Too Much Heinzman (3TDs) Topples Tigers
Newaygo 20 Grant 6
An hour before kickoff they started pouring into the stadium, dressed in orange and black and ready to cheer their Tigers on to a victory and a playoff berth.
After all it was homecoming, the Tigers and Lions held identical 5-2 marks and the two losses each team wore on their records came against the same opponents Reed City and Chip Hills.
Evenly matched and playing at home. The Grant faithful were fired up for a big win against an old rival.
The hosts won the toss and elected to receive taking it out to the 30. Jared Evans broke through on the first play for a 12 yard gain. The next play he carried for another 6 then after a couple of stuffed runs Trent Throop hit Alex Longcore with a first down pass. 3 plays later Throop hit Freddy Hall on the run and he sprinted 45 yards as the Tigers drew first blood and led 6-0 when an errant snap led to a failed point after attempt.
The enthusiasm on the Grant side was short lived. Zachary Rodriguez nearly broke the kickoff for 6 but was tackled on the Grant 13. Three running plays by Cooper Heinzman got the Lions into the endzone and the PAT by Francisco Rios gave the Lions a 7-6 lead.
The team exchanged punts through the rest of the first and into the second before Newaygo put together a 4 1/2 minute touchdown drive featuring the hard driving running game of Heinzman who scored from 3 yards out and after Rios split the uprights it was 14-6 Newaygo.
The Tigers saw a scoring opportunity go awry in the closing minute of the half when a penalty gave them the ball on the Lion 20 but the Lion defense sacked Throop twice and a chop block penalty took them back 25 yard and out of contention for a score.
The second half saw both teams struggling to move the ball.
The third quarter went scoreless as the rain began to fall in earnest. A couple of fumbles and missed snaps cooled down drives for both teams.
The 4th saw Newaygo run qb Connor Swinehart, Rodriguez and Heinzman behind an inspired o-line leading to another short run for 6 by Heinzman making it 20-6 after a snafu on the exchange led to a failed PAT.
Grant received the kickoff and began to move the ball but on a 3rd and 1 another issue on the snap from center led to an 18 yard loss and secured the win for the Lions.
Newaygo won this one in the trenches as their offensive line gave the rushing game openings and the Lion defense made moving the ball tough for the Tigers.
Newaygo (5-2, 6-2) returns to the playoffs after a 2 year absence and snaps the two game losing streak against their longtime rivals. Their final regular season game will be at home against Manistee (2-6)
Grant (4-3, 5-3) will have to defeat the Ravenna Bulldogs (3-4, 3-5) to take part in postseason play.
Mike LaFontsee Heinzman and Kade Bhutan were all over the field on defense for Newaygo while James Montney,T.J. and Jarrett Railing, and Jagarr Jenerou led the Tiger D.
Tri County 20 Fremont 15
The Vikings prevailed in a battle of winless teams. Riley Krim and Caleb Kooman scored for the Packers but the streak reached 26 as the Viking offense held to just 12 points in their last three games put up 3 touchdowns.
Fremont (0-7, 0-8) will play host to McBain (6-2) in their season finale while the Vikings welcome in the undefeated Eagles of Kent City in a cross conference matchup
Muskegon Catholic Central 49 Hesperia 9
The Crusaders were just too much for the Panthers as Hesperia dropped to 0-8 on the season. The bad news is they go on the road for their final game. The good news is they face Shelby who are in the midst of a 30 game losing streak.
White Cloud 29 Three Oaks River Valley 0
The Cloud went way south and rode home with their second win of the season.Kevin Arnold completed 4 passes for 136 yards, 2 touchdowns and 1 interception. Eric Plotts grabbed the 2 touchdown passes for a total of 77 yards while Darion Holland and Conner Maring each had one catch for 46yds and 13yds respectively.
Buck Seabrook rushed for 104 yards on 22 attempts and a touchdown. Alex Doke added the final touchdown on a 1 yard plunge and netted 76 yards on 15 attempts. Darion Holland added 21 yards on 3 attemps.
Chance Montemayor added a 40 yards field goal and was 2 for 2 of extra point kicks.
The defense caused 11 fumbles and recovered 3 for the Indians.
Chip Hills 49 Big Rapids 26
Midway through the 1st Dorian Martin ran one in for the Cardinals to tie the game at 7. By halftime the Warriors scored 5 more times and cruised to the CSAA finale for both teams.
Chip Hills (6-2) qualified for the playoffs giving the Gold 3 teams in (Reed City, Newaygo) and 1 with a shot at it next week (Grant)
Reed City 62 Central Montcalm 6
The Coyotes (7-0, 7-1)) dismantled the Green Hornets (2-5, 2-6) to secure the title in the CSAA Gold Division.
Kent City 35 Maple Valley 0
Eagles are on a roll and the train doesn’t look to be slowing down anytime soon. They face Tri County next week with a shot at an undefeated regular season.
Morley Stanwood 21 Beal City 16
The Mohawks (4-1, 7-1) defeated the Aggies and will face undefeated Lake City in a home contest to close the regular season
Evart 48 Holton 41
The Red Devils (23, 3-5) lost a shootout with the host Wildcats
Lakeview 55 Ludington 27
The Wildcats (3-2, 5-3) can wrap up a playoff bid with a season finale win over Central Montcalm next week.
By Ken DeLaat
Newaygo at Grant
Lots of talk about this one and for good reason.
