Pine River 29 Holton 22
The Red Devils came back in the second half scoring three times but it wasn’t enough to overcome a 14-0 first half deficit and the Bucks captured the win and an automatic postseason slot.
“All I can say is wow,” said Holton Head Coach Jack Nummerdor. “We had a terrible first half. Defense did what it could, the offense had two turnovers and gave up a safety that led to Pine River first half scores. We have to do a better job of coming out ready to play.”
“The second half led to us giving ourselves a chance late. Austin Hawkins returned the kickoff for a touchdown with 1 minute and 50 seconds left of the clock. We did an onside twice and recovered them both but were called back for issues..”
On the defensive side Hawkins and Aaron Herron each forced fumbles and Derek Pouch was there to scoop them up. Kaleb Kitchka tallied 14 tackles to led the Devils while Herron finished with an even dozen. Kitchka and Draven Wyant spent time in the Bucks backfield with a couple of tackles for lost yardage each.
Herron scored twice on the ground and piled up 124 yards rushing while quarterback Drew Trygstad hit on 3 short passes 2 to Nathan Slowik.
“What a roller coaster,” added Coach Nummerdor. “ We look to earn our trip into postseason next week and we have got to do a better job of answering the call at the opening kickoff.”
The Red Devils, now 5-3, need one more win in their season finale to play beyond next week. The team will look to clinch that coveted spot on the road Friday when they face the Vikings of Tri County (4-4).
Beal City 47 Hesperia 12
The Aggies a perennially postseason invitee came in with a 1-6 record but five of those losses were against playoff bound teams, three of them by less than a touchdown.
They faced a depleted Panther team that has struggled through a rugged season and vented a season’s worth of frustration scoring 7 times while shutting down Hesperia’s ground game.
The grit and determination the Panther players have shown this season became glaringly evident in the 4th quarter when the team had just enough able bodied players to fill the 11 spots on the field
“We started tonight with 13 players, lost one to injury early in the first quarter and one to a concussion early in the second half,” said Hesperia Head Coach Doug Bolles.”We’re dealing with a lot of adversity and it’s tough not winning, but I couldn’t be more proud of the effort I’m getting out of my guys. They aren’t quitting and they’re finishing games.”
Logan Balkema hit favorite target Jacob Klemundt 6 times including a pair of tosses that Klemundt turned into touchdowns and led his team on the defensive side with 8 tackles.
The Panthers (1-7) wind up the season at home next Friday where they will face a Shelby team that has yet to post a win.
Chippewa Hills 42 Fremont 20
Brandon Taylor capped a Packer drive with a 7 yard end zone run and after Wyatt Kaastra split the uprights Fremont held a 7-0 lead.
A few minutes later when the Warriors scored the PAT was blocked and the Packers ended the first quarter up 7-6.
The second quarter however saw Koronte Lowery tear off a 63 yard TD run then minutes later brother Koron Lowery took a pass and raced 71 yards for another score. At the half Chippewa Hills held a 21-7 edge and scored twice more just after intermission to ice the game.
Late in the third Kane Widing broke free for a 35 yard TD run and quarterback Cody Andree punched it in from a yard out late in the game.
Widing led all rushers with 128 yards while Zane Stroven added 49 and Courtland Carson 48.
Widing, Jared Luchies and Noah Christensen led the defense in tackles.
Fremont will finish the season on the road to McBain where they will face a 6-2 Rambler team.
Big Rapids 46 Grant 22
The Cardinals put their running game on display as they rushed for 459 yards and sprinted past an early Tiger lead.
Trevor Lowry pounded out a 2 yard TD run and after conversion the visitors led 7-0
The hosts scored the next 38 points as Cardinal qb Jayden Mason (215 yds) and backfield counterpart Dorian Martin (121yds) blew through the holes being offered them and set up the scoring binge.
Chase Lowry found Billy Ostyn for another score but the Cardinals were flying high Friday and emerged as the team still in the hunt for an automatic playoff berth though they will be facing a strong Alma team already holding a postseason ticket.
Reed City 50 Newaygo 7
How good are they?
The Coyotes never let the Lions in as they built a 38-7 lead by intermission and held Newaygo scoreless while scoring twice more in the second half.
