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Burrell pounds Brownsville

| Friday, Aug. 31, 2012, 11:16 p.m.

Burrell senior running back Cole Bush tied a school record with five touchdowns in a game and rushed for 221 yards Friday as the Bucs rolled past Brownsville, 41-7, in a nonconference game at Redstone Field.

Bush equaled a Burrell mark set by John Suvoy (1968), Tommy Bart (1977), Aaron Brown (2004) and Tyler Henderson (2005). Good starts are nothing unusual for the Bucs. Burrell has won on opening night 16 of the past 20 seasons, including Friday night's first meeting between the schools.

“This is such a great start, I couldn't ask for anything different,” Bush said.

The Bucs' defense limited the Falcons to just 28 yards and two first downs in the first half.

“Everyone wants to contribute on defense, and we work hard every day at it,” Bush said.

Said Burrell's second-year coach Kevin Horwatt: “We stress intensity and physicality, and we want 11 helmets going toward the ball, and we've stressed that from Day One.”

The defensive play gave the Bucs consistently good field position in the first half. After winning the coin toss and deferring to the second half, Burrell went to work. Following three plays and a punt, Bucs took over at the Brownsville 40-yard line and needed just five plays to get in the end zone.

A 25-yard swing pass from quarterback James Liput to Cody Wolfe took the ball to the Falcons 1, where Bush began the scoring barrage on the following play.

Brownsville appeared poised to tie the score when Brandon DeCarlo picked off a Liput pass and headed toward the end zone. But Brennan Brothers batted the ball away from DeCarlo from behind. The ball went out of bounds in the end zone, and Burrell was awarded a touchback.

“That could have been a huge momentum change,” Horwatt said. “Sometimes the ball rolls that way.”

Burrell then took advantage of the break, driving 80 yards in seven plays, culminating with another 1-yard burst by Bush. The 6-foot-2, 220-pounder then added scoring runs of three and 15 yards by halftime, then scored on a 29-yarder in the first Bucs' possession of the second half.

That touchdown gave Burrell a 35-0 lead and put the PIAA's continuous clock rules into play.

Mitch Pollino tallied the final Burrell touchdown on a 31-yard run.

“You take a long road trip like this and things could start out sluggish,” Horwatt said. “But I'm proud how the kids played four strong quarters. That's our goal this year.”

George Guido is a freelance writer.

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