D-4 Regional Results White Cloud, Holton
White Cloud Girls- 4th place
14 Ella Bowman 21:23:03
18 Haley Foster 22:00:51
33 Hannah Brown 23:15:05
34 Courtney LaClair 23:20:89
36 Naomi Thompson 23:23:29
38 Kayla Pasch 23:37:38
48 Alekzandria Taylor 25:36:83
11 Lily Crowell 21;00:29
62 Madison Wackernagel 28:17.06
White Cloud Boys 4th Place
3 Reginald Richmond 16:43.45
10 Adrian Rodriguez 17:21.68
32 Kobe Canning 19:25.84
40 Nikolas Parks-Josephson 20:04.85
41 Thomas Feldpausch 20:10.26
44 Terry Trendel 20:28.76
52 Alex Clark 21:18.73
39 Christian Johnston 20:01.22
65 Phumthal Chaisamidchoke 24:48.26
D3 Regional Results Hesperia
41 Chris Stapel 18;11.97
58 Sam Parks 19:09.01
64 Connor Baird 19:21.37
80 Mack Baird 19:51.70
81 Caleb Sturtevant-Roesly 19:53.98
82 Jake Smith 19:54.40
86 Ayden Sturtevant-Roesly 20:43.64
34 Becci Castillo 21:20.89
71 Olivia Van Avery 23:30.04
73 Taylor Stapel 23:58.86
79 Madison Norberg 25:08 78
80 Kaylyn Hasty 25:15.36
92 Ashley Poole 27:52.78
Cross Country runners across the state of Michigan competed today in their Regional races for the chance to run at the coveted State Meet to be held next weekend at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn.
The Newaygo Lions traveled to Allendale for the Division 3 race. All teams are allowed their top seven runners, with the first five to cross the line counting for the team score.
In order to qualify for State, a team must place in the top three or an individual must finish in the top 15. While times and teams vary from year to year, it is inevitably a meet of incredible performances, high stakes and intense emotions.
Newaygo’s individual results including times and overall place are listed below.
Ryan Brummel finished in 10th place for the Lions, earning a spot at the State meet in his final year of high school.
10. 12 Ryan Brummel 17:06.98
26. 12 David Grodus 18:02.04 PR
43. 9 Mallaci Mayle 18:56.76 PR
53. 12 Bret Bays 19:33.63 PR
58. 9 Michael Murray 19:47.4 PR
63. 10 Brandon Badgero 20:12.48
64. 11 Dylan Heminger 20:45.65
18. 11 Sophia Frisbie 20:42.32
28. 9 Kate Haan 21:14.65 PR
40. 12 Samantha Dosch 22:08.15
59. 12 Casey Deater 23:29.37 PR
75. 12 Emilie Hansen 25:44.34
78. 10 Anna Brummel 26:00.35
84. 12 Olivia Francis 27:33.42 SB
By Fremont Coach Cliff Somers
The boys won the meet in commanding fashion, 40 points, with 5 athletes placing in the top 15 to earn All-Region honors. The course is a double loop on a golf course. Our goal was to use the first lap to put ourselves in a good position to go on the attack the second lap. We knew we would have to run well to beat Cedar Springs, who won Regionals last year. Nathan Walker (Fr) went right to the lead at the gun with a runner from Grant and Cedar Springs sitting right on him. Ben Paige (So), Conor Somers (Fr), Adam Ward (So), and Josh Zerfas (So) packed up nicely together in around 20th at the 400 mark. Nathan led the first lap towing 2 athletes with him, but threw in a big surge at the start of the second lap to create a gap and then crack his two shadows. Nathan continued to build his lead throughout the whole second lap to win with a time of 15:34.
By the mile our pack of 4 had started to move up through the field. After the mile the pack started to break up slightly but they were still moving up. Nathan Johnson (So) was also having a great race moving through the field, while Colton Best (So) was having an off day. Last night we had talked about putting 4-5 in the top 15 in today’s race. The boys did a great job of stepping up to the challenge to put all 5 scorers in the All-Region placing.