The undefeated ‘Yotes grabbed sole possession of the Gold Conference crown and will attempt to finish an undefeated regular season when they visit Pine River on Friday
The Lions postseason hopes lie with a home contest against the Crusaders of Muskegon Catholic Central
Tri County 44 Central Montcalm 30
The Vikes won their 4th game of the season over the Hornets, the schools first 4 win season since 2010.
A win over Holton next week at home will give them their first winning season since 2005 their final year of play in the now defunct WWAC.
Evart 40 White Cloud 0
Adrian Rodriguez led the Cloud with 11 tackles and Tucker Kooman added 9.
The Indians will finish their season on the road against the Pirates of Hart.
Lake City 14 Kent City 7
The Eagles are really good.
On this night the Trojans were a touchdown better.
Morley Stanwood 38 Manton 14
The Mohawks will be playing past next Friday's season finale against Beal City as they punched their ticket to the dance with a convincing win over Manton
Previews of Week VIII area high school football games
By Ken DeLaat, N3 Sports
Newaygo at Reed City
80-0? In these days of running clocks how does a team score 80 points?
The Coyote offense is hard to stop, to say the least. 80 might seem like an aberration the reality is, this team is averaging 52 points a game. That’s about a couple of touchdowns a quarter….every quarter,....all season long.
The Lions are a good team. A solid team that has gotten better since the season began. A whole lot better. Minus a few mistakes in the Kent City opener or the perplexity of the loss to the Warriors they could already be sitting playoff bound as are the ‘Yotes.
Then there is the rivalry that spawned in 2012 when a Lion team that had been whipped in their first CSAA matchup with Reed City went to one of the most challenging venues in the region and ended the Coyotes perfect season.
They stunned a team that had handled them easily the first go-round. They did it to them at their place and on their turf and it stung the Coyote faithful.
Since then Reed City has a 4-1 edge. Their program has produced winners and they will be playing beyond the regular season for the ninth straight time.
This one would be huge for the Newaygo team.
A playoff spot assured by virtue of a win over the undefeated Coyotes on their home field in front of their very vocal fans?
Oh and a share of the conference crown tossed in as well?
Yeah, how big would that be?
If the Lions ever needed to execute a near perfect game plan, this would be the time. Reed City has the ability and talent to exploit any weaknesses and they thrive on causing opponents to make mistakes.
It looks to be a cool crisp football kind of night with no strong indication of rain. Perhaps the Lion passing game can find a little magic and the defense can create a couple of turnovers.The Lions will likely need to get on the board early and not allow their hosts to jump ahead because the Coyotes are well acquainted with how to hold a lead.
They’ve had lots and lots of practice.
Grant at Big Rapids
A lot of teams might have a bit of a hangover coming off an emotional game like the Tigers loss last week to their rivals from the north. Coach Geraghty’s team likely shook that one off before the next practice and will be ready to do battle in Big Rapids.
Both schools need this one to have a shot at post season play and Grant will be facing Kent City in a road finale while BR heads to Alma to take on a playoff bound Panther squad.
The Cardinals can score a lot and quickly. Grant employs a ball control offense that grinds out yardage and keeps the opponent offense off the field.
The Cardinal season has truly been up and down with a win-loss-win-loss run through seven games.
They won last week so…….
Fremont At Chippewa Hills
This one could be a blowout or even a possible upset win for the Packers because that is how unpredictable the Warrior team has been this year. Their narrow wins over Grant and Newaygo notwithstanding their season has not been what they expected going in and they will likely end a 7 season streak of post season play.
CH has pretty significant weaponry on offense led by the Lowery brothers Koron and Koronte and while the Packer defense has improved markedly the speed of the Warriors would be an overriding concern for the Fremont ‘D’.
The Packers held their own against a Viking team that beat the Warriors and like we said earlier this is a better Packer team than the one that began the season.
Fremont will need to capitalize on the Warrior tendency toward turnovers and untimely penalties to snare an upset and being on the road, a long road to Remus, doesn’t make the task any easier.
Pine River at Holton
The six teams in the Silver Division are knocking heads with the sextet from the ever tough Highland Conference and the Red Devils pick happens to be one of the league’s best, the Bucks.
Both teams are 5-2 so the win is the ticket to the dance.
Outside of their win over a 4-3 Manton team the Pine River victories have been against teams with a 2-25 record this season.
Common opponents? Holton handled Evart quite easily during their win in game 2 of the season. The following week the Bucks needed overtime to beat the same Wildcat team.
