Grant 26 Central Montcalm 16
The Tigers moved to 2-0 on the season after a hard fought victory against the visiting Hornets from Central Montcalm. Grant’s offensive line controlled the line of scrimmage allowing for 255 yards rushing led by Chase Lowry who finished with 138 yards on 10 carries. Sophomore Trevor Lowry collected 117 on 20 carries and found the endzone twice. Chase Lowry also tossed two touchdown passes to Billy Ostyn to round out the scoring.
The Tiger defense played well holding the visitors to 16 points. Jarret Railling led the defense with 11 tackles and sophomore Isiah Powell contributed 7 tackles along with a timely interception that sealed the victory.
“All the credit for this victory goes to the assistant coaches and players, “ said Coach Geraghty. “ The coaches put together a great game plan and the kids executed the plan."
“I’m very happy with our players. They worked very hard in the off season and it showed."
The Tigers will travel to Reed City on Friday to face the Coyotes
Pine River 42 Hesperia 14
The Bucks took advantage of four Panther turnovers, three in the red zone, to secure the non conference win over the visiting Hesperia team.
Logan Balkema and Owen Kowalski each scored for the Panthers with Kowalski adding a 2 point conversion run.
Hesperia is now 0-2 and will open Silver play by hosting Holton in their annual rivalry game on Friday.
Manton 48 White Cloud 0
Team speed and quickness led the Manton Rangers to a 48-0 win over the White Cloud Indians.
Delton Dowling led the defense with 8 tackles, Tucker Kooman and Alex Doke each had 6 tackles and Steven Holt added 5.
The offense was held to a minus 65 yards rushing led by Wes Penland who gained 18 yards on 4 carries. Adrian Rodriguez thru 7 passes completing 1 to Steven Holt for a 38 yard gain. Steven Holt completed one pass to Chance Montemayor for 8 yards.
White Cloud (0-2) will begin conference play on Friday when the travel to Silver powerhouse Kent City.
Holton 46 Evart 7
The Red Devils scored three times in the third to propel them to the non conference win and a 2-0 record for the first time in 20 seasons.
Aaron Herron found paydirt three times for Holton and Drew Trygstad tossed a pair of scoring passes. Derek Pouch was a beast on defense returning an interception for 6 while collecting 8 tackles and a fumble recovery.
The Devils head north on Friday for their annual rivalry clash with Hesperia.
Reed City 44 Fremont 6
The Packers opened Gold Division play by hosting Reed City and the visitors jumped early and often in securing their second win of the season.
The Coyotes unleashed their potent offensive attack scoring 6 times by intermission. Kade Widing got the Pck on the board with a 6 yard run in the 4th quarter.
The Packers (0-2, 0-1) will head to Cardinal country Friday to face Big Rapids
Tri County 26 Big Rapids 21
The Vikings scored twice in the second quarter to break open an 8-8 tie then hung on to defeat the Cardinals in the Gold Division opener for both schools.
"Our defense came up with some big stops and limited an explosive offense to 21 points," said Coach Butler. " Very proud of their effort tonight.
Tanner Ching cored a pair of TDs finishing with 169 yards on 37 carries. Ethan Rose posted 126 yards on just 8 touches and Brce Hallman pulled in a 28 yard TD reception
TC(1-1, 1-0) will travel to Chippewa Hills on Friday to take on the Warriors.
Lake City 49 Lakeview 0
McBain 12 Morley Stanwood 3
By Ken DeLaat
Photos by Alexis Mercer and Special Assistant Bella
In the words of Harry Carey... HOLY COW!!!!
In a game filled with drama and excitement the Newayo faithful went from elation to despair when Chip Hills used two pass plays to go 85 yards and score the winning touchdown with no time left on the clock.
The Lions entered the final period trailing by 20-14. They began a drive late in the third that took them into Warrior territory but a fumble, their second of the game, gave CH the ball. The Lion defense held tight and forced a punt but another miscue on the return gave the visitors the ball deep in Lion country.
Once again the defense rose to the occasion overcoming a roughing the passer penalty that kept the Warrior drive alive and managed to stop them at the 5 yard line.
