By Ken DeLaat, N3 Sports
Newaygo (1-2, 2-3) at Reed City (3-1,4-1)
The Lions nabbed a victory on homecoming and edged into a 33-32 lead over their down the road a piece rivals from Grant. Their offense has come alive after a sputtering start to the season and they are likely to once again put up some points against the Coyotes.
But will it be enough?
Reed City is averaging 50 points a game. 50!
Big Rapids stayed with them for a while before the Yotes pulled away and Tri County won a shootout by holding that potent RC offense to a mere 40 points. Last week they gained over 400 yards on the ground so the O-line is doing their job.
I like the Lion D. They have personnel that can make big plays and but they are facing a team that can grind down defenses,
And the game is in Coyote Country, a wickedly tough place for visitors.
Fremont (0-2,3-2) at Orchard View (0-2,0-5)
The Packers should get back on the winning track when they visit OV and nail down their first WMC W,. Granted it’s an away game (the 3rd of 4 straight on the road) but the Cardinals are struggling to stop anyone in the trenches and the Fremont O-line should give Dirheimer and Co. ample running room.
Grant (1-2,1-4)at Big Rapids (3-1,3-2)
The Tigers offense is primarily an air attack and it’s not unusual to see a 5 wide set at any time. The Cardinals are very aware of this as well as Obenauf’s ability to scrabble so they will likely be showing a bit of blitzkrieg from time to time. Grant’s defense pulled together after the first half last week, holding Newaygo scoreless during that flag-filled fiasco, but BR can roll up the points in a hurry. Three of their next 4 games will see the Tigers facing teams who will likely be playing in week 10.
This is one.
Muskegon Hts (0-5) at White Cloud (0-1,3-2)
The Cloud hasn’t lost to a team with a losing record.
Their final four are all teams with a losing record.
The Tigers are 0-5 but they have played a tough schedule so Coach Gorman’s team needs to jump out early and not let them hang around. WC won’t likely put up 60 like they did last week against a battered Holton squad but their line play has been tough all season and should be able to give their talented backfield some room to run.
Tri County (3-0,5-0) at Central Montcalm (0-3,1-4)
The Hornets didn’t host a game for the first 4 weeks of the season.
Then last week their first time on home field they get powerhouse Reed City.
THe Vikes are rolling toward a possible title and are unlikely to stumble here with a possible conference clincher on tap next week against BR.
Hesperia (0-2,1-4) at Ravenna (3-0,4-1)
The Dawgs have 3 tough games ahead of them after this one but Coach Ego isn’t likely to let them look past this one. The Panthers lost a heartbreaker in OT last week and also lost their starting QB to injury. Could be a long night for the Black Cats.
Holton (0-2,0-5) at Shelby (1-2,1-4)
The Tigers are coming off their first win since late 2019 and it’s their Homecoming. The Devs were trampled by White Cloud’s running game and have been outscored 271-14 thus far.
Things look good for Shelby to put up their first 2 game winning streak since 2014.
Kent City (2-0, 5-0) at Morley Stanwood (0-1,0-5)
This game has been a tussle for the title the past several years.
Not this year.
The Eagles should have few problems sewing up the Silver.
Photos by Cassie Rickert
White Cloud 60 Holton 0
The Cloud convincingly shook off last week's loss as they steamrolled the Red Devils to notch their third win of the year. It was the most points put up by a White Cloud team since a 63-0 win over Pine River in 2003.
Jace Silverthorn had 16 carries for 168 yards and 4 touchdowns. Landyn McGowen had 8 touches for 97 yards and 3 TD's. Nate Compeau had 2 receptions adding up to 49 yards and a touchdown. Jason Ruether had 1 catch for a touchdown. Passing to them was Mason Ruether with 65 yards and 2 TD's. Defensively the team was led by Jace Silverthorn with 12 tackles and 1 and 1/2 sacks. Lloyd Sebright-Johnson added 10 tackles, 2 1/2 sacks, and a forced fumble. Xander Traynor contributed 8 tackles and a stripped fumble recovery. Carlos Brown had 6 tackles and partnered on a sack, Jason Ruether added 4 tackles, and Noah Robinson had a fumble recovery.