The Devils are at home where they love to play and they have an eye on the prize after shaking off the loss to Kent City last week.
This will be a good one to see,
Beal City at Hesperia
The Panthers will bring out their spirited but battered and bruised squad onto their home field to face the Aggies who are also having a down year with just a lone win.
The Black Cats have had a really tough schedule and these last two weeks at home provide a pair of opportunities to end on an up note since after the 1-6 Ags the Shelby team visiting next week has yet to post win number one.
This Panthers team has persevered through a difficult season and deserve support for putting in four full quarters of effort each game despite depleted numbers and too many losses. While Hesperia always turns out big for home games it would be great to see a huge following for the last two in this challenging season.
Evart at White Cloud
Same as above. The Cloud has been beset by the numbers game as well. They play hard but when you need to go the full 48 without a bit of a blow here and there, it wears a team down.
Evart has won one game and they don’t generally score much but the Indians have been shut out four times and tend to be mistake-prone. Should they put mistakes aside they could have a shot here and getting that elusive #1. If not, the players on this team still deserve a lot of respect for enduring an often-punishing season and this is the final home game for the departing seniors.
Come out and enjoy the game and besides, you’ll get to see one of the best halftime shows in the region.
Tri County at Central Montcalm
The Hornets are just trying to finish a dreadful season that culminated with an 80-0 loss last week to reed City.
A Viking win would give them 4 on the season or the first time since 2010.
TC should be able to get this one but never underestimate a team coming off a bad beating. They can surprise anyone taking them too lightly.
Lake City at Kent City
The cream of the Silver meets the top dog in the Highland. Two teams that know how to score, know how to defend, and know how to win.
One comes out undefeated but both have already got their tickets to the dance.
Manton at Morley Stanwood
A freakish season opening win over a strong Johannesburg-Lewiston team aside the Ranger wins haven’t been against any teams with more than a single win and their offense has sputtered a bit against tough defenses,
The Mohawks have a tough defense and a win gives them a 5th straight playoff appearance
McBain at Lakeview
The only team to score more than twice against the Ramblers was a Kingsley squad averaging 40 points a game. The Wildcats are a game group who came into the season with high expectations that have gone unmet. They have talent and play hard but McBain can lock up postseason with a win here.
Kent City 46 Holton 0
The Eagles continue to fly as they blasted to a 19-0 first quarter lead enroute to a shutout victory over the Red Devils.
“Not our best showing,” said Holton Coach Jack Nummerdor.” Kent City played a great game. (KC Coach)Bill (Crane), does a nice job with those kids and Gio Weeks is a good ball player.
"We did a nice job slowing him down a bit, but then the Meeks kid and number 8 gashed us a bit.”
Aaron Herron paced the running attack for Holton as he grinded out 80 yards against a solid Eagle defense. Kaleb Kitchka added 25 and Austin Hawkins contributed 22.
Drew Trygstad hit on 3 passes for 69 yards with 2 of them finding the hands of Derek Pouch for 68 yards.
Top tacklers were Herron (13), Kitschka (8), Colby Younts (6) who also recovered a fumble and Draven Wyant (5) including a tackled for a loss.
The Devils, now 5-2, need one more win to guarantee a spot in the post season.
“We will move on,” added Coach Nummerdor.”Leroy Pine River is on deck and we will fix the issues and come back to go 1-0 next week.”
The Bucks are also 5-2 on the season.
Morley Stanwood 35 Hesperia 6
A depleted Panther squad faced down the run oriented offense of Morley, a team with their eye on the playoffs.
The Mohawks piled up 293 yards on the ground and held the Hesperia offense in check until Logan Balkema launched a scoring pass into the arms of Jacob Klemundt to get the Panthers on the board in the 4th quarter.
“We started the game with 15 players, finished with 12,” said Panther Coach Doug Bolles. “Proud of my guys for never quitting and playing four quarters.”
Balkema and Cameron Follett led the team in rushing with 24 yards apiece while Kaiden Robbins paced the defense with 9 tackles. Balkema and Connor VanBuskirk.
The loss brings the Hesperia record to 1-6 on the season. The Black Cats return home to face the Aggies of Beal City, also sporting a 1-6 season mark.
Lakeview 58 White Cloud 0
Injuries and illness had an already struggling Indian team trying to stop a Wildcat team that was celebrating home coming. Lakeview took the opening kick and returned to their own 40 yard line. The first play from scrimmage resulted in a 60 yard touchdown run.
