NAPOLEON - Dayton Chaminade-Julienne took charge in the second half last night to defeat Napoleon 35-14 in a Division III football playoff game.
The play that got the Eagles (7-4) going in the third quarter was a simple out pattern run by Donovan Potter, who hauled in Matt Bruggeman's pass and ran 67 yards for a touchdown that gave C-J a 21-14 lead.
"That was the big play," said C-J coach Jim Place. "We got he lead and were able to change our philosophy on defense.
"It was a simple out cut, and he turned it into a touchdown."
That change in philosophy may have helped the Eagles hold the Wildcats (8-3) to just four yards rushing in the second half.
When Napoleon was stopped for no gain by tackle Matt Evans on a fourth-and-one on the Wildcats' 44 with 8:42 remaining in the game, C-J had control.
"That was huge," Place said. "That was all Matt Evans. He had a bear of a game."
Three plays later, Bruggeman ran 36 yards for a touchdown.
"We took some chances - we just went for it," Napoleon coach John Snoad said.
"I think we made some big plays. We just didn't finish. In the playoffs, you need to score points at every opportunity. That didn't happen."
Napoleon opened the scoring on a four-yard run by Brandon Cramer with 10:33 left in the second quarter. C-J countered with 7:31 left on a two-yard run by Tyrone Jones.
Napoleon went up 14-7 when Brad Weaver scored on a 29-yard run with 3:51 left in the first half, but C-J tied the score 41 seconds before the break when Bruggeman scored from five yards out.
Potter broke free for his big play with 2:22 left in the third quarter, but it wasn't his only contribution by a long shot. Bruggeman hit 14 of 20 passes for 246 yards and Potter hauled in 13 of those for 210 yards.
Bruggeman's 36-yard scoring jaunt came with 7:18 left, and Terry Stevenson capped the scoring on an eight-yard run with 4:09 remaining.
"The unsung hero of the game was their quarterback," Snoad said. "He had a heck of a game and made some nice passes."
Weaver paced Napoleon with 95 yards on 25 carries
The Wildcats gained just 116 yards on the ground. Brandon Cramer hit 8 of 17 passes for 131 yards.
C-J rushed for 147 yards to back Bruggeman's 246 through the air.
"This was a hard-hitting game," Place said. "The score was in no way indicative of how it was played. There were some great hits - oh, my - both ways."
"This is going to hurt for a long time," Snoad said. "I thought this group was destined for more than this. There are some fierce competitors [seniors] who played with class and sportsmanship who are going to be missed."