Not only is it one of the hottest and longest standing rivalries around but there’s a playoff spot to be had by emerging as the winner.
To say nothing about a year’s worth of bragging rights.
The teams seem pretty evenly matched in many facets including coaching. These are two leaders who possess the ability to deliver their message to their respective teams and it has shown on the field of play.
Both teams have developed some formidable line play, both teams have punishing running backs and a qb that can throw or run and both teams have the same blemishes on their record Reed City and Chip Hills.
High school games can be decidedly unpredictable and with a lopsided number of turnovers and mistakes a game that should be close becomes a blowout.
But these teams rarely make many mistakes and if they do it’s seldom seen twice.
Our article early in the week gave some backdrop to the game and under any circumstances this is a really huge point on the schedule. So think about the player or fan going home knowing your team has just vanquished the school’s biggest rival and the good feeling that comes with a win
And to top it off?
You’re going to the playoffs man.
You made it to the dance.
Tri County at Fremont
In 2004 the Vikings took down the Pack twice when both played in the WWAC the second time in the pre district. The next 9 years including 8 when they were both members of the Lakes 8 Fremont came out on top,
Last year the Packer inaugural season in the CSAA Gold they faced the Vikings after a two year break and TC snapped the streak with a convincing 29-0 win that also halted their 4 game skid.
Fremont needs a win. They are now 25 games into a streak and the last time they even had a good chance of winning was the opener of the ‘15 season, the first of those 25 losses in a row.
When TC gets a chance to run their offense as they would like they can perform well, but, like Fremont, they have often found themselves in an early hole facing an uphill climb which reduces your offensive options quicky.
The Pack can also do a bit of scoring and neither team has what one might call a shutdown defense. The Vikes have yielded nearly 40 points a game and Packer opponents have scored 7 or more touchdowns a game except for their opener when Evart was held to 5.
It could be a track meet with the winner getting off the schneid and posting a 1 on the left column of the standings.It might the best shot at a win with for both schools since McBain will be bringing their playoff bound team to Fremont next week while TC will have the unenviable task of facing the undefeated and highly talented Eagles of Kent City.
White Cloud at Three Oaks River Valley
The Mustangs broke a 28 game losing streak earlier this year.and have not won more than 2 games a year since 2002 when their current players were toddlers or infants.
The Indians will be traveling a long way south for this game and we hope it will be a happy bus ride home.
The only common opponent?
Wyoming Lee. The Rebels defeated the Cloud 48-0 earlier this year and also shut down the ‘Stangs 55-0
Muskegon Catholic at Hesperia.
The Panthers have lost 8 games this season. The Crusaders have lost 8 regular season games since 2011 and have won 4 of their 7 state championships the past four years.
Last season MCC beat a playoff bound Panther team 48-7 to continue their undefeated season.
This year they face a Hesperia team without a win.
Hesperia is playing at home but their best shot at avoiding a winless season might be on the road next week when they face a Shelby team that has thus far also remained winless.
Morley Stanwood at Beal City.
The Mohawks are already in the postseason which is a good thing because their next two opponents look to be pretty tough matchups. The Aggies have not missed the playoffs in this century and will need to win out to make it 18 years in a row.
By the time the season ends the boys from Morley Stanwood will have played 3 teams from the Highland Conference. They posted an earlier win against Pine River (0-7) and now finish off the year with matchups against BC (4-3) and Lake City (7-0).
These last two might make the Mohawks happy to be residing in the CSAA Silver.
Holton at Evart
The Red Devils have won every other game this season and lost last week. Of course that means absolutely nothing but they are on the road against a team that has beaten three teams with a combine 2-19 record..
But then Holton’s victories came against schools with a combined 3-18 mark.
Central Montcalm at Reed City
Not an even matchup. The Hornets will find the going tough on offense and they don’t possess the kind of defense to rein in the Coyotes.
Big Rapids at Chippewa Hills
The Cardinals can score and will put up some points against the Warriors, but Chip Hills is a pretty good team with a potent offense. The Warriors need this one to make it into the playoff picture and they’re playing at home a tough venue for visiting squads.
Lakeview at Ludington
The Wildcats still have a playoff shot if they defeat the Orioles on the road and Central Montcalm at home. If they succeed there will be a trio of Silver teams playing on after the regular season. The Orioles have lost every conference game and won every non-conference tilt.
This one is non-conference.
Kent City at Maple Valley
The Eagles will be looking to stay undefeated while the Lions need a win to get into the dance.Tigers One Win Away With Two To PlayBy Christi Evans
Photos By Chris Lesley
Grant edged one game closer to a 2nd consecutive playoff berth with an impressive 55-18 win over Fremont on Friday putting a bit of a damper on the Packer Homecoming.
It was a total team effort as Offense, Defense, and Special Teams all got in on the scoring action for the visiting Tigers and the defense came up with some big stops and key interceptions that led to Grant touchdowns.
Senior RB Jared Evans was experiencing left quad tightness following his first carry during the Tigers’ opening drive and left the game after securing a first down. Grant continued to drive the ball downfield with a combination of passes and runs, and Quarterback Trent Throop completed the drive with a quick run-in for the Tigers’ first score of the night. It would not be their last.
