When 25th-ranked T.F. South took on Bremen in its homecoming game in Lansing Friday night, Coach Tom Padjen was hoping his Rebels didn’t come out flat.
They did, but they managed to overcome a sluggish first half with a dominating second half in capturing a 21-7 victory to stay at the top of the South Suburban Blue standings.
“I told the kids at halftime that this was their homecoming,” Padjen said. “We came out in the second half and played much better.”
The Rebels (6-1, 5-0) also rode the running of senior tailback Saleem Sanford, who rushed 23 times for 152 yards in downing the Braves (4-3, 2-3). Sanford’s only touchdown, though, came on a 28-yard pass from Payton Padjen.
“It was an OK performance,” Sanford said. “I made some plays when I needed to and helped the team win. Our offensive line did a good job opening some holes and I just followed them.”
T.F. South also got 61 yards rushing from Joe Young and 60 yards from Kendall McCaskill.
Padjen also credited his defense for keeping Bremen running back Devanta Wilson under control. Wilson had rushed for 876 yards on the season but was held to 75 yards in 22 carries.
“Our game plan was to run the ball on offense and not let Wilson beat us,” Padjen said. “I thought we did both.”
Bremen scored first when the Braves went 60 yards in 14 plays with Wilson scoring on a 2-yard run. T.F. South came right back and marched 54 yards in eight plays with Padjen hitting Sanford and that’s where the score stood until the fourth quarter when T.F. South scored twice, the first on a 17-yard run by McCaskill with 8:36 left and the second on a quarterback sneak by Padjen with 5:16 left.