compliment his four touchdowns.
Thompson points to four big runs from Lorian as the difference in the game.
“I think that we did a pretty good job stopping them (overall),” Thompson said. “It was four plays. (Lorian) is a good, hard runner. We just missed our fits a couple of times and that hurt.”
Smith led the way for the Cadets going 14 of 26 for 172 yards and a pair of touchdowns, while rushing for 89 yards on 11 carries.
The Cadets will begin their sectional as they travel to play at 7 p.m. next week against Park Tudor.