The Packers’ opening drive came to an abrupt halt when Grant’s Josh Wright intercepted a Fremont pass for a Pick 6. With just under 2 minutes left in the first quarter, Throop called his own number and ran the ball in from 11 yards out for his second touchdown. At the end of the first, Grant was leading Fremont, 21-0.
Throop started the second quarter in the same way he had the first, with a running touchdown, his third of the night. Fremont took the ensuing kick and put together a strong offensive drive, culminating in a long pass reception from Caleb Koomen to Riley Krim for the score. The 2-point conversion failed.
The Tigers quickly answered back as freshman Bret Long returned the Packers kick 60+ yards for another Tiger score. The Grant defense continued to give the Packers fits as on the next Fremont possession, a pass was again picked off by a Grant defender, this time Jagarr Jenerou, who returned the ball into Packer territory. This set up the next Tiger touchdown, a 43-yard run by Jared Evans, who had returned to the game. With just a minute left in the half, Jenerou recorded his second interception of the night, and was tackled at the Grant 20 yard line. With the Tigers back in control, Throop handed the ball to Evans, who took it 79 yards for his second touchdown of the game. The Tigers went into the locker room at the half with a comfortable lead, 49-6 over their hosts.
Packer Parker Dalson began the second half scoring when he took the Tiger kickoff 80 yards for the second Fremont TD of the night. The 2-point conversion attempt failed and the remainder of the third quarter was a defensive battle with neither team scoring.
Neither team was done yet, though. Early in the fourth quarter, Zack Powell took a handoff from Throop and ran the ball in from 14 yards out, to cap the Tigers’ scoring. The PAT was Naffziger’s only miss on the night.
Fremont quickly answered back on their next possession with a 53 yard touchdown run by Adrian Zerlaut but the Tiger defense held firm and for the third time, denied the 2-point conversion. The score was now Grant 55, Fremont 18 and for the remainder of the game the two teams traded the ball back and forth as the clock ran down to a Tiger victory and the presentation of the new traveling trophy for the annual Grant vs. Fremont game, a metal water bucket, to Grant Head Coach Darren Geraghty.
The Tigers combined for 380 total yards of offense, 50 in the air and the rest on the ground. Jared Evans had a big night, accounting for 210 of the team’s 330 rushing yards, on limited carries due to a quad strain. Kicker Tyler Naffziger was near perfect, connecting on 7 of 8 point after attempts.
Fremont’s Koomen passed for 105 yards with Krim accounting for 70 of those yards and a quintet of Packers combined to rush for 124 yards led by the 53 put up by Zerlaut on his lone carry.
Fremont will finish the conference season with Tri-County Friday, as both teams look to pick up that elusive first win.
Grant will host rival Newaygo in the classic Battle of M-37.
The winner will take home the coveted “M-37 Battle” Plaque which is currently in Grant’s possession, a third place finish in the CSAA Gold Conference, and their sixth win to gain an automatic entry into the postseason.
And it’s Grant’s Homecoming.
Football Roundup Week 7
Newaygo 38 Tri County 0
The Lions defense pitched their second shutout of the season and sent their Homecoming crowd home happy with a dominating performance over the Vikings (0-6, 0-7).Newaygo (4-2, 5-2) has now peeled off 4 straight wins and can punch their postseason ticket with a win Friday in Grant.
Morley Stanwood 47 White Cloud 0
The Mohawks (6-1, 4-1) bounced back from their drubbing by Kent City to clinch a tournament spot with a shutout win over visiting White Cloud.
Kent City 54 Hesperia 19
Neither team had their streak broken Friday as the Eagles (5-0, 7-0) remained undefeated in capturing the Silver crown while the Panthers (0-5, 0-7) fell short of notching their first ‘W’ of the season.
Lakeview 42 Holton 21
The Wildcats(3-2, 4-3) doubled up the Red Devils (2-3,3-4) to secure a third place finish in the Silver. The win keeps the Lakeviews hopes for a playoff bid alive as they finish the season with Ludington (2-5) and Central Montcalm (2-5).
Reed City 48 Big Rapids 14
The Coyotes (6-0, 6-1) clinched a tie for top spot in the Gold with a solid win over the Cardinals
Chippewa Hills 35 Central Montcalm 6
The Warriors (5-1, 5-2 moved a step closer to a playoff berth with a convincing win over the Hornets (2-4, 2-5)
Tri County (0-5, 0-6) at Newaygo (3-2, 4-2)
The Lions have won three straight while developing a potent offense that has averaged over 40 points a game during the streak.When Connor Swinehart hands it off to Zach Rodriguez or Cooper Heinzman they are gaining yardage in chunks behind an inspired O-line and the running game allows Swinehart to find Anthony Hudson or one of his other receivers when necessary.
The Viking defense has not been able to keep them in contention the last two games and they are spending a lot of time on the field when the offense is forced to play catch-up early on.
It’s homecoming for the Lions and most coaches will tell you this can be more of a distraction than a benefit to a team.
But not this team.
From what we’re hearing these guys seem to have their eyes on the prize.
Few could honestly say they’re not aware of where the schedule takes them next week, but Coach Van Essen and his staff has kept this team focused all season and that doesn’t look to change Friday night.
Grant (3-2, 4-2) at Fremont (0-5, 0-6)
The Tigers also have a huge game on their plate next week and face a winless team.
But it’s not homecoming (It’s next week) and they are on the road playing in Packer territory.