Adrian Rodriguez was 5 for 11 passing for 79 yards. Steven Holt had 3 receptions for 67 yards. Levi Graham had 1 catch for 10 yards and Donavan Stevens added 1 catch for 2 yards.
Alek Degan, Steven Holt and Tyler Blackall had 3 tackles each.
White Cloud (0-7) will host Evart in their home finale Friday. The Wildcats (1-6) have lost 6 straight since their season opening win over Fremont.
Tri County 14 Fremont 12
The Vikings snapped a 3 game losing streak as they edged Fremont in the final home game of the season for the Packers.
Newaygo 21 Grant 7
In this epic rivalry, the Battle of M-37, and Newaygo's Homecoming, tension was at a peak.
In the first half, Newaygo scored first to go up 7-0 with 6:32 left in the first quarter. It stayed that way heading into the locker room at halftime.
Grant quickly scored right out of the half, tying the game at 7 with 9:56 in the 3rd quarter.
Newaygo wasn't deterred, however, and went up 14-7 with 3:39 left in the third off a pass from Swinehart to Jarrod Wismar, who made a fancy move to avoid the defenders and sped into the end zone.
Newaygo sealed the deal in the 4th quarter, scoring off a short run to go up 21-7.
Other CSAA games
Reed City (7-0) 80 Central Montcalm (0-7) 0
Big Rapids (4-3) 58 Chippewa Hills (3-4) 22
The Panthers came out on fire, winning the first two sets over WC 25-22 and 25-11. Game 3, Hesperia lost 16-25. In Game 4, the Panthers fell short 22-25 followed by a 6-15 loss in game 5. Senior Alyssa Miller led the Panthers with 12 kills followed by Emily Bayle with 10 kills. Isabelle Rumsey and Ally Bayle added 7 and 6 kills to the Panther attack. Kyra Sayer and Aria Thomas had 17 and 15 assists respectively. Miller served up 13 points and with 2 aces, Ally and Emily Bayle both served 11 points each and 2 aces each. Rumsey served 5 points and 2 aces.
Defensively, Rachel Romero led in blocks with 3. Ally and Emmy Bayle each had 2 blocks, Rumsey had 2 blocks, and Miller had 1 block on the night for the Panthers.
Miller had 16 digs, E. Bayle 8 digs, and Thomas 6 digs.
For White Cloud Isabel Karnes led the team with 24 points, followed by Olivia Bowman with 9. Bowman also led in kills with 17, followed by Alexis Strait with 10. Strait also helped drive the offense with 30 assists and led the team on defense with 27 digs, while Bowman chipped in 22. The win brings White Cloud's record to 22-4 "We look to improve that on Monday when we host Hart," said Coach Desirae Strait. " A huge thank you to our wonderful students section. They have been providing support to our team each and every game"
The Panthers fall to 21-11 and 5-2 in the conference. Hesperia will be back at it on Saturday at Shelby on October 6th and then play their final home league match on Tuesday, October 9th at home in their "Senior Night" game against Lakeview.
The Grant Tigers faced league foe the Fremont Packers in their Tuesday night match in Fremont. The Tigers made quick work on the night winning in three straight sets; 25-11, 25-17 25-13. Senior Olivia Keelean and Kylie Patton led the team with 11 kills each, Nicole Whan added 36 assists, Jill Arends chipped in 16 digs while Kirstyn Throop picked up 12 digs. Catherine Geers led the team in aces with 3 and Kylie Patton added 4 blocks on the night. A well balanced night for the team brings this season to 29-8-2 and undefeated in league play. The Tigers play again Thursday night at Jenison against Jenison, North Pointe Christian, and Portage Central starting at 5:00
Grant at Newaygo
The Granddaddy of all regional rivalries this one is huge and not just for the annual bragging rights afforded the winner. This year as in many years there are steep playoff considerations at stake.
68 times the two teams have met on the field of battle since 1950. The record?
34 wins apiece. Newaygo won 4 in a row beginning with the 1950 game, then Grant peeled off a dozen straight victories before the Lions stopped the streak in ‘66 then dropped 4 more in a row. The Lions won every game played in the 90’s and the teams are 9-9 in the current century.