White Cloud (0-1,3-2) hosts Muskegon Heights (0-5) Friday and Holton (0-2,0-5) returns to conference play visiting Shelby (1-2, 1-4).
Oakridge 36 Fremont 8
The Packers continued their initiation into WMC football Friday as they faced the undefeated Eagles and got a good look at their junior running back Trevor Jones.
Particularly the number on his back as Jones accounted for nearly ⅔ of the Oakridge offense as he ran for 214 yards and caught a pair of Matt Danicek passes for another 51 yards.
Oh, and he scored 4 of the 5 Eagle TDs.
The Packer defense that yielded just 30 points in their first four games struggled against the O-line of the hosts who delivered opportunities for JOnes all night.
The Eagle defense also kept workhorse Justin Dirheimer in check for much of the game, limiting the Packer running back to a hard earned 55 rushing yards. The lone Packer score happened in the third quarter when Kyle DeKuiper connected with Dirheimer who broke loose for a 64 yard TD. With the running game stifled Fremont went to the air with DeKuiper and Talen Riechert-Slater completing 13 passes for 179 yards.
Michael Romero, Owen Hertel and Owen Vandenberg led the defense in tackles.
Fremont (0-2, 3-2) will look for their first conference win Friday when they play their third away game in a row at Orchard View (0-2, 0-5) while Oakridge (3-0, 5-0) hosts a showdown of state ranked teams with Whitehall (2-0, 5-0) coming to town
Tri County 42 Morley Stanwood 0
Viking QB Dave Sheehan hit on 13 of 14 passes for 339 yards and 5 touchdowns as TC routed Morey Stanwood on Homecoming night.
Stuart Goukd caught 5 passes for 257 yards and 3 TDs while Sheehan hit Ian Boden for the other two scores.
Coach Butler: “Proud of our kids. They come to work every day with a goal to improve. Their effort is showing up on the field on Friday’s. Just a fun group to coach and work with.”
Tri County (3-0, 5-0) travels to Stanton to take on Central Montcalm (0-3, 1-4) while Morley Stanwood (0-1, 0-5) hosts Kent City (2-0, 5-0)
Shelby 22 Hesperia 16
The Tigers halted a 21 game losing streak with an overtime win over the Panthers
The Tigers have won just 3 of their last 66 games.
Two of those wins have been over the Panthers.
Hesperia (0-2, 1-4) continues conference play Friday with a trip to Ravenna (3-0, 4-1)
Reed City 52 Central Montcalm 14
Big Rapids 41 Chippewa Hills 8
Kent City 34 Lakeview 0
Ludington 34 Montague 14
Whitehall 56 Manistee 0
Muskegon CC 34 Orchard View 12
Ravenna 19 Mason County Central 14
North Muskegon 55 Hart 14
Photos by Joan Ludtke
The White Cloud Harriers continue to improve as they racked up six season-best and 11 personal-best times at the Bandeen Cadillac Invitational. The boys finished in fourth place and the girls were 14th. Varsity medalists included Coleson Cruzan (7th), Nathan Ciolk (20th), Carson Foondle (24th), and Kaleb Canning (34th). Reserve medals were earned by Malachi Graves (22nd) and Josh Brown (29th). Avery Bowman, Josh Brown, Coleson Cruzan, Carson Foondle, Donnie Grovesteen, Wyatt Karnes, Zane Keith, Jolena Deaton, Sydnee Ochs, Gaby Reeve, and Makayla Sheldon posted PRs, while Kaleb Canning, Nathan Ciolk, Malachi Graves, Christian Ringler, Kiara Edwards, and Grace Richards ran their best times this year. The team will be back in action on Saturday, October 1, in Shepherd.