The Grant offense can grind down a defense with workhorse Jared Evans able to pound through the line while qb Trent Throop can put some deceptive moves on the ground to compliment his passing ability and the soft hands of receiver Josh Wright make for a nice target. Credit the o-line for providing big play opportunities,
The Fremont D has struggled this season against teams with far fewer weapons than the Tigers who came back with a vengeance last week after losing two in a row to the two teams everyone else in the conference has lost to as well.
The Pack might score some points from their passing game but a whole lot of things would have to go their way to have a shot at beating Friday’s visitors. Like their cousins to the north the Tigers are undoubtedly aware of who’s coming to town for homecoming next week but the way Coach Geraghty and his staff roll it will be all about the Packers Friday night.
White Cloud (1-3, 1-5) at Morley Stanwood (3-1, 5-1)
The ‘Hawks got stuffed in the Silver Showdown with Kent City last week, as the Eagles shut them out and scored 4 times in clinching their playoff berth.
Practice at MSHS was not likely pleasant this week.
The Cloud got taken out early by Holton at last week’s homecoming game as the Red Devils swarmed past the defense time and again and now the Indians are on the road facing a team they haven’t beaten since 2004.
And to make things a little more uphill for the Cloud the Mohawks can secure an admission to the postseason with a win.
Holton (2-2, 3-3) at Lakeview (2-2, 3-3)
The winner still has a mathematical chance at extending play this season, the loser does not.
Holton’s wins came against teams with a cumulative record of 2-16
The three teams Lakeview has beaten are all winless.
Hesperia ( 0-4, 0-6) at Kent City (4-0, 6-0)
The Eagles are a really good team. They are talented on both sides of the ball, know how to win and go about their business fully expecting to succeed.
Hesperia’s season has been a deep disappointment from a W-L standpoint. This team was touted in pre season as having the potential to not merely make the playoffs but hopefully advance past the first round knockouts of the past two years.
The overtime loss to the Norsemen was a tough start and Godwin is one of the elite teams of the ever rugged OK Silver and they showed it on the Panther home field. That loss might have been expected.
Then it began to tumble with a loss to Morley in overtime at home followed by the stunning comeback win by Holton. Losses to White Cloud and Lakeview have followed and now they face the undefeated and playoff bound Eagles before hosting the team that has won the last game of the season in their state division the past 4 years.
The Panthers have become accustomed to winning and this year has been rough on them.
They may not have a great shot at capturing the win that has thus far eluded them these next two weeks but this is still a good team and a proud one as well.
And we’ve no doubt that they will indeed go the distance.
Chippewa Hills (4-1, 4-2) at Central Montcalm (2-3, 2-4)
My friend Tim (who says he’s not my friend but really is) scored a hole in one early in his golfing career. He shot a 10 in the previous hole and a 10 in the one after the ace.
The Hornets reminded me of his feat when they slapped a 66 on the Fremont scoreboard two weeks ago, an effort that was sandwiched between a pair of shutouts.
The Warriors are still smarting from having the Coyotes spending so much time in their endzone that they started getting mail there. The defense will be out to prove a point and the offense shouldn’t have too much trouble scoring enough
Reed City (5-0, 5-1) at Big Rapids (3-2, 3-3)
The Cardinals host the Coyotes who need a win to secure what looks to be a certain trip to the playoffs. Big Rapids has some playmakers but the question is whether they will they get the time to show what they have under the pressure of the highly respected Reed City D defense.
By Alexis Mercer
Contribution by Cliff Somers
The CSAA cross country teams lined up at Branstrom Park to run in the third of four jamborees for the season. The Fremont and Newaygo teams ran at the Allendale Invitational on Saturday, September 30. Coming off the flattest course they will see all season to one of the hilliest courses would be a definite change in pace, both literally and figuratively.
Fremont recap by Coach Somers:
The girls placed 2nd with 59 points and the boys placed 1st with 20 points. While the team placing were where we wanted to be, we had some athletes run great races, and some that were not what we were hoping for.
The girls put 4 in the top 15 for the first time all season while the boys placed 5 in the top 7. Coming off a great day on Saturday both groups let their 1-5 split get a little too big again.
Ben Schmidt (SR) became the 4th fastest athlete on the home course, while Nathan Walker tied the Freshman Course Record at Branstrom Park yesterday with his time of 17:42.
Ben Paige (Fr) and Josh Zerfas (Fr) both ran about a minute faster than at the alumni race to shake up our top 5. Erin Norton (Fr) improve by over a minute while Claire Whittle (Jr), Grace Jacobs (Jr), and Emily Curtis (Fr) improved by over 2 minutes.
Newaygo recap by Coach Mercer:
The girls placed 3rd overall. Sophomore Sophia Frisbie led the Lions with a 10th place finish, followed closely by senior Ellie Nausadis in 11th. Samantha Dosch, Jaylee Long and Liza Nausadis completed the top five.
The boys team was led by junior Ryan Brummel. Rounding out the top five were David Grodus, Nolan Brockway, Brandon Badgero and Brey Bays.
Both Fremont and Newaygo are heading to the Portage Invite on Saturday, October 7 to compete in one of the largest meets in the midwest.
Tigers, Lions Triumph; Cloud Falls To Red Devils
Grant 42, Tri County 6
Story by Christi Evans
Photos by Chris Lesley
Grant improved to 4-2 as they handed the Tri-County Vikings their 6th straight loss and spoiling the Vikings’ Homecoming.
