Pack, Panthers, Lions Win While Tigers Fall Short and Vikes Get Blitzed
By Ken DeLaat
There were a few more post game smiles in Fremont and Hesperia after the Packers and Panthers each picked up their first win of the season. For the Packers the victory ended a grueling losing streak that extended back to the final game of the 2014 season and marked their first win as a member of the CSAA Gold conference. The Panthers ensured there would not be a repeat of last season with the win on the road in White Cloud where the Indians are struggling on both ends of the ball.
Grant nearly pulled off a win against the enigmatic Warrior team and Reed City continued to pound opponents into submission in their quest for an 8th straight conference crown defeating the Vikings at TC.Newaygo clipped the Cardinals to keep hopes alive for a playoff berth while the stage was set for a clash between Silver leaders when the Mohawks cooled off the Devils and the Eagles flew past the Wildcats.
Chippewa Hils 27 Grant 25
The Warriors struck first when Dylan Sharp found his the big target tight end Mitchell Kuzma downfield for a 23 yard TD off the heels of an interception and following the conversion CH took a 7-0 lead.
In the second quarter after a few exchanges of possession the Tigers took advantage of a fumble with the ball jumping into the hands of Trevor Lowry who ran it to the 30 with another 15 tacked on for a Chip Hills penalty, one of several personal foul infractions the visitors drew on the night.Chase Lowry then hit Billy Ostyn who took it in for for 6 and after the PAT by Jessie Mattice it was 7 all.
The Warriors struck back quickly with a big play to drive deep into Tiger territory before the other member of their quarterback tandem Ty Jose took it in from a yard out to make it 14-7 after the conversion.
The Warriors looked to take command of the game as they took advantage of another interception to push the ball deep into Tiger territory but a pass that looked to be heading for paydirt was picked off when Chase Lowery stepped in front of the Warrior receiver for an interception and a touchback.
Lowery then put his arm to work hitting Jarod Howell on a key third and long play, finding Ostyn again for 10 yards then going back to Howell who took the ball to the one. From there Chase Lowery followed his line in for the score but the extra point attempt failed and the Warriors held the lead at 14-13.
The Warriors again struck back in a hurry with a bomb from Sharp to Koronte Lowery to go up 21-13 at intermission.
After the break the teams exchanged possessions including an interception by Howell. The next Tiger scoring drive featured a trio of passes from Lowry to Howell the last being a 20 yard TD strike. The Tigers went for 2 but were stopped leaving the score at 21-19.
The Warriors went deep in the red zone again but a pair of huge tackles by Brett Long and Isaiah Powell stopped them.
The Tigers were still 90 yards away with 2:48 on the clock but an interception by CH was followed by a quick touchdown but the extra point to put the proved unsuccessful and the Tigers had one more shot trailing 27-19.
It took just 15 seconds for Grant to respond.
The kickoff and a penalty put the Tigers at midfield and another catch by Howell and yet another key penalty on the Warriors moved them inside the red zone where Lowry found Ostyn again this time for an 18 yard score and a shot at a tie.
Unfortunately the pass play for 2 did not succeed and the game ground to an end with the Tigers coming up just short.
Despite four first half turnovers the Tiger defense kept the Warriors within reach and down just one score at the half. Powell led the inspired defensive effort with a game high dozen tackles. Chase Lowry added 8 tackles to his 3 touchdown passes on the other end of the ball and added a reception of his own, the touchdown saving interception.Howell finished with 10 receptions from Lowry and 1 from the opposing qb to go with his 6 tackles.
Grant, now 2-2 and 1-2 in the Gold will host Tri County on Friday.
Fremont 26 Central Montcalm 12
When the Bees scored on a big play early in the game it looked like it might be another long night for the Packers.
But they were at home and hungry to break a lengthy losing streak. They responded with a drive ending with an 11 yard run for 6 by Christian Kennedy and when Wyatt Kaastra hi the extra point through the uprights it gave Fremont a lead they would not relinquish.
Kane Widing ran one in from 5 out just before the end of the first quarter and Kaastra converted again to make it 14-6. Central Montcalm struck back early in the second with a Teague Stander run from 6 yards out but the attempt for 2 fell short to make it 14-12 Fremont at intermission.
The Pack would find the end zone twice more in the second half both by Zane Stroven who was on the receiving end of a Cody Andree pass for one score in the 3rd then followed it up in the 4th with a 15 yard run to cap the scoring on the night.
More importantly the Packer defense that has struggled thus far this season rose to the occasion shutting out the Hornets in the second half.
Fremont now 1-3 and 1-2 in conference play will host Newaygo on Friday.
Newaygo 21 Big Rapids 14
In a game that both teams needed to stay alive in the conference race the Lions prevailed evening their season record to 2-2 and joining a cluster of teams sitting a game behind league leading Reed City at 2-1. The Lions will visit Fremont Friday to take on the Packers
Hesperia 54 White Cloud 0
The Panthers took a season and a half of frustration out on the Cloud when they exploded for 4 second quarter touchdowns and followed up after intermission by posting another 24 points.
Owen Kowalski and Cameron Follett each scored on the ground while Jacob Klemundt caught a pair of scoring passes from Logan Balkema. Kaiden Robbins put some points up for the defense when he ran a recovered fumble into the end zone. Balkema and Johnny Segura led the Panther tacklers.
For The Cloud, Adrian Rodriguez was 5 for 7 passing for 55 total yards with Steven Holt catching 2 for 35 yards. Garret Ebert and Tucker Kooman led the defense with 9 tackles each. Delton Dowling added 8 stops and freshman Levi Graham had 7 tackles.
The Panthers now 1-3 and 1-1 in Silver play picked up their first win on the field since midway through the 2016 season when they shut out Lakeview the team they will host next Friday. White Cloud 0-4, and 0-2 in conference play will travel to Holton to face the Red Devils.
Reed City 57 Tri County 6
The battle for first place turned into a rout Friday as the point-a-minute Coyotes ran all over the Viking defense piling up the yards and the points early on in the matchup of Gold leaders.
The Vikes had no answer for Philip Jones-Price who amassed 247 yards on 12 carries and scored a third of the time he touched the ball finishing with 4 touchdowns.
Undefeated Reed City continues to mow through their schedule and will go on the road again Friday, this time to face Chippewa Hills.
Tri County now 2-1 on the season and 2-1 in the Gold will head over to Grant to take on the Tigers
Morley Stanwood 21 Holton 8
The Mohawk defense proved to be too much for the Red Devils as the visitors held Holton down while scoring three times in the first half.Aaron Herron scored the lone Devil touchdown but by then the Mohawks were in control and picked up their third win of the season.
The Mohawk victory sets up a clash between the two top teams in the Silver Friday when Kent City comes calling in Morley
Kent City 43 Lakeview 6
The Eagles ran their regular season winning streak to 17 games with a thumping of the Wildcats. Gio Weeks raced for 192 yards and a pair of touchdowns adding a 66 yard punt return for another 6 points.
The Eagles now 4-0 and 2-0 in the Silver will fly north to face Morley Stanwood Friday.