Photos by Alexis Mercer
Story by Ken DeLaat
Newaygo 25 Grant 12
It was homecoming at Newaygo so the evening was awash in bright colors from the pageantry of the floats to the sparkling garb worn by the young men and women representing the Homecoming Court.
But on this evening the predominantly conspicuous color was yellow.
As in the absolute ocean of penalty flags that found themselves on the field time and time again.
The number of yards penalized were perhaps only outnumbered by the amount of yardage negated by the actions.
In the end the game went to the hosts.
Most of the first half was dominated by the Lions. After Remy Wells took the opening kick to the Grant 45, the Lions marched down the field using their running game before capping off the drive when Grant Harkness found Dyllan Bazzett open and delivered the ball for a 15 yard TD.
Josiah Long, who possesses a thunderous foot, stuck the conversion and it was 7-0 home team.
The Tiger offense was up next but penalties and a sack by Chad Saucier preceded a bad snap that Bazzett recovered in the endzone and after the automatic by Long the score was 14-0 before the halfway point of the quarter.
The Tigers continued to struggle moving the ball relying heavily on the arm of Oakley Obenauf, but the Lions were winning in the trenches and 3 plays (plus a couple of penalties) later Newaygo took over on downs.
The Lions pushed into scoring position but the Tigers held firm and Long was called on and delivered 3 more points to the scoreboard with a 30 yard boot.
Newaygo wasn’t done though. In the second quarter a Lion drive ended with Ethan Reyburn taking it in from 2 yards out and after Harkness followed with a 2 point conversion run the Lions were up 25-0.
Late in the quarter Grant got a drive going and pushed deep into Lion territory with Obenauf sticking a pass to Cohen Garrod for 6. An unsuccessful conversion made it 25-6 and following 2 minutes of endless flags the half ended.
The second half saw the Tiger defense stiffen and an interception by Obenauf got the offense back on the field. Once again penalties combined with dropped passes led to the drive stalling. For much of the third the teams battled between the 30 yard lines with several big gainers called back for holding penalties.
Obenauf got off a long one for a 68 yard score and after another failed conversion the Lions lead was 25-12.
It would remain there as the teams continued to pile up the penalties and exchange possession.
Harkness led the Lions in rushing with 77 yards while tossing for 76 yards and a TD.
Wells and Bazzett led the receiving corps with 33 and 32 yards respectively.
On defense Chad Saucier posted 3 sacks with Bazzett and Jordan Cook collecting 2 apiece.
Josiah Long picked off 3 Tiger passes and Isaiah Lopez also snared one.
Newaygo (1-2, 2-3) will head to Coyote country next week to face Reed City while Grant (1-2, 1-4) also takes a drive north to face the Cardinals of Big Rapids.
Rivalry week for Tigers, Lions; Pack Faces toughest test yet; Cloud, Panthers look to rebound; Vikes poised to make it 5 in a row
By Ken DeLaat, N3 Sports
Grant (1-3) at Newaygo (1-3)
The Lions had a tough start to the season getting shut out by BR and KC before having success against a Morley team that is having a seriously down year.
The win over MS seems less significant than seeing them hold their own fairly well against a really good Tri County team last week. The Vikes have that coach's dream combination of a strong O-line and a talented backfield. The Lions put 31 on the scoreboard and while TC is known for getting into shootouts that’s still a lot of points.
The Tigers have a serious talent in Obenauf who may be the best signal caller in the area right now but opposing teams know who to key on and are forcing the Tigers to find more help on offense. Thus far they haven’t.
It’s a rivalry matchup and the Lions are at home but in this particular five mile feud you can toss out any predictions because it is truly anyone’s game.
According to records kept by Michigan High School Football site the series dates back to 1950 and after Newaygo won the first 4 the Tigers took 16 out of the next 17.