The Tigers spread the scoring out with four different players getting into the end zone, scoring once in the first quarter, twice in the second, twice in the third, and once in the fourth. Kicker Tyler Naffziger was 6-6 on PAT’s.
Halfway through the first quarter the Tiger defense forced a Viking fumble, which was recovered by Grant’s Chase Lowry, who ran the ball into Viking territory. The change of possession set the Tigers up to score. Trent Throop called his own number, running down to the 1 yard line. On the next snap, Throop once again kept the ball and finished what he had started, scoring the Tigers’ first touchdown.
Second quarter scoring came from Jared Evans on a 17 yard run with 4 minutes left in the half, and then after Tri County turned the ball back over on downs, the Tiger’s next drive ended in a 68 yard touchdown reception from Throop to Josh Wright. The Vikings were unable to convert and turned the ball over again. But they quickly got it back as a punt return was mishandled and the ball recovered by the Vikings. As the second quarter ran out, Tri County put together a quick drive, culminating in a 30 yard pass for a touchdown. The PAT missed, wide left. The Tigers headed into the locker room at the half, leading the Vikings 21-6.
Grant continued to play a dominant game as they came out in the third quarter, scoring on an 8 yard run from Evans and a Jaggar Jenerou interception which set up a 16 yard scoring pass from Throop to Alex Longcore.
Three minutes into the fourth quarter, the Tigers added one more touchdown to their scoring for the night, with a Throop pass to Josh Wright for 26 yards, and a successful PAT by Naffziger.
The Tigers combined for 424 total yards of offense, with 196 passing and 228 rushing. The Vikings combined for 226 total yards of offense, with 53 yards passing and 173 yards rushing. Grant will travel to Fremont next week with their sights set on improving to 5-2 and getting one game closer to punching their ticket for the post-season. Tri County will travel to Newaygo.
Newaygo 48 Fremont 12
Connor Swinehart hit Anthony Hudson with a pass halfway through the first quarter to open the scoring then in the second quarter Zachary Rodriguez broke loose for a 48 yard TD. By halftime the Lions had run off 27 points as Swinehart ran one in from 6 and Cooper Heinzman followed with a 10 yard run before intermission.
The Packers got on the board after the break when Caleb Koomen hit Riley Krim but Newaygo responded with two more scores in the quarter as Heinzman and Swinehart each found the endzone. Koomen ran one in for the second Fremont tally in the 4th and Lion Kade Bhuyan ended the scoring when he broke loose for a 40 yard scoring run in the final minutes.
The Lions will look to keep their 3 game winning streak going when they host Tri County Friday.
Holton 41 White Cloud 8
Holton began the game with a successful onside kick and marched to the end zone for the game’s first score on the way to a Red Devil win as White Cloud could not mount a successful drive until the 4th quarter.
Kevin Arnold was 5-11 for 56 yards with one interception. Arnold scored the lone Indian score on a 2 yard run. Alex Doke was the Indian's leading rusher gaining 58 yards on 8 attempts. Eric Plotts was the leading receiver for the Indians with 3 catches for 48 yards.
White Cloud travels to Morley Stanwood to face the Mohawks Friday.
Reed City 58 Chippewa Hills 29
The Coyotes took charge of the Gold with a convincing victory over the Warriors
Kent City 28 Morley Stanwood 0
The Eagles made a statement in the Silver by shutting out the Mohawks while becoming the first team in the CSAA to secure a playoff spot.
Lakeview 21 Hesperia 20
The Panthers season continues to run down a bumpy road as they fell by a single point for the second time this season. Still looking for win number one they will find the going rough with upcoming matchups against Kent City and Muskegon Catholic Central.
Photos by Alexis Mercer:
CSAA Gold Jamboree #2
By Alexis Mercer
In abnormally muggy and hot weather, the Cross Country Teams from the Gold Division of the CSAA competed at Tri-County on Tuesday afternoon.
Being the second of four CSAA competitions, the stakes are getting higher. Beginning with this second meet, the athletes’ places will become cumulative, meaning that places from the first and second meets will combine for an overall place.
While a poor performance at any one of the four jamborees wouldn’t completely exclude an athlete from earning All-Conference honors, it certainly wouldn’t help as it would make the other three jamborees imperative to perform at his/her highest level.
Listed are the point scorers (top 5) for each of the CSAA Gold teams in Newaygo County.
Indians put it all together in win over Panthers 39-6
Editor Note: Kevin Atwood contributed to this article
In 2009 the Indians rolled into Hesperia with an 0-7 mark during their second year in the pre-divided CSAA. The Panthers season had been equally frustrating as they too were getting pounded by the bigger schools and came in winless.
The Indians held their hosts to a single score and though they would lose the season finale the conference win was something to build on.
The following year due to declining numbers there would be no football in the Cloud.
It would be another 8 years and 43 straight conference losses before they would break the streak by once again holding their Hesperia hosts to a single score in a game where both teams were once again looking for win number one on the season.
Full disclosure here. In our preview article we predicted the Panther backs would run amok against an Indian defense that has struggled to hold opponents in check. Come game time both of the premiere Panther backs Gerrit Yates and Kanin Witte were out with injuries and the WC ‘D’ made sure the Panther running game never got traction. The defense even notched a score of their own on a 31 yard fumble return by Devon Trice.