The Lions have a quick strike capabilities on offense and can score in bunches while the Tigers employ a grinding run oriented game plan that frees up an effective passing game when needed.
Both teams need this one to play beyond the season and neither has an easy road in the final two weeks.
It’s homecoming for the Lions but you can usually toss out any home field advantage in this game since both stands will be jam packed.
If the Lions offense gets hot and puts up some points early it might be a struggle for the Tigers but this game is always as unpredictable as weather in Michigan so…..
Holton at Kent City
How good are the Red Devils? We’re going to find out Friday when they make their first attempt at securing a spot in the playoffs.
Standing in their way?
An undefeated Eagle squad playing at home.
I like the Devils a lot. They’re a good team and play with a lot of heart.
They will need it in this one. Kent City is playoff bound and in addition to scoring a lot have the ability to shut down teams with a stifling defense. Holton will have to play mistake free and get a break or two to pull this one off but it’s high school football and the RD’s and their fans are believers.
Tri County at Fremont
The Vikes have lost 3 in a row to three teams either in the postseason or knocking at the door. They don’t generally score a lot of points but the Packer defense has struggled mightily all season. Fremont might get on the board a time or two despite facing a rugged TC defense but keeping the Vikings out of the endzone is going to be a concern here and will tell the tale of this matchup.
Hesperia at Morley Stanwood
The Mohawks are at home and need this to move within a game of playing a tenth time this season.
The Panthers are a game group despite a thin cadre of competitors on the sidelines and the offense scored 3 times against a tough Kent City defense.
No team except the Eagles have scored more than twice on the MS ‘D’.
The Black Cats will have to jump early to compete here because the 'Hawks can wear down a team and the second half might be a long one for Hesperia.
White Cloud at Lakeview
The Wildcats are far better than their record and the Cloud just does not have the kind of weapons that allow them to keep up with a team like this on the road. Here’s hoping Coach Hance’s team can pull off an upset but, man, it will be a steep hill to climb.
Newaygo Cross Country competed at Allendale for the Falcon Invitational on Saturday, September 29.
The following athletes earned Personal Records (best times in their careers):
David Grodus (18:10)
Mallaci Mayle (19:14)
Brandon Badgero (19:57)
Dylan Heminger (20:18)
Bret Bays (20:33)
Brayden Mumper (22:49)
Ryan Anderson (23:31)
Clara Riddering (23:49)
Casey Deater (24:30)
Emilie Hansen (25:19)
The following athletes earned Season Bests (best times this season):
Ryan Brummel (16:49)
Sophia Frisbie (20:15)
Samantha Dosch (21:20)
Liza Nausadis (23:36)
Anna Brummel (25:41)
Olivia Francis (29:19)
Ryan Brummel earned a medal for his 15th place finish in the Falcon Division.
Additionally, the middle school runners competed. Tim Dosch earned a medal for the boys, placing 10th.
The MS girls team placed 2nd overall! Medalists were Iris Herrera, Emma Mortensen, Emma Dosch and Remington Arney.
The Lions will compete next at Branstrom Park on Tuesday, October 2 at the CSAA Gold Jamboree.
Devils move to 5-1, Tigers defeat Packers, Lions win 4th in a row, Eagles stay undefeated with win over Panthers, Morley shuts out Cloud
Grant 25 Fremont 0
It was homecoming in Grant and the Tigers did not disappoint the full house Friday night as they shut down the Packers 25-0.
In the first quarter Chase Lowry found favorite target Billy Ostyn for a 22 yard strike o put the hosts on the board. Early in the second a dominant offensive line surge opened a hole for Trevor Lowry who blasted through and sprinted 15 yards to the end zone and the score. Later in the second Trevor Lowry capped off a Tiger drive with a one yard plunge into paydirt and the teams reached intermission with Grant holding a 19-0 advantage.
After the break and the homecoming festivities the game evolved into a defensive battle as the teams exchanged possessions through most of the mhalf. The Tigers managed to put more points on the board toward the end of the third when Chase Lowry hit Brett Long for a 29 yards score to put the final touches on a 25-0 victory.
“The bulk of the credit goes to the Grant defensive coaching staff for stopping a very disciplined Fremont team,” said Tiger Coach Darren Geraghty. “ The Tigers had a solid game plan defensively and executed often times running close to 11 hats to the ball.”
