RANDOLPH - The Randolph Cardinals have been one of the most dominant football teams in Western New York all season long. And, it seems, they are only getting better.
Randolph's first-team offense again had a perfect first half Friday night, scoring on all seven of its possessions, and its defense was stifling, shutting down a Portville team that had scored 50 points just a week ago. The Cardinals took a 48-0 lead into halftime and cruised to a 48-7 over the Panthers in Class D football.
''I think that was probably our best two quarters,'' Brown said of the opening 24 minutes. ''We picked up the blitz, we tackled well I think we wore them down.
Randolph’s Devyn Nelson takes off around the corner on his way to a 63-yard touchdown run during the Cardinals’ 48-7 Class D victory over Portville on Friday night. See additional photos at cu.post-journal.com.
P-J photo by Scott Reagle
''We always talk about being your best heading into the playoffs. That was probably the best we've been.''
For a team that has won every game by at least four touchdowns that's saying a lot, but the Cardinals (7-0, 5-0) were nearly flawless on both sides of the ball over the first two quarters.
Joining an offense that scored every time it touched the ball was a defense that forced four three-and-outs and picked off two Portville passes on the Panthers' first six possessions.
''That was just a dominant performance,'' Portville coach Gary Swetland said. ''You can't afford to have anybody make any kind of mistakes at all against them. One or two guys make mistakes and that kills you. It's like a marching band - if somebody turns the wrong way the whole show is over.''
Randolph (5-0, 7-0) rolled up 364 rushing yards on 38 carries for an average of 9.6 yards per attempt, while limiting Portville (3-2, 4-3) to just 134 yards on 31 carries.
Chris Doubek led the Cardinals' offense with 16 carries for 169 yards and two touchdowns, while Lucas Brown had seven carries for 70 yards and two touchdowns and Devyn Nelsen had three carries for 104 yards and two touchdowns.
Doubek also led the Randolph defense with nine tackles, while Brown had five tackles, a sack and an interception and Cody Oldro had six tackles and a sack. Bryce Morrison and Derek Young also had an interception apiece.
The Cardinals' biggest advantage, as it has been throughout the season, was with their size along the offensive and defensive lines. They simply wore down their Portville counterparts.
''Physically they are a handful,'' Swetland said. ''Anybody can have two or three really good, physical players, but they have 11 out there on the field. Even their skill kids are pretty good size. That takes its toll in the running game, in the passing game, in tackling, in special teams They are a very, very good football team.''
Brown scored a pair of touchdowns and Doubek added another as Randolph opened up a 21-0 lead after one quarter. Nelsen added to the lead early in the second quarter when he took a handoff on an end-around and raced 63 yards into the end zone, and the sophomore added another touchdown a few minutes later on a similar play - this time from 36 yards out -as the Cardinals went on top, 35-0.
Doubek added a 13-yard touchdown reception and a 59-yard touchdown run just before halftime as Randolph broke the game wide open.
Ben Waugh, who led the Panthers with five carries for 65 yards, scored Portville's lone touchdown on a 2-yard run late in the third quarter.
Both teams have a bye as the Section 6 playoffs open next weekend, but the Cardinals chose to fill their schedule with a non-league matchup against Dunkirk.
''That will be a whole different challenge. They're a bigger school so it will be good for us,'' Brown said. ''The whole idea of getting that game and not having a bye is to approach it like you would every single week and keep rolling so that's how we'll do it and we'll try to stay healthy. That's the gamble, but the kids come out to play football so you've just got to play.''
Portville 0 0 7 0 - 7
Randolph 21 27 0 0 - 48
Ran-Brown 13 run. Kehoe kick
Ran-Doubek 3 run. Kehoe kick
Ran-Brown 2 run. Kehoe kick
Ran-Nelson 63 run. Kick failed
Ran-Nelson 36 run. Morrison pass from Maycock
Ran-Doubek 13 pass from Maycock. Kick failed
Ran-Doubek 65 run. Kehoe kick
Por-Waugh 3 run. Hollamby kick