1st Nathan Walker – 15:34 – Regional Champion
4th Conor Somers – 16:10 – All-Region
7th Ben Paige – 16:19 – All-Region
13th Adam Ward – 16:23 – All-Region
15th Josh Zerfas – 16:32 – All-Region
36th Nathan Johnson – 17:25
51st Colton Best – 17:50
The girls knew they would have to run well to qualify. We had 3 top 15 ranked teams and one honorable mention. With a solid group of seniors who had had their ups and downs over the last 4 years we were really hoping to put a good one together today. The girls had some confidence built on a strong last ¼ of the season. We knew if we started intelligently that we could finish strong. We talked about positioning on the first lap, but really focusing on being the hunters on the second lap. Late this season in race where we didn’t go out fast we really ran a strong second half, so we asked the girls trust their strength and ability to move up in miles 2 and 3. Well, they took us to heart as we only had one athlete, Hannah Hamilton (Sr) in the top half of the field at the 800 mark, and Hannah was in about 30th. Needless to say I was more than a little concerned that we may have been too conservative, but our seniors stayed cool, didn’t over react, and just started getting down to the business of eating up all the athletes who went out to fast. By the mile Hannah had moved into the top 20 while Kendra Fowler (Sr), Sammy Schmidt (Sr), and Leah Converse (So) had moved up into the high 30s. Claire Whittle (Sr) was also moving up well, but had not quite made the top 50 yet. Katie Nicholas (Sr) and Erin Norton (So) were also battling through the field. As a team we were probably in 6th place at the mile mark. The top 3 qualify for State. The girls would not be denied. They performed just as they had planned and continued to make huge gains through the field. By the 2 mile, Hannah had moved into about 10th, Sammy and Kendra into the top 25, with Leah and Claire in the 30s. The last mile saw the girls keep marching up the ladder to bring home a 2nd place finish with 76 points. This will be the girls first trip to the Finals as a team since 2012.
4th Hannah Hamilton – 19:04 – All-Region
12th Sammy Schmidt – 19:28 – All-Region
16th Kendra Fowler – 19:40
20th Leah Converse – 19:58
24th Claire Whittle – 20:12
47th Erin Norton – 21:21
51st Katie Nicholas – 21:26
Both teams will race in the D2 State Finals race next Saturday. Information can be found here - https://www.mhsaa.com/Sports/Boys-Cross-Country/2018-Finals
The Red Devils fought through some adversity after their early success seemed to spiral downward and they came limping in at the end of the regular season with three straight losses. Their playoff status, once a near given after a 5-1 start, looked as though it would fade away in the dust of disappointment.
After the loss to Tri County Coach Jack Nummerdor knew there was a chance they could still get in. It would be a close call either way but it wasn’t quite over yet.
And they got in. The Devils might not have busted through the front door with the bravado of an undefeated team showing up to do business but they got an invite just the same and would be facing Martin a team they had only gone up against once and that was a non-con game last season.
And like the season that preceded this game it was a struggle. A one point victory made possible by inspired line play, some key turnovers by the defense and the discovery of that little extra it takes to win a close football game.
Coach Jack Nummerdor:
“What a great thing for the community of Holton, these kids, and the students at Holton High School! It has been a wild ride going from thinking you are done to moving on to week 11.
“Very proud of the way we handled the line of scrimmage. Draven Wyant, Anthony Crabtree, Colby Younts, Garrett Lulofs, Kolton Plekes, Nathan Slowik, and Johnny Dominish are the hogs that got it done up front. Both sides of the ball we felt we did a great job. Ricky Enders is a kid that hasn’t played football in a few years and comes up with two Interceptions and some crucial Pass break ups.
“It was a great team win and a typical MHSAA playoff football game. Our kids have had the feeling of the season being over and we know we didn’t like it. Getting in and playing tonight was a redo to our season and we feel great about the way we played tonight!”
Four Red Devils crossed the goalline as Aaron Heron, Derek Pouch, Drew Krygstad and Kaleb Kitschka each ran for six.