Trevor Lowry led the Tiger rushing attack with 172-yards on 20 carries. Chase Lowry had an efficient night passing going 7 for 11 for 136-yards and two touchdowns.
The defense was led by Jarod Howell, Chase Lowry, Kyle Williams, Isaiah Powell who all had recorded 9 tackles.
For the Packers Brandon Taylor (51 yds) Zane Stroven (41) and Kane Widing (41) led the team in rushing while Cody Andree completed a trio of passes to Widing, Christian Kennedy and Cody Moon.
Stroven and Brandon Taylor led Fremont in tackles with 5 while Courtland Carson and Chris Redder finished with 4 apiece.
Fremont falls to 1-5 on the season and will host the Vikings of Tri County next week.
The win puts Grant at 4-2 on the season and sets up next week’s rivalry game as crucial to the Tiger playoff hopes.
Not that Newaygo/Grant ever needs any added incentive, of course.
Holton 34 Lakeview 24
Holton Coach Jack Nummerdor credited an early stop by the Devil defense as a key factor in the big win for his team.
“The defense set the tone for the entire game by coming up with a stop to hold Lakeview scoreless on the first drive.”
And now the Red Devils team (5-1) finds itself not only on the cusp of fighting their way into the playoff picture for the first time since the seniors were first graders but taking a shot at a share of the conference crown as well.
Holton needs one more win to ensure entry and next week will be no picnic as they face an undefeated Kent City squad on the road.
Aaron Herron fired off a 276 yard performance on the ground including a trio of touchdowns while Derek Pouch raced for 125 yards and a score. Quarterback Drew Trygstad also scored on a run for the hosts.
“Very exciting night,” said Coach Nummerdor. “The boys came out and executed. The line along with Derek and Aaron took control of the game offensively. “
Draven Wyant led the defense with 10 tackles while Kaleb Kitchka and Herron snared 8 each. Nathan Slowik picked off an interception off a Wildcat pass.
“Very proud of the way we played all 48 minutes. Lakeview gave us a run for our money in the second half and played very well.”
“ I know our kids are excited to be in position to play for a share of the league title next week with Kent City.”
Kent City 56 Hesperia 22
The Eagles punched their playoff ticket with their 6th straight win and kept their hold on the top spot in the Silver.
“Kent City proved why they’re undefeated as they just wore us down,” said Panther Coach Doug Bolles. “We only dressed 13 players tonight and I’m really proud of the effort my guys showed by not quitting and playing until the end!”
The Panthers had a few bright spots on the night including Logan Pearson breaking loose for an 83 yard touchdown on a kickoff return. Logan Balkema hit on 9 passes including a touchdown toss to Jacob Klemundt and also led the team in tackles with 9
“Logan Balkema played a solid all around game on both sides of the ball,” added Coach Bolles. “ He’s really coming into his own.”
Newaygo 49 Tri County 14
The Lions made it four in a row and held onto second place in the Gold with a convincing win over the Vikings to disappoint the homecoming crowd at TC’s home field.
The Newaygo offense was clicking again finding the end zone 7 times on the night. The Lions are averaging 47 points a game during the win streak.
The loss puts the Vikings at 2-4 on the season with a matchup at Fremont next week.
Newaygo moves to 4-2 and will host their rivals from the south during week’s homecoming game.
Morley Stanwood 42 White Cloud 6
The Mohawks held down the Cloud to move closer to a possible playoff berth while the Indians continue to search for their first win.
Tucker Kooman (8) and Alex Doke (7) led the team in tackles, Steven Holt rushed for 30 yards and Adrian Rodriguez completed 5 passes, 3 to Levi Graham and 2 to Donavan Stevens.
Morley Stanwood is now 4-2 needing 2 wins in the final three games to play beyond the regular season. They will face Hesperia next week at home. White Cloud will visit Lakeview to take on the Wildcats.
Other CSAA games:
Chip Hills 31 Central Montcalm 14
Warriors get to 3-3, Bees drop 6th of 6
Reed City 58 Big Rapids 22
Coyotes move to 6-0 on the season and a spot in the post season. Cardinals fall to 3-3
Lions visit Vikingland, Pack travels to Grant, Devils look for #5, Cloud and Panthers host Mohawks and Eagles
By Ken DeLaat
Newaygo at Tri County
The Vikings are having a good season. Their quarterback Nick Braunschneider knows how to move the ball, they are opportunistic when defending the pass and can hold their own against the run.