The Indians scored on their first two offensive possessions and never looked back. It was not Hesperia’s night. With an opportunity to score before the half the Panthers were trying to punch the ball in from inside the 5 and as time grew short they spiked the ball to kill the clock.
Unfortunately it was 4th down and the ball went over to the Cloud on downs.
The WC offense behind the leadership of Kevin Arnold scored 5 times including a pair of passes from Arnold to Conner Maring (13 yards) and Eric Plotts (29 yards). Alex Doke scored one of three rushing TD’s with Arnold carrying in the other two.
The ground game was led by Buck Seabrook who pounded the Panther line for 71 yards Doke added another 48 and Steven Holt finished with 42.
On the defensive side Seabrook paced the group with 11 tackles followed by Adrian Rodriguez (7) and Tucker Kooman (6).
A huge win for the program and a lesson to never underestimate the heart and resilience of the players who wear the Orange and Black.
Newaygo 34 Big Rapids 27
Ok no one is mentioning the ‘P’ word yet but this was a really key win for the Lions who face winless opponents the next two weeks before the M-37 showdown with their neighbors to the south.
The Lions shook off a drive-killing first quarter fumble that Braeden Childress took the other way for an 84 yard touchdown and grinded out a large enough lead to cause a late game charge by the Cards to come up short.
Led by Connor Swinehart, the Lions scored the next three touchdowns then answered a Cardinal score in the 4th.
Swinehart flipped a screen pass to Anthony Hudson who raced in for a 14 yard score to tie the game just before the first quarter ended. The extra point attempt was unsuccessful but after that kicker Francisco Rios would split the uprights 5 straight times before the final gun.
Swinehart punched it in from 2 yards out to put Newaygo up 13-6 at the half then early in the third followed his o-line push in from a yard out to up the lead to 20-6.
Zachary Rodriguez tore loose for a 54 yard scamper to the end zone to push the Lion advantage to 27-6.
Swinehart would score again and the final quarter saw a furious rally by the Cards that proved too little too late.
“It was a big win for us,” said Lion Head Coach Scott Van Essen. “ I thought we played hard and our players came up with some big plays both offensively and defensively.
“Maybe not the way we wanted to finish but we're extremely happy to come away with a win.”
Rodriguez (164) and Swinehart (124) each eclipsed triple figures in rushing with Cooper Heinzman adding another 55. Heinzman and Braden Benjamin each recorded a sack while Dalton Jones and Noah Graff led the defense in tackles with 5 apiece.
Newaygo (2-2, 3-2) will be at home Friday to face Fremont (0-4, 0-5)
Central Montcalm 66 Fremont 30
Zane Stroven ran for 148 yards and two touchdowns and Caleb Kooman tossed a pair of TD passes to Riley Krim but in the end it wasn’t enough.
Not nearly enough.
The Hornets built a 28-0 lead before the Pack got on the board and held a 36-14 edge by intermission. While the Fremont offense moved the ball the defense had no answers for the CM offense that scored twice more in the third to make it 50-14.
The Hornets (2-2, 2-3) will host Big Rapids while Fremont (0-4, 0-5) heads east to face Newaygo.
Reed City 54 Tri County 6
The Coyotes piled up 472 yards on the ground and threw for another 100 as they raced past the Vikings to set up next week’s showdown with Chippewa Hills. The Vikings (0-4, 0-5) will host Grant.
Chippewa Hills 27 Grant 7
By Christi Evans
Photos by Chris Lesley
The Tigers came into Remus with determination to turn things around this week. The first quarter ended scoreless as the two teams’ defense was equally strong and neither team was able to find the endzone.
In the second quarter, a 34 yard run from Trent Throop and an 18 yard pass completion from Throop to James Montney got the Tigers within striking distance, but they were unable to convert and the ball was turned over on downs. The Warriors scored three times in the 2nd quarter and successfully completed one 2-point conversion out of three attempts, to make the score 20-0 going into the locker room at halftime.
Grant came out for the second half fired up and halfway through the third quarter, a Warrior pass was batted away by Joshua Wright and scooped up by Jaggar Jenerou. Grant marched the ball downfield on some inspired runs by Throop and Jared Evans, and were knocking on the door when a Throop pass was intercepted. This turnover resulted in another Warriors touchdown.
The Tigers, however, continued to battle as Throop completed passes to Brett Long and Alex Longcore in the fourth to once again get the visitors in position to score, and with 9 minutes left in the game, Jared Evans punched it in from 2 yards out with Tyler Naffziger converting on the PAT.
The Tiger defense shut down the Warriors offense for the remainder of the game. At the end of the night, Chippewa Hills came out on top, 27-7.
Grant did a good job of taking care of the ball, only allowing one turnover, but it was a costly one. They played with guts and grit but unfortunately, some missed scoring opportunities were too much to overcome.
The Tigers, now 3-2 overall and 2-2 in the CSAA Gold, are now in a three-way tie for third place in the conference with Newaygo and Big Rapids. They travel to Howard City to take on Tri County this Friday, September 29th. The Vikings are 1-4 overall and 1-3 in the conference. Chippewa Hills and Reed City are currently sharing the conference title and are headed to a showdown for sole possession of first place, also this Friday, September 29th.