Arriving home the team received a late night escort through town courtesy of the local volunteer firefighters and their fans waved them in with the occasional “On Holton” being shouted into the cool autumn night.
Four times during the season the Devils had taken the field against teams that made it into the post season and four times they came away with a loss.
Martin would be the 5th but this group of Red Devils was not going to let that happen on this night and they came out on top against a tough Clipper squad playing on their home turf.
So now it’s another lengthy bus ride south, this time to Decatur down in Van Buren county.
The Raiders are from the rugged Southwest 10 a conference with a non-con record of 10-2 and four teams still playing on. On Friday Decatur beat Climax-Scotts and for the Panthers it was the last time they would take the field as an 11 man squad. Beginning next year they will follow the trend of many D-8 school and migrate to the 8 man game.
The Devils will be facing the Raiders with a boatload of momentum and their eyes on extending their second season another week. A win would send this Holton team to uncharted territory with a game 12 for the first time in school history.
The Newaygo Lions faced off against Morley Stanwood in week 1 of the MHSAA playoffs. Lions prevailed, winning 25-10.
All games at 7pm Friday
Three teams from our coverage area are playing game 10 this Friday in three different divisions.
Newaygo muscled their way to a second straight home game to open playoff action by grinding out a tough regular season finale win over perennial powerhouse Muskegon Catholic Central. Tri County celebrated their first postseason call since ‘04, and the Red Devils of Holton edged in despite a trio of losses to end the season.
Teams are pumped, fans are excited and there is some serious school pride emerging among students staff and alumni.
Here’s a bit of a preview along with hopes for success on the field for the Lions, Vikes, and Devils.
Morley Stanwood (7-2) at Newaygo (6-3)
This will be the 50th meeting on the field for these two teams and the Lions have won 31 of them but that history means nothing when it comes to Friday night.
The Mohawks are about defense. Outside of the 42 tossed on the scoreboard by the offensive gauntlet of Kent City they have yielded just under 7 points a game.Their schedule however, included only three matchups against teams with a winning record and they lost two of them.
Since a mistake filled season opening loss to Kent City and the bizarre ending when Chip Hills came to town and handed them a week 2 defeat, the Lions have been roaring, winning 6 of their last 7. The only loss in that span? Reed City, of course. The ‘Yotes dominated the Gold but Newaygo’s comeback this season landed them the runner up spot and a playoff berth, both scenarios many thought unlikely after the 0-2 start.
The Lions are at home and they have the type of offense that can wear down opponents. They pound the line, can toss a variety of passing plays at you and find opportunities for big plays. The defense has improved markedly over the season and though the RC score might make it look otherwise remember those Coyotes averaged 51 a game this season.
The defense of the Mohawks will have to come up big and the offense might find the going tough when it comes to putting points on the board.
The Lions shook off what could have been a crushing loss to stake their claim with a hard fought win against a Crusader team that is far better than their record indicates.
Coach Scott Van Essen: “We’re extremely excited to continue our season. And to host another playoff game, is great for our program and community. Coach Clark has build a strong program with great winning tradition and were looking forward to Friday night.”
The winner moves on to face the Fennville at Montague survivor. The Tigers have lost twice both to D-5 teams with an 18-0 combined record. They don’t lose much and they don’t lose at home. The Blackhawks of Fennville also won 7 games but their schedule didn’t match Montague’s. Not even close
Tri County (5-4) at Saginaw Swan Valley (9-0)
Vikings against Vikings except…
Ok, it’s like you get invited to the dance but once you’re there you find out your date is Godzilla.
Swan Valley has a devastating, punishing, turnover-producing, loved by their offense defense. They simply shut teams down and have a boatload of young men on board who are still stinging from last year’s state finals loss to West Catholic.
Our local Viking fans are ecstatic to see the team in the playoffs. They haven’t always played with a lot of consistency but they have shown some talent along with a gritty determination that propelled them to a few more wins than most folks predicted going into the season. This team really believed in themselves and they are about to make the school’s first postseason appearance since the current players were either in preschool or daycare.