But they need to play mistake free as possible to succeed and last week those mistakes came in the form of unnecessary penalties and resulted in The Vikes losing a game they had ample opportunities to win.
The Lions Have their eye on the prize with three straight wins after the bizarre loss to Chip Hills. They need three more in the final four so this one and next week’s homecoming against their rivals from the south are vital because should they win both they will still need one of the final two. One is state ranked and undefeated Reed City on the road and the finale has the Lions welcoming in Muskegon Catholic Central. The Crusaders are having a rough time with their brutal schedule and have dropped three games but this is a program whose post season record is 12-3.
In the State Championship Finals, that is.
Fremont at Grant
The Packer defense is trying out there, give them that, but they are consistently losing the battles in the trenches and a good offense can find many ways to exploit that advantage. Special teams play has also been an issue this season.
Grant doesn’t have the firepower offense of Newaygo or Reed City but they’re grinders and they can come up with big plays when needed. A victory gives them 4 going into the rivalry game next week and it would likely take a significant Packer defensive revival to prevent them from getting it.
Kent City at Hesperia
The only team to post more than one touchdown on the Eagle defense was Newaygo in the opener.
The Panthers have had trouble scoring in games when they aren’t playing teams named White Cloud.
Kent City also has a quick strike offense featuring a ground attack that wears down opposing defenses.
There are two very winnable games left on the Panther schedule.
This isn’t one of them.
Lakeview at Holton
The Red Devils enter the toughest part of their schedule needing a pair of wins to nab that elusive playoff invitation. After Lakeview they face conference leader Kent City, a 4-1 Pine River team and the rejuvenated Tri County Vikings.
The Wildcats have 3 losses and those came against teams with a combined 13-2 record. Under coach Sean Rinehart the team has made the playoffs 4 of the past 5 seasons and to get there again they need to win out.
Holton is at home which will help but they will likely have their hands full with a determined and senior laden Lakeview squad. Should be a pretty good matchup.
Morley Stanwood at White Cloud
The Mohawks defense yielded just 34 points in their first four games before being riddled by Kent City for 42 last week.They should have little trouble getting back on track against a mistake prone Indian offense.
The Cloud defense gives up an average of almost 50 points a game.
Tough year for White Cloud but give the team credit. They play hard all four quarters and have stayed positive during season that has had little success in the standings.
Big Rapids at Reed City
The Cardinals have three wins against teams with a combined overall record of 1-14.
Reed City is really really good and a win assures them of their 9th straight playoff season.
Big Rapids has not beaten their northern neighbors since 2009 the last time the ‘Yotes sat home during post season.
There is too much talent on the Coyote side and not enough weapons in the BR arsenal to foresee a different outcome than a RC win.
Still, strange things can happen during rivalry games
Central Montcalm at Chippewa Hills
The Warriors despite 2 wins have been outscored by 92 points this season and have not won at home.
The Bees have trouble stopping people and have yet to post a win.
Resistible force meets movable object, maybe?
Hesperia wins 3-0 over Holton with the scores 25-13, 25-5, and 25-12.
Emily Bayle had 12 kills while Alyssa Miller and Ally Bayle each had 7 kills to round out the Panther attack. Emily Bayle and Miller also led the team in digs with 7 and 5 respectively. Aria Thomas tallied 12 assists and Kyra Sayer notched 10 while Miller led at the service line with 3 aces, Ally and Emily Bayle each had 2 aces, along with Rachel Romero and Angie Erickson. Isabelle Rumsey put up a pair of blocks with the Bayle sisters, Romero, Sayer, and Caragan Frees each adding a single block for the Panther defense.
The win gives Hesperia a 21-9 record on the season with a 5-1 mark in league play.
The Panthers will head to Montague Saturday before facing conference foe White Cloud on the road next Wednesday.
Indians sweep season series
White Cloud took to the court to face Kent City for the 5th time this season ad for the fifth time they emerged as winners.
Leading scorers were Allison Schulz with 14 points and 2 aces, followed by Olivia Bowman with 10 points and 2 aces. Offensively, the Indians were led by Alexis Strait with 29 assists. Those assists led to Olivia Bowman's 12 kills and Hailey Clifford's 7. The back row play was led by Isabel Karnes with 19 digs followed by Strait with 16.
White Cloud will host Hesperia next week in a Silver conference match