Week 5 Football PreviewBy Ken DeLaat
Newaygo at Big Rapids
The Cardinals possess some significant offensive weaponry and they’ve won two in a row but those wins came against teams with a collective record of 0-8. Grant’s defense contained Mr. Repke and Co.as did Cadillac in the opener and the Lion defense is coming off an inspired performance in last week’s shutout of Central Montcalm.
It’s another tough road game for Coach Van Essen’s Lions and it’s a big one for both squads because whoever loses is going to find the pathway to the postseason pretty formidable.
Looks to be a close one and keeping the Cardinal qb from making big plays will be crucial for the visitors.
Grant at Chippewa Hills
I know, I know, CH sits atop the standings with Reed City and they’re heading for a big showdown next week. We get it, but the Warriors would be wise to remain wary here. The Tigers got taken out early against a rugged Reed City team and Chip Hills has won 3 in a row but they’ve also yielded plenty of points and don’t possess the smothering Coyote defense the Tigers faced last week.
Keeping the hosts off the field is vital and Grant needs to score when given the opportunity. The upside is the Warrior defense can be sporadic and provide those opportunities. If the Tigers can take advantage and shake off last week’s first half…...
Fremont at Central Montcalm
The Packers seem to have found some offense beyond Riley Krim and the Hornet defense has yielded 82 points their past two games while scoring just 8. The Streak is 22 and the date of this game is the 22nd so perhaps the stars have aligned for this one, but who knows which CM team will take the field; the squad who came back to beat TC and gave undefeated Morley Stanwood fits before falling short or the team who got slammed the past two weeks?
Tri County at Reed City
The Vikings are the other team in the Gold without a win but they know how to put points on the board and had close calls against Big Rapids and CM. Winning this one will be tough though because the Coyote defense has held their last three opponents to less than 9 points a game.
Of course there was the 48 Montague dropped on them in the opener but no one has held the potent Wildcat offense under that number this season.
White Cloud at Hesperia
The Proud Panthers have been to the playoffs the past two seasons but this year won’t be number three unless they run the table….a table that includes the four time defending state champs (Muskegon CC) who a have won 29 of their last 30 games...and even then they would need a little luck to get in with 5 wins.
For the Cloud the upside is that the offense has scored their last two times out, however on the flip side, opponents are finding the endzone 7-8 times a game and the Indians don’t possess the kind of offense to keep pace with that. Look for Panthers Kanin Witte and Gerrit Yates to run wild.
Hesperia is working through a disappointing season thus far with two overtime losses and an unexpected yielding of the Golden Trophy after being up 2 touchdowns in the rivalry game with Holton. Despite having an identical record to White Cloud at 0-4 this is not an 0-4 team and they will be ready to show that Friday in front of their fans. Could be a rough night on the road for Coach Hance’s team.
Oh yeah, and it’s Homecoming as well.
Coyotes Strike Early To Defeat Tigers
Grant toppled from unbeaten ranks
By Christi Evans
Photos By Chris Lesley
Grant was rocked back on their heels when Reed City took the opening play from scrimmage all the way to the end zone. Another Reed City TD in the first quarter and an interception in the second and the Coyotes were up 24-0 at the half.
A few good runs and pass receptions from the Tigers sprinkled throughout the game and a TD reception from Trent Throop to Jagarr Jenerou to start the second half were bright spots for the Tigers. Midway through the third James Montney intercepted a Reed City pass and ran it in for the score but it was called back on a penalty.
Grant again had the opportunity to score early in the fourth but the ball was fumbled and was recovered by Reed City. In the end the Coyotes prevailed, handing the host Tigers their first loss of the season.
Reed City improves to 3-1 overall and 3-0 in the CSAA Gold, and Grant drops to 3-1 overall and 2-1 in the Gold. The Tigers will work to rebound with a win on the road next week at Remus Chippewa Hills while Reed City hosts Tri County
Football Roundup: Lions Blast Hornets; Pack, Cloud, Vikes Fall ShortBR 55 Fremont 21
Kane Weilding scored on a 2 yard first quarter run for the Pack and Parker Dalson found the end zone from 3 yards out in the second, but the game reached halftime with the Cardinals holding a 34-14 edge and they chalked up another 3 scores after intermission o cruise to the win.
The Packers got their final points when Dakota Burns pulled in a 7 yard pass from Caleb Koomen. Zane Stroven ran in a pair of two point conversions for the hosts.
Fremont (0-3, 0-4) will travel to Stanton Friday to take on Central Montcalm (1-2, 1-3). The Cardinals (2-1, 2-2) host Newaygo.
Kent City 62 White Cloud 12
The Indians hosted an undefeated Kent City team that has been mowing down opponents with a potent offensive attack. The Eagles found the end zone 9 times and continued their quest for a conference title with the win.
Buck Seabrook was the leading rusher for the Indians with 119 yards on 7 carries while scoring oth touchdowns for the hosts..Seabrook also led the defense with 11 tackles.
Tucker Kooman added 9 tackles for the Indians (0-2, 0-4) who will trave down One Mile Rd to take on the Hesperia Panthers (0-2,0-4).
Newaygo 42 Central Montcalm 0
The Lions stuffed the Hornet offense while the offense put on a show for the hometown fans.
Newaygo (1-2,2-2) will visit Big Rapids (2-1,2-2) Friday.
Chippewa Hills 42 Tri County 20
The Vikings continue to look for their first win of the season after falling to a powerful Warrior team Friday night at home. The schedule doesn’t look to get any easier as TC (0-3,0-4) will head to Reed City to face the Coyotes who share the conference lead with the Warriors.