That’s when the Lions began the series that would eat up most of the remaining minutes while overcoming penalties and succeeding on two 4th down conversions to tie the game on a Connor Swinehart to Brenden Brechting pass on 4th and 14.
Angel Guevara found the center of the uprights and the home crowd went wild in celebration of the comeback.
But it wasn’t over yet.
Chip Hills had 1:53 left and three passes proved unsuccessful including a 4th down attempt that was broken up on a key play by Jarrod Wismar.
The Lions took over with 1:16 on the clock and the ball in Warrior territory but CH had a pair of time outs and used them judiciously to get the ball back on downs with 18 seconds left and the down marker sitting at their own 15.
A hook and ladder pass play went for 60+ yards while eating up the seconds and as the officials waited for the chains and players to be readied the clock was halted at 4 seconds. With both teams hurrying to get lined up the official signaled the clock to begin.
The chaotic situation produced a pass up the middle that was caught and taken to the endzone causing an eruption on the Newaygo sidelines as well as the stands. The issue? The scoreboard clock seemed to indicate time had expired before the snap.
The officials saw it differently and the Warriors celebrated the victory while Newaygo players and fans were stunned by what had just occurred.
The controversial call ended an evening of high emotion as the teams battled back and forth all evening. CH scored first on a Ty Jose pass to Koronte Lowery and after an unsuccessful PAT tried an linedrive kick at the front line that was grabbed immediately by Carlos Magana.
After a pair of short running plays Swinehart found Kade Bhuyan for a 25 yard gain and Zachary Rodriguez took a pitch from Swinehart and scampered 30 yards for a score. Guevara's kick gave the Lions a 7-6 advantage.
In the second the visitors put together a 6 minute 14 play drive that resulted in another scoring pass to Lowery and a 2 point conversion to go up 14-7.
4 seconds remained in the half when Swinehart hit Wismar in stride and the sophomore shook off his defender to find the endzone as the teams hit intermission knotted at 14 after the Guevara extra point.
Early in the third the Lions had a scoring opportunity taken away when a close play at the goalline was ruled a fumble and not the apparent touchdown and instead of staking the hosts to a lead the Warriors took over on the 20 on a touchback. Later in the third Lowery scored again on an option play and after another missed conversion the stage was set for the 4th quarter dramatics.
A couple of key penalties and the three turnovers hurt the Lions Thursday, but the two crucial calls, one costing them a touchdown and the other resulting in a game ending decision on elapsed time were also key factors in the loss.
Newaygo is now 0-2 and will travel to Stanton next Friday to face Central Montcalm also 0-2.
After Preston Osterhart opened the scoring Wyatt Van Boven struck twice before halftime to give Fremont a 3-0 advantage at the half.
The Wildcats got on the board early in the second to cut the lead to 3-1 but it was their final tally of the game and the Packers added another when Ivan Coppola took a pass from Van Boven and provided an insurance goal.
Osterhart and Cole Miller picked up an assist apiece and Joe Kortje stopped three shots in goal.
Credit to the defense as Fremont outshot Lakeview 26-6.
The Packers are now 3-0 in CSAA play and 3-1 overall.
By Ken DeLaat
Lion and Tigers and Packers (oh my!) and Vikes stay home, while Cloud, Panthers and Devils take to the road.
Chippewa Hills at Newaygo
The Lions got a taste of what a player like Gio Weeks can do to a defense but fortunately CH doesn’t have a Gio Weeks in their backfield. Their offense was smothered by the dynamic defense possessed by Oakridge while on the other side of the ball they had to contend with Eagle running back Leroy Quinn who equaled the 5 TDs posted by Weeks. CH fell behind by 21 points after one and were buried in a 49-0 avalanche by halftime, finally getting on the board in the final frame.
The Warriors have had control of this series the past four years but last season Newaygo had a good shot at beating them on the road if not for a couple of mistakes late in the game.
It was just their third game under the tutelage of Coach Scott Van Essen and it’s unlikely they will repeat those mistakes in season two.
The Lions are at home and this game is key to competing for the conference crown. If they can generate a consistent offense and wear down the CH defense this could be a step toward that goal.