Fremont (3-1) at Oakridge (4-0)
How long has it been since the Packers were getting any votes for the state rankings?
In the September 12 AP poll Fremont received one vote. Then they beat Grant and disappeared from the rankings, possibly because former #8 Ludington lost to Oakridge.
With a win Friday they would likely reappear…but that is a pretty big hill to climb. The Eagles are a perpetual power who seemed to reload every year.
The last time the teams met was in ‘04 and the Packers won. It was also the only season the Eagles failed to make the playoffs dating back to 1994.
The Packers will need a lot of things to go their way here. Oakridge has rumbled through their schedule thus far and they’re also at home, a tough place for visiting teams.
A combination of a few big plays and a minimal amount of penalties would help the cause considerably. And maybe they can catch the Eagles looking ahead to that huge matchup with D4 #1 Whitehall next week.
One thing for certain. If Fremont finds a way to win this one no one should doubt the heart of this team
White Cloud (2-2) at Holton (0-4)
The Cloud got brought down to Earth in Kent City but they should get back on the winning track Friday barring a complete meltdown. The Devils aren’t stopping anyone so Silverthorn and McGowen will likely run wild behind their O-line.
Shelby (0-4) at Hesperia (1-3)
I can see three winnable games on the remaining schedule for the Panthers.
This is one.
The Tigers have lost 21 in a row and the current version can’t seem to stop opponents who are averaging 47 points a game thus far this season
Panther QB Gleason should get more time than he had against the Norse and he has a number of options as targets and Stalbaum will also get some opportunities for a big gainer or two.
Morley Stanwood (0-4) at Tri County (4-0)
The Vikings will win this game.
Probably by a lot.
Boys Edge Vikes For First; Girls Finish Fourth
Story and photos by Michael Paige
The skies were ominous as runners and fans left Fremont for the second WMC Jamboree at Ludington’s West Shore Community College campus. By the time of arrival, the weather was partly cloudy with a temp of about 70 degrees. Having just run there Saturday, most of the runners were well familiar with the course.
The Fremont boys were able squeeze out a close win beating Whitehall by 2 points, 48-46. Whitehall’s Carter McIlroy led the way with a time of 17:20, followed by teammate Andre Richmond (17:40). Ludington’s Jose Flores (17:50), Oakridge’s Peyton Ruel (17:58) and Montague’s Owen Fairchild (18:10) finished third through fifth. Fremont runners took 5 out of the next 8 spots; Sean Pettis (6th – 18:11), Henrik Quist (7th – 18:16), Johnny Christensen (9th – 18:18), Chase Lowery (11th – 18:42) and Carter Sherman (13th – 18:52) all finished strong to secure the points necessary for the win. Fremont runners Cole Lowery (14th - 18:55), Isaac Romero (16th - 19:09), Gary Springstead (19th - 19:37), Blake Taylor (23rd - 20:10), Gabe Jones (36th - 21:53) and Brandon Rasmussen (47th - 23:31) also competed. Notably, Henrik Quist caught and passed Whitehall’s Stewart Waters with 600 meters to go for a 2 point swing in the score while Isaac Romero passed Whitehall’s Andrew Boeringa to add another point.
The Girls had a solid day as a team, with most of the team running close to or beating their time on this course from Saturday’s Invitational. Linnea Paige led the way for the Fremont girls finishing 2nd overall with a personal record time of 20:42. Whitehall’s Cami Kraai started out strong as the overall leader, but Paige grabbed the lead at the 2nd mile and made a big push. Ludington sophomore Summer Brower, however, passed Paige in the last 800 and held on for the victory with a time of 20:26. Ariana Tanner finished 21st with a time of 24:39. Joelle Patten (23rd – 24:42), Rachel Maddox (24th – 25:33), Elise Pfeiffer (27th – 26:07) and Rocquel Richards (30th – 26:21) also ran for Fremont. Rachel Maddox and Elise Pfeiffer moved up through the middle part of the race to record season records. The girls placed 4th with 96 points. Whitehall finished with 42 points to win the meet. Ludington (43) and Manistee (88) rounded out the top three.