But SSV is a truly outstanding team that makes few mistakes while creating confusion and turnovers across the line. We’re not saying it couldn’t be a close game at the end and then anything could happen but TC would likely have to get more than a few breaks going their way and execute their game plan to absolute perfection.
And then try to find a way into the endzone. Their counterparts have built a wall in the red zone that few have been able to penetrate.
Coach Phil Butler: “We’re excited about the playoff berth. It is only the 6th time in school history that we have qualified. Credit goes to the players. They have worked extremely hard on the field and in the classroom to make this dream a reality. We knew some things needed to be cleaned up and we have done that. We are excited to go to Swan Valley and compete against the number 1 team in the state. They are good but our guys will put in the work this week and go over and give it our best shot. We told the players they have put their mark on Tri County Football and will be the foundation for many years to come. Don’t be happy just making it but lets go shock the world.”
The winner moves on to play either Chippewa Hills (5-4) or Freeland (6-3). The Warriors went up against teams who are in the postseason 5 times and lost 4 of those. The Falcons come from the Tri Valley Conference where SSV and Alma do business accounting for 2 of their 3 losses.
Holton (5-4) at Martin (6-3)
. The Red Devils have played the Clippers just once and that was game 2 last season with Holton posting a 21-8 win. Martin beat the teams they should have beaten and their three losses were to teams still playing.
The Red Devils skidded to three straight losses and all of their 4 defeats were also against schools scheduled for Friday games.
The Devils have been slow in arriving to games of late falling behind early before getting some traction on offense. They have the talent at the skill positions and should the defense be able to contain a Clipper offense that has run wild the last three games Holton just might be moving on.
Coach Jack Nummerdor: “We have been on quite the rollercoaster as of late. Losing our last three and then feeling as if we would not get in after the loss to Tri-County. Myself and Mark Jalovec came in late Saturday night to work numbers and read forums. Sunday morning around 1:00 we had it figured that we were in and it's been a waiting game ever since. We are very excited to have new life and we look forward to seeing what we can do in the postseason.”
The winner gets whoever comes out of the Climax-Scotts (4-4)/Decatur(5-4) contest.
Other CSAA Schools
Big Rapids (5-4) at Alma (8-1)
Last week the Cardinals traveled to Alma and took a 55-12 drubbing.
They get to travel there again Friday night for a rematch with the Panthers
Alma lost one game this season to top ranked Swan Valley. While it is always tough to beat the same team twice in a season BR would have to put out their best effort to have a shot. Who knows, though? The hosts might be overconfident after last week and the Redbirds might catch them napping.
The survivor moves on to play the Escanaba Ludington winner
Benzie Central (6-3) at Reed City (9-0)
BC beat who they should and struggled against the better teams.
The Coyotes are one of those better teams.
The winner has a date with the Manistee (9-0)/Clare (8-1) victor. The Chips went undefeated but played just 2 games against teams with a winning record. The Pioneers also played only twice against teams over the .500 mark and lost one of those.
Saugatuck (8-1) at Kent City (8 -1)
The only blemish on the Saugatuck record is a double overtime battle royale with a powerful Schoolcraft squad that saw them come up a point short.
The Eagles only setback was a 14-7 loss to Lake City and the devastating defense of the Trojans.
Both teams can put up the points in bunches and this one, weather permitting, could resemble a track meet.
Saugatuck made the state finals last year where they lost to Pewamo Westphalia. In fact the Pirates have ended the season for the Indians four of the last 5 years in pre district, district and state final games.
The team pulling out the victory will face the winner of that Pewamo Westphalia team (9-0) and Saranac (7-2). The Saranac squad is better than they were when they lost to the Pirates 42-14 in game 2, but P-W, the two time defending state champions are a buzzsaw with an offensive line that can blow open holes and break down defenses. The Pirates have missed the playoffs just once in this century, the same amount of times they were bested by their current postseason visitors.
Newaygo 14 Muskegon CC 7
The Lions scored twice in the first half and it was all they needed to punch their ticket to the playoffs.