Central Montcalm at Grant
The Hornets aren’t going to score a lot of points and were shut out by Morley in the opener. Their defense isn’t bad but they spend an awful lot of time on the field.
The Tigers should control this one early and need a win with a double dose of Reed City on the road and Chip Hills at home the next two weeks.
Reed City at Fremont
A heartbreak loss for the Packers who saw their winless streak reach 28.
It’s likely to be 29 after Thursday because the ‘Yotes have come out strong putting a pasting on perennial powerhouse Montague last week.
Fremont showed a lot of improvement in the loss to Evart and they should be able to snap the streak this season.
But I wouldn’t look for it to happen Thursday. Reed City has too much to let this one slip away.
Big Rapids at Tri County
Since the Vikes joined the CSAA Gold in 2014 they haven’t made a lot of noise on the football field.
Except when it comes to this game. This series has yielded some true barnburners and created a bit of a simmering rivalry between the schools.
The Cardinal win over Shephard doesn’t produce much insight. The Blue Jays had a fistful of scoring chances and the BR defense kept them out each time but much of that was due to some red zone mistakes. The Cardinal offense used some big plays and took advantage of the scoring opportunities they were given.
The Vikes lost to cross conference foe Lakeview a team that might be poised to do some damage in the Silver and ran into a familiar problem, getting the ball into the endzone.
TC will need to sustain a few drives and come away with points because the Cards are going to score.
It’s on Viking turf this year so it could be another close one.
Should be a good one to watch.
White Cloud at Manton
A lot would have to go their way for the Cloud to come away with a win on the road against the Rangers. Manton isn’t a powerhouse in the tough Highland conference but they finished strong last season and started out with a hard fought win over Johannesburg Lewiston.
The Indians have some talent on both sides of the ball but the Rangers can put up the points, and the visitors have trouble doing so.
Hesperia at Pine River
The Bucks went from the semi-finals 2 years ago to a single win last season. They bounced back with a shutout of Kalkaska and they’re playing at home always a tough venue for visitors.
The Panthers ran into a buzzsaw in their opening loss to North Muskegon but they won’t be the last team to be humbled by the Norsemen.
Hesperia is short on numbers and playing a good team on the road.. With Silver action starting next week in the form of the rivalry game with Holton this would be a big win for Coach Bolles’ squad.
It might be hard to come by though.
Holton at Evart
The last time the Red Devils won their opener most of their current players were either in kindergarten or first grade (2007). A win over Evart would be their first 2-0 beginning since 1999.
The Wildcats have a good passing game and some quick strike capabilities.
They also give up points.
It would be a tough win on the road but a 2-0 start heading into their trip up M-120 next week would suit the Devils just fine.
Kent City at Beal City
Gio Weeks will get all the yards he wants against the Aggies
Lakeview at Lake City
The Trojans are a really good team and playing at home. Lakeview will find the going pretty tough.
Morley Stanwood at Manton
The Ramblers hope for a return to the playoffs got stung by the Stags in a close opening loss.
The Mohawks pitched a shutout but are on the road. Manton will score and Morley will need to counter.
Cole Miller took a Preston Osterhart pass and buried it into the Tiger nets to break a 2-2 tie and provide the Packers with the winning margin.
Osterhart began the scoring in the first half to stake Fremont to an early lead but Grant answered with a Johann Vega goal to knot the match at 1.
In the second half Cole Miller scored to give Fremont the lead and was answered by a Tiger score off the foot of Victor Morales.
Soon after Cole Miller fired in his second to once again give the Pack the edge and Carter Moon followed it up with another score to provide insurance in the conference win for Fremont.
Jaxx Miller and Cole Miller also had assists for Fremont and Joe Kortge handled goalkeep duties notching 14 saves in the process.
Fremont outshot the Tigers 29-18.
Pack Falls Just Short, Eagles Run Past Lions. Tigers Tame Tigers. Rebs Corral Cloud. Devils Sink Pirates, Cats Claw Vikings, and Norsemen Pound Depleted Panthers
Evart 30 Fremont 26
The Packers jumped off to an early lead when Zach Stroven found paydirt from 15 yards out to give them a 6-0 edge after the blocked PAT. The Wildcats came back and drove deep into Fremont territory before a fumble at the goal line was snared in the endzone by the visitors to knot the game at 6 after the Evart PAT was also blocked.