The teams’ next meet is the Cougar Falcon Invite at the Eagles Nest on Saturday at Calvin College.
From Coach Strait:
Last night the Indians lost a tough match to Grant with scores of 15-25, 22-25, 17-25. Leading scorers were Kiara Edwards with 8 points and 2 aces, followed by Jaden Gomez with 7 points and 2 aces. Jaden Gomez and Jayla Perrin each had 4 kills. Jaden also led with 12 digs. Hailee did a nice job setting, earning herself 8 assists.
By Michael Paige
Photos by Cari Taylor
End-of-Race Kicks Secure Runner-Up Finish for Fremont Girls Cross Country
The Fremont girls cross country team competed Saturday at West Shore Community College at Ludington’s annual invitational. The girls ran well as a group with all of them achieving their personal record or season record.
Fremont freshman Linnea Paige got out strong and led most of the race. With about 800 meters to go, she was passed by Ludington sophomore Summer Brower who finished first with a time of 20:37.60. Paige finished second with a time of 20:55.20. Three of Fremont’s runners passed opponents during the final sprint, securing the points necessary to hold on for a second-place finish.
Freshman Ariana Tanner finished 11th with a time of 24:37.70, just .2 seconds ahead of Frankfort’s Sofia Alaimo who she passed just before the finish. Freshman Joelle Patten was next in 13th with a time of 24:38.50, just .8 seconds behind Tanner. Sophomore Rachel Maddox finished 19th with a time of 25:36.60, just a half second ahead of Holton’s Vanessa Peltoniemi. Freshman Rocquel Richards was 21st with a time of 25:43 and Junior Elise Pfeiffer outsprinted Ludington’s Sophia Grierson and finished 25th with a time of 26:20.80, beating Grierson by less than 2 seconds. The girls pushed each other and did a great job of communicating during the race.
Ludington took first with 23 points with Fremont taking second with 63 points thanks to those strong finishes. Manistee (68), Frankfort (84), Pentwater (144), White Cloud (169), and Muskegon Orchard View (181) rounded out the field.
Four Fremont boys ran enough miles over the summer for the chance to compete at Forest Akers East Golf Course on the campus of Michigan State University.
The remainder of the Fremont boys cross team ran at Ludington on Saturday at their annual invitational. Fremont started the race with six boys on the line, but due to some health and injury issues, finished with only four, not enough for a team score. It is encouraging that Fremont was leading until the 5th runner had to drop out. Chase Lowery (Freshman) had a solid race finishing 5th with a time of 18:24. Cole Lowery (Sophomore) finished 9th (18:38). Issac Romero (Freshman) had a great kick at the end to secure 14th place (19:35). Blake Taylor (Sophomore) got out fast and held on to finish 16th (19:45).
Both Fremont teams race again on Ludington’s course this Tuesday for West Michigan Conference Jamboree #2.
Roundup from the Friday night lights for week 4 in prep football. There were matchups within the county for the bigger schools and White Cloud faced off against CSAA competitor Kent City. Here's the story from the Near North Now sports team.
Fremont 30 Grant 8
Fremont started the scoring at 3:11 into the game. #30 Connor Pettis runs for 3 yards for the touchdown, which was followed by a two point conversion run by #11 Owen Hertel.
Fremont’s second #2 Justin Dirheimer run for 6 yards and a touchdown. The two point conversion run by #14 Kyler DeKuiper was good. The Packers’ next points came off Dirheimer again, who ran for 30 yards. This was followed by an attempt for 2 points but no luck.
The last Packer points came from #14 Kyler DeKuiper’s pass complete to Dirheimer for 28 yards. This two point conversion run by #18 Asa Barnhard was good to put them up 30-0.