Newaygo County Cross Teams All Leap Bales of Hay
By Alexis Mercer
In what is a rare occurrence, every cross country team within Near North Now’s coverage area was in the same location on Saturday, September 9. Fremont, Grant, Hesperia, Newaygo, Tri-County and White Cloud all joined in the fun yet competitive event at Fremont Middle School.
The high school course was a standard 3.1 miles (5K). But instead of competing in what is an already difficult endeavor, now the runners were additionally vaulting and climbing over bales of hay. The Fremont Hill and Bale Invitational is a unique, memorable experience; one that all of Newaygo County participated in this year.
Teams were split into two divisions: large and small schools. Fremont, Grant, Tri-County and Newaygo joined other West Michigan teams in the large school division. Hesperia and White Cloud competed in the small school division.
Fremont took the large school division title for the boys, with Fruitport 51 points behind them. Muskegon Reeths-Puffer took first for the girls large school division, followed by Fremont.
In the small school boys division, Montague took the title with Muskegon West Michigan Christian took second. For the girls in the small school division, White Cloud won the title and Libertas Christian took home the runner-up trophy.
For each of the schools within N3’s coverage area, the lead runner and time is listed below. For a full listing of finish times as well as where each school finished in the team standings, visit the following link:
https://www.athletic.net/CrossCountry/Results/Meet.aspx?Meet=130021 - /12803
Large Division Boys First Finisher From Each N3 School
Ben Schmidt – Fremont – 16:43.0 (1st place)
Colten Covington – Grant - 17:09.8 – (3rd place)
Ryan Brummel – Newaygo – 18:05.0 (9th place)
Adam Jason – Howard City Tri-County – 18:07.6 (11th place)
Large Division Girls First Finisher From Each N3 School
Summer Longstreet – Howard City Tri-County – 21:12.7 (3rd place)
Riley Sweet – Fremont – 21:24.6 (4th place)
Sophia Frisbie – Newaygo – 21:38.1 (6th place)
Elizabeth Gates – Grant – 22:58.0 (13th place)
Small Division Boys First Finisher From Each N3 School
Adrian Rodriguez – White Cloud – 18:50.7 (7th place)
Zach Young – Hesperia - 19:47.8 (17th place)
Small Division Girls First Finisher From Each N3 School
Ella Bowman – White Cloud – 23:11.0 (5th place)
Becky Castillo – Hesperia – 24:52.3 (14th place)
Tigers Take Battle of UnbeatensThe Lions brought a 5-0 record including four straight conference wins down the highway to take on the Tiger, a team also undefeated at 3-0 with a pair of ties.
The teams waged a defensive battle and remained scoreless until Miguel Cisneros took a pass from Johann Vega and buried it into the net to give Grant a 1-0 lead that held up until intermission.
In the second Cisneros found the net again courtesy of a Tyler Naffziger feed and soon after Vega scored on an assist from Luis Corona. Newaygo got on the board but another Cisneros goal kept the Lions at bay.
Newaygo has a good team,” said Tiger Head Coach Ron Wight. “ We knew that we would have to play a good game with few mistakes to win.”
“Our defense played great and Javi Jasso made some nice saves for us in goal.”
Michael Frey finished with 33 interceptions on the night with Alberto Macias notching 23 and Kaden Arsenault and Colin Magin adding 22 apiece.
“We know we have to play at a high level to keep up with the teams in our league,” added Coach Wight.
Tigers, Pack Duel To A Draw Grant and Fremont went at it in CSAA action on Wednesday and the Tigers got on the board first when Johanna Vega took a pass from Tyler Naffziger and buried it into the nets for the goal.
The Packers struck back with a Cole Miller goal for the tie but the Tigers answered quickly with Vega setting up an A.J. Decker score to take the lead.
Fremont grabbed a late opportunity with Bailey Baddis firing in the tying score and the match ended 2-all.
On defense Michael Frey had 41 interceptions for the Tigers followed by Alberto Macias and Kaden Arsenault with 25 apiece. Goalkeeper Javi Jasso finished with 14 saves.
Lions Silence Coyotes 8-0 Angel Guevara continues to find the net for the Lions as he pounded in 4 goals while the defense limited any scoring opportunities for Reed City.
Francisco Rios, Adrian Briones, Chase Pendock, and Mitchell Karrip joined the scoring parade with a goal apiece while Noah Painter dished up 2 assists. Alex Ceja and Rioseach added an assist to the team effort.
“The kids moved the ball well and created opportunities for each other,” said Coach Jason Long.
The Lions move to 4-0 in conference play with a overall record of 7-1.
Lion Conference Streak Continues The Lions pulled off their 3rd straight win in the CSAA with a 4-3 win over Lakeview on Wednesday night. Angel Guevara and Francisco Rios continue to lead the Lion offense as Guevera had 2 goals and Rios 1. Adrian Briones also added a goal and Chase Pendock tallied an assist.
The game was tied late in the second half and it looked like overtime was looming for the teams until Angel Guevara fired in the winning goal with 34 seconds left in the game.
“The guys are playing hard every game and it is showing,” said Coach Jason Long. "They are continuing to work hard and I am excited to see how they keep progressing. We have a tough few weeks ahead of us, but we are looking forward to the challenge.”