BRUNSWICK — It was the biggest test of the season, in the biggest game of the year.

And from the opening drive, the Cony football team aced the challenge.

Behind quarterback Riley Geyer, a balanced offensive effort and another outstanding performance from their defense, the Rams wrapped up a first-round bye in the B North playoffs, defeating Brunswick, 30-6.

“It was a great effort,” Cony coach B.L. Lippert said. “Our defense, they got after it. Our front eight are really, really good, the defensive backs came up and tackled when they had to. It was kind of a classic defensive performance.”

Cony improved to 7-1, while Brunswick, which could have taken the top seed in B North with a win, fell to 5-3. The Dragons, who came in averaging over 8 yards per carry on the ground, were held 87 yards on 32 carries — only 2.7 per rush — against Cony’s sturdy front.

“That’s a very talented team that we were able to slow down tonight,” Lippert said.

After the game, Brunswick coach Dan Cooper was only able to tip his cap and shake his head.

“Their line play on both sides of the ball was amazing,” he said. “Their offensive line, we had a hard time stopping basic runs, quarterback run. But their defense, I knew they were a really good bunch, but they were even better than I thought. They were amazing.”

Meanwhile, the Rams were able to gash the Dragons repeatedly on the other side of the ball. Geyer ran 22 times for 110 yards and two scores, while Jamal Cariglia added 10 carries for 67 yards and Ashton Cunningham had eight for 49.

“To be honest, I wasn’t ready to run that much,” Geyer said. “We were talking about how we were going to run, but definitely, our line, they’re pretty good. … They created a lot of room for me and my running backs.”

The Rams struck first. Cony turned the ball over on downs deep in Brunswick territory on its first drive, but Jonny Hanson intercepted Dragons quarterback Nate Girardin to set the Rams up again at the Brunswick 39. Geyer (11-of-24 passing, 136 yards, one touchdown) finished off the series with a run from 9 yards out, making it 7-0 with 4:59 to go in the first quarter.

Brunswick took over, but the points kept coming for Cony. A pair of personal fouls saddled the Dragons with a 2nd-and-16 from their own 5, and a horde of Rams sacked Girardin in the end zone for a safety and a 9-0 advantage.

Cony’s offense used trickery — and a little bit of luck — to strike again in the second. The Rams were facing 3rd-and-goal from the 14 when Geyer threw back to Reed Hopkins, who then lobbed a pass to Cunningham in the end zone — who was double covered.

“We were practicing it all week. It looked a lot better in practice,” Hopkins said. “It wasn’t as wide open as we thought it’d be. … As soon as I threw it, I didn’t really think he’d come down with it. It was a duck ball. It wasn’t really thrown that great.”

The Cony running back, however, timed his jump well, getting in position to pull the ball down for a 16-0 lead with 6:25 left in the half.

“Before we left school, I told Reed, if we went out and ran out, ‘Just put it up and I’d go up and get it,’ ” Cunningham said. “I jumped up a little late, but then I felt it and squeezed it in my gloves.”

Brunswick found a rhythm on the last drive of the half. Girardin ran 25 yards and a personal foul call on Cony put the ball at the Rams’ 24, and Cam Hathaway dashed in from 4 yards out six plays later to cut the deficit to 16-6 with two minutes remaining.

There was life for the Dragons. But when Brunswick went three-and-out to start the half, the momentum swung back.

“I felt we could hang around,” Cooper said. “But we just couldn’t move the ball. They were so good on defense.”

Cony put the game out of reach in the second half. Geyer, who completed seven of 20 first-half passes, found his touch on a 24-yard touchdown pass to Hopkins (five catches, 56 yards), and he clinched the win with a 32-yard run for a 30-6 lead with 4:31 to play.

“It was really fun,” Geyer said. “It was really competitive, and we came out and showed who Cony football is.”

Drew Bonifant — 621-5638

[email protected]

Twitter: @dbonifantMTM

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