Grant finally found the scoreboard when #3 ran for a 1 yard touchdown and followed it with a two point conversion by #2.
Tri County 54 Newaygo 31
Grant Harkness led the Lions with 87 yards rushing and 3 TDs with 169 yards passing.
Remy Wells led the team with 116 yards receiving. Dyllan Bazzett chipped 91 yards in the pass game as well.
Grant Harkness also led the team with 11 tackles. Logan Klomp chipped in 10 tackles. Jordan Cook and Dyllan Bazzett had 8 tackles each. Isaiah Lopez had the only turnover for the defense with an INT early in the 3rd quarter.
The Lions went into halftime down 40-17. The Lions came out in the second half and scored 14 more points but so did TC.
The Lions welcome the Grant Tigers next Friday night for homecoming and for the Battle of the M-37 trophy.
Kent City 67 White Cloud 21
Jace Silverthorn had 16 tackles, ran for 28 yards, had 185 receiving yards for a total of 213 together and two touchdowns. Nate Compeauhad 73 yards receiving and 2 td's. Mason Ruether was 12 for 21 passing, chalking up 268 yards in the air for 4 touchdowns. The team travels to Holton next Friday night.
Other notable scores:
North Muskegon 50 Hesperia 0
Reed City 52 Big Rapids 32
Mason County Central 48 Holton 0
MSU Spartan Invitational
Calm – Hot
From Coach Mercer:
The Lions traveled to MSU for another notoriously hot day on Forest Akers East Golf Course on the campus of Michigan State University. This is always a special meet of the season as the athletes get the chance to see so many levels of competition. We arrived in time to watch the collegiate 6k and 8k races and then get ready for our own.
The boys team had 8 runners compete. Half of those ended up with season best times despite the incredibly humid, hot weather. Juniors Mathew Miedema (21:24) and Jadon Ryman (21:25) led the Lions pack, running the entire race as a pair. Third for the team was freshman Caleb Bays (22:16) followed by senior Bryce Grugett (22:58). Also competing for the boys were Zachary Spaulding, Brycen Kacos, Sam Eager and Leon Ventura Neumann.
All twelve girls who ran on Friday set season best times! Four of the twelve set personal records (lifetime bests) on top of that. Junior Remington Arney improved upon her medal earning place from last year, where she got 25th place, to a solid 16th place and a time of 20:43. The remaining girls ran smart and strong races and finished by passing girls rather than being passed.
11Remington Arney 20:43.9
11Sydney Biegalle 29:10.0
12Sofia Briggs 28:24.5
12Elizabeth Chaffee 23:59.7
11Olivia DeJohn 27:16.4
12Rebecca Grandy 30:05.1
12Connelly Hefferan Nordlund 27:13.2
12Yuri Kasugai 30:10.6
11Aamori Paz 25:05.5
10Thalia Pineda 25:53.2
9Joseline Sanchez Magana 28:41.4
10Zoey Walerczyk 25:29.0
From Coach Somers:
We took our annual trip to the Spartan with 4 athletes who got their “MSU miles” in over the summer. Carter Sherman (So), Johnny Christensen (Jr), Henrik Quist (Sr), and Sean Pettis (Jr). They ran in the Bronze race which consisted of division 2 schools. It was the first race of the season for Carter and Henrik and was a good learning experience for them. All 4 guys got out a little faster than we had hoped, and had to pay the price to varying degrees later in the race. Sean led the way for the boys in 25th place (17:34). He was pretty strong through the first 2 miles and did a pretty good job hanging on when the pain hit in the 3rd. Johnny had a rough middle mile but recouped some ground in the last mile to finish 35th (18:03). Henrik dropped back quickly after his quick start but was able to really move up over the second half of the race to place 37th (18:09). Carter had a rough race all the way around and was disappointed with his finish – 142nd (20:51). I know he is capable of a much better performance than he showed today, he just had a rough day, but I think he learned from this race and he did put together a strong finish and the end.