The Pack struck back immediately with a 69 yard sprint by Stroven and a 12-6 edge after another unsuccessful conversion. Evart answered twice before intermission including a Carter Pritchard pass to Donavin Reagan with time running out in the half to give the ‘Cats a 22-12 edge.
After a scoreless third Fremont mounted a comeback with Kane Widing breaking the goalline from a yard out and with the conversion by Wyatt Kaastra the Pack were down just 3 22-19.
After a stop the hosts mounted another scoring drive ending with Stroven breaking free for a 9 yard run to the endzone. Kaastra made it a 26-22 Fremont lead.
But Evart had one more drive in them and with just over a minute to play another Pritchard pass to Billy Conklin yielded a 28 yard score and the win to end an exciting evening of football in Fremont.
“We are proud of the way our boys battled throughout the entire game, said Coach Rick Tank. “ We had no quit! We had several opportunities to control the outcome, and that is what you want in any gridiron battle.Ultimately this team has grit, and that is apparent for anyone who has watched us this year. “
“Our boys will earn success.”
Stroven led all rushers with 164 yards and Christian Kennedy finished with 44. Widing led all tacklers with a dozen and picked off one of the 28 passes tossed by Pritchard on the night.
The Packers will host Reed City on Thursday. The Coyotes opened the season with a 34-13 win over Montague.
N Muskegon 41 Hesperia 6
The Panther offense went 3 and out on their first possession of the season.
Then Chandler Edwards took over.
The Norsemen took the punt deep into Hesperia territory then Edwards found the endzone on the first play to stake NM to a 7-0 lead after the conversion. Bu halftime he had found paydirt again and another Norsemen score had the visitors heading for the locker room down 20-0.
Any hopes for a different story in the second half were dashed when Edwards peeled off a touchdown run on the second half kickoff to put the Panthers in a 27-0 hole.
The Hesperia offense managed to get on the board in the 4th with a touchdown run by Logan Balkema but NM had the game well in hand at that point. Balkema led Hesperia rushers with 56 yards and on defense Owen Kowalski (8) and Balkema (6) paced the defense in tackles.
“It was tough going with dressing only 14 kids, but we battled all night and left it all on the field.” said Coach Doug Bolles. “North Muskegon is very talented and can score in a variety of ways with many different athletes.”
“We’ll regroup from this one. They’re one of, if not the best team on our schedule.”
The Panthers head north to face the leroy Pine River Bucks Thursday.
Lee 27 White Cloud 9
Lee scored on their third play from scrimmage when Skiler Turpeau ran for a 92 yard TD to spark a Rebel run to victory Friday night.
White Cloud was led by Adrian Rodriguez with 67 yards on 16 carries, Steve Holt added 48 yards on 16 carries and scored the lone Indian touchdown, and freshman Seth McGowen contributed 50 yards on 8 carries. Chance Montemayor kicked a 27 yard field goal for the hosts.
Defensive leaders were Tucker Kooman and Alex Doke with 7 tackles, with Steven Deam adding 6.
“The team continued to play hard throughout all four quarters,” said Coach Dick Hance “I was very pleased with the effort made all the way thru the game and also happy with the performance of the two freshmen, knowing they will get better every game.”
The Indians will travel to Manton Thursday to take on the Rangers who opened with a 29-22 win over Johannesburg-Lewiston
Kent City 36 Newaygo 26
The Eagles scored 5 touchdowns Friday night and Gio Weeks scored 5 of them.
The Lions had no answer for the KC speedster who ate up the yardage and helped his team to a 26-6 halftime advantage.
The Lions came back in the fourth with a pair of touchdowns but time ran short and the Eagles extended their regular season winning streak to 14.
Newaygo will host Chippewa Hills Thursday. The Warriors were routed by Oakridge 55-8 Friday night.
Kent City will head to Beal City to take on the Aggies.