The Newaygo defense held the Crusaders in check through most of the game In the fourth quarter MCC qb Nolan Convertini launched a pass to Dawson Steigman who went 79 yards and pulled the Crusaders within a touchdown but the Lions held on for the win and the chance to play beyond 9 for the second straight season.
Sunday’s selection show will provide the Lions with the where when and who they will play. The 7pm broadcast will be carried on the Fox Sports Detroit channel.
McBain 33 Fremont 22
Zane Stroven fired off a pair of long touchdown runs then powered it in once more from a yard out but the playoff bound Ramblers kept the Pack at enough of a distance to secure the win.
The progress of a team is not always measured in wins and losses though admittedly for some fans the Vince Lombardi quote “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.” rings true.
This Packer team went to battle against a McBain team heading for the postseason. A team with only two losses to a pair of powerhouse teams by a total of 6 points. The Ramblers were at home for the first time in three weeks and their fans came ready to cheer them into the playoff season. It clearly looked like a game with blowout potential.
And Fremont held their own. They let McBain know they were in a game. Each time it looked like the contest was well in hand the Pack clawed their way back.
This team has made progress since opening the season with three losses. They stopped the 30 game streak with a win at Central Montcalm and came within two points of a tough Tri County squad. Last season the defense yielded over 50 points 7 times. This year it happened just twice.
They’re not in the playoffs. Not even close. But there are teams that pretty much punch it in at this point of a long and not always fruitful season.
The Packers didn't. They came out in week 9 ready to play and gave the Ramblers a good deal more than they might have expected.
Nice job, gentlemen.
Stroven finished with 141 yards on the ground and caught a Cody Andree pass for 35 yards. Kane Widing added 61 rushing yards. Cody Moon was the recipient of the other 2 Andree completions and the leading tacklers on defense were Austin Kukal, Courtland Carson, and Christian Kennedy. Kennedy also ran in a two point conversion and Wyatt Kaastra went 2-2 on extra points.
Hesperia 28 Shelby 0
“This was a huge win for is tonight,” said Head Coach Doug Bolles after his team capped off a tough season by shutting down Shelby for win number 2 .
“We lost to them last year and it hasn’t sit with us very well, it left a bad taste in our mouths so it’s nice to get a little redemption.”
The Panthers clawed their way to a 6-0 lead at the half then scored twice more in the third before senior Cameron Follett scored the final touchdown of the season in the fourth quarter with a 7 yard run. Earlier in the game senior Owen Kowalski broke free fand scampered 48 yards for a score
Freshman Brandon Quinn gave the Panther faithful a peek at their future as he tallied a pair of TDs while piling up 112 yards in his varsity debut.
Junior Logan Balkema led the defense with 13 tackles with Connor VanBuskirk and Gabe Prado collecting 7 apiece. Follett picked off a Shelby pass attempt and the Hesperia defense jumped on a quartet of Shelby fumbles as the defense notched 5 turnovers.
“We’ve battled through some adversity with injuries and low numbers but we fought through it and never quit and tonight that paid off," added Coach Bolles. “Shelby moved the ball on us the first half, we bent but didn’t break... our defense stepped up when we needed to and made some key stops and got some key turnovers.”
“It’s a nice send off for our seniors and it sends our underclassmen into the offseason on a positive note.”
Tri County 48 Holton 16
The Vikings victory gave them their first winning season (5-4) since 2005 and in doing so rocked the Red Devil hopes for an extended season.
Tanner Ching found the end zone 4 times as the Devils could not stop the TC ground game. The Vikes had three players tally over 100 yards rushing led by Ching who finished with 151. Bryce Halliman pounded out 123 yards and a pair of TDs while Nicholas Braunschneider raced for 109.
“It was great as a program to get over the hump and get a winning season,” said Viking Coach Phil Butler. “ I'm proud of these guys.”
“ It was a great night, honoring 15 seniors and all they have done for our program.”
“Not our night,’ said Holton Head Coach Jack Nummerdor. “ Tri County did a great job of finding the match ups. Obviously not the output we were looking for. We need to do a better