The Cass Colonels fell to the St. Pius Lions on Friday night 42-9 during the first round of the GHSA Class-5A state playoffs.
The Cass offense moved the ball methodically down the field for most of the first half and didn’t punt the ball away until late in the third quarter. On Cass’ opening possession, the Colonels fumbled in St. Pius territory, and the loose football was return 60 yards for a Lions scoop-and-score. Cass got on the board with a 32-yard field goal from Saul Villeda with 2:19 left in the first quarter to cut into the lead 7-3.
St. Pius marched 75 yards on the following possession and scored to hold a 14-3 advantage over Cass. The Colonels once again moved the ball into St. Pius territory, but was unable to convert a fourth down and gave the ball back to the Lions. St. Pius had its own misfortunes when it lost track of how many downs it had and spiked the ball on fourth down to give Cass the football with three seconds left in the half, as the Lions were well within field goal territory.
The second half couldn’t have started worse for the Colonels. St. Pius scored on its opening drive and then intercepted a pass from Devin Henderson and returned it 65 yards for a touchdown. That would be the nail in the coffin for Cass and its 2021 season as St. Pius bled the clock for the rest of the game and limited the amount of opportunities the Colonels would have. The Lions would score twice during the final 17 minutes of the game, but it was Cass that scored the game’s last points.
Devin Henderson found Tino Jones in the end zone for its lone touchdown of the game.
Cass will end its season with a 5-6 record, but the season will not be remembered as a failure. Instead football fans will remember the strides Cass has made and how this game epitomized the Colonels season: a hard fought game with a few errors, unlucky bounces, and a score that didn’t quite resemble how close the game felt. And like the final points in the game, it shows that the team doesn’t quit.