Holton 26 Hart 18
The Red Devils broke open a scoreless game with three second quarter touchdowns then held off a second half comeback by the Pirates to secure the win at home.
Devil quarterback Page Trystad completed 5 pases on the night four of them to Austin Hawkins who amassed 140 yards receiving and a touchdown. Aaron Herron ran one in for the hosts and on defense Nathan Slowik picked a pair from the Pirates.
Holton will head to Evart Thursday for a matchup with the Wildcats who edged Fremont 30-26 on Friday.
Grant 23 Shelby 13
Lakeview 28 Tri County 8
With 9 returnees from last year’s successful season the Tigers embarked on this year’s season in a big way with three tournaments already in the books.
They opened the 2018 season at the WMVOA tournament hosted at MVA sports complex on 28th street. The Tigers were victorious throughout pool play defeating both Greenville and Kenowa Hills and splitting with Wayland. Advancing to the Gold Bracket the Tigers went up against Montague and prevailed in two sets 26-24, 25-15. Next up was Sparta and another two set win for the Tigers 26-20, 25-22 propelled them into the finals where they took home the hardware with a 26-20, 25-22 win over Northpointe Christian.
The second tournament was hosted by Battle Creek Pennfield. Grant defeated Pennfield in three sets but lost in three sets to Mt. Morris in pool play. Grant worked their way back as the second seed to play Otsego winning 25-16, 25-11. This matched them back with Mt. Morris in the Finals where they lost 15-25, 23-25.
The final tournament was hosted by Cadillac with 16 teams competing. Grant came out first in their pool defeating Pellston, Boyne City and Traverse City Central. The quarterfinals matched Grant against Midland and the Tigers won in 3 sets 25-21, 20-25, 15-12. The semifinals brought a match up against state-ranked Kingsley.The teams battled back and forth before Kingsley emerged with a three set win.
The Tigers current record is 11-3-1. Their next match is at East Kentwood this coming Wednesday for a mini-tournament with 6 teams.
The high school season kicks off this Friday for our area teams.
Grant, Fremont White Cloud and Holton will play their openers at home while Newaygo, Tri County, and Hesperia look to get it going on the road.
Newaygo at Kent City
The Lions have put together the toughest non conference schedule in the area sandwiching their league commitments with a revitalized Kent City program that has yielded two straight playoff appearances as well as first place finishes in the Silver and and a perennial state champion in the Crusaders who have missed the playoff once in 13 years and gathered 6 state titles during that time.
League play doesn’t look to be any easier with Reed City and Chippewa Hills continuing as top tier teams in the conference. The Coyotes have not lost a conference game since a 14-6 defeat early in the 2014 season.
Their opponent? The Lions.
But the Lions aren’t backing down from anyone after shaking off a pair of early season losses to run the table with 6 straight wins before a playoff loss to the Grant team they had defeated 2 weeks prior.
Newaygo is poised to score points with a potent backfield led by returning quarterback Connor Swinehart and 6 returning starters on both sides of the ball. Line play will be a strength
The game is in Kent City and Mikey LaFontsee and Noah Graff will lead the defense in their quest to contain the explosiveness of Eagle standout running back Gio Weeks who has the capability of scoring whenever he touches the ball.
This should be a good one.
Shelby at Grant
This is the 11th annual Tiger vs. Tiger matchup to open the season for both teams. After winning just one of the first six the Tigers (Grant variety) have taken the last four.
Shelby has struggled since making it to the semifinals 5 years ago, winning just 3 times against 33 losses.
The Tigers have made the playoffs two years in a row under coach Darren Geraghty but have yet to overcome the one-two punch at the top of the Gold and once again play Reed City and Chip Hills back to back in weeks 3&4.
Then, of course, there is THE game on October 12th played on the home turf of their rivals to the north.
The Tigers (Shelby variety) have some experience in the backfield and they should fare better than last year when Grant hung a 40-0 on them on their home field but the Tigers (Grant variety) are playing at home and are looking to start the season strong.
Evart at Fremont
In their second game last season against a playoff bound Chippewa Hills team the Packers scored more points (26) than they did in the entire previous season (25).
Unfortunately the Warriors put a 55 on the board. In fact, 7 opponents scored over 50 points and one other stopped just short at 48.
If Fremont is to break their 27 game losing streak there will have to be a defensive renaissance of sorts. The offense looks to be in good shape with a solid line and talent at the skilled positions but once again, the defense will need to step up big for the Pack to start collecting a few victories.
Evart will be a tough test and hosting Chip Hills the following week will be no picnic either but Packer fans will get an early chance to see what this year’s fortunes might bring.
Tri County at Lakeview
The Vikes are coming off a 1-8 season with a couple of games that could have gone their way. Like many area teams numbers could be an issue but Coach Phil Butler likes the look of his offensive line and cites the leadership of Bryce Dube, Alfredo Visser and John Bogardus as being key to the confidence his team had coming out of camp.
TC opens on the road against a Lakeview team that has been in the playoffs 4 of the last 5 years but took some hits from graduation.
The Viking hopes for a strong season will be tested early with 5 of their first 6 opponents coming off playoff appearances and the 6th (Big Rapids) picked by many to compete for the conference crown
Wyoming Lee at White Cloud
The Cloud has struggled with numbers and will not field a JV team once again this year. This leaves little room for the type of injuries that plagued the team during last years 2-7 mark.
Tucker Kooman heads group of linemen who will go both ways and try to provide enough protection for the backfield while hopefully keeping opponents out of the endzone.
The Rebels have also seen some lean times and have not won a conference game in 6 years.
This one looked to be a tight game last year but the Rebs whipped out a 48-0 win at home. Friday they’re playing in the Cloud which should be an advantage and besides the band delivers some really fine halftime shows.
Hesperia at North Muskegon
Whatever could possibly go wrong for the Panthers last year did indeed go wrong,
After two consecutive playoff appearances Hesperia seemed to fall under a curse and tumbled to an 0-9 season with 2 overtime losses, a slew of injuries, and an inability to finish off opponents.
This year’s team is young and also thin in numbers but the team is eager to erase the memory of last years debacle and what better way than to take on the Norsemen who delivered the first of their 9 losses last season.
Coach Doug Bolles is a believer.
“We will not be 0-9. Our kids have too much heart and passion and there’s no selfishness in them. It’s all about team.”
Hart at Holton
Hard to say what lies ahead for the Red Devils. They are also plagued by the numbers game but possess some talent on both sides of the ball.
They open at home against Hart and the Pirates have not posted more than two wins since their seniors were in preschool and haven’t seen a winning record since before they were born.
The Devils will struggle against Kent City, Morley and Lakeview but they have a chance to put together some wins if they can stay injury free for the most part and get some contributions from their newcomers.
Fremont 5 Kent City 2
The Packers exploded for 4 unanswered goals in the second half to erase a 2-1 deficit and bring home a win in their league opener.
The Eagles held a 1-0 lead when Cole Miller found the nets off a Kasidy Wright pass and the teams hit intermission tied at 1. The hosts jumped back into the lead early in the second before the Packer onslaught began. Preston Osterhart scored off a Jaxx Miller assist to tie the contest then Cole Miller notched his second tally with Jaxx Miller recording a second assist giving the visitors their first lead of the match. Wyatt VanBoven gave the Pack some breathing room with his goal and Cole Miller took an Osterhart pass and buried it for the hat trick and a Fremont victory.
Joe Kortge minded the nets for the Packers.
The Tigers kicked off their cross season as the boys team ran to a second place finsh at the Ryan Shea Memorial Run at Central Lake.Grant was led by Colton Covington (10:21.8) and Spencer Cole (10:45.5) who finished 2-3.
The threesome of Eli Bradley (11:39.3) Connor Vanderwilt (11:48.7 and Aaron Zimmer (11.48.8) ran 13,14, and 15 and David Jaimes (12:01.0) finished 21st.
Elizabeth Gates (13:42.1) led the Tiger girls with a 6th place run as the team took 5th place. Zoe Zimmerman (15:27.8) Maggie Whitney (15:52.6) Ashley Bearup (17:03.8), Samantha Fryling (17:15.9) and Brenda Mendez (18:15.2) were among the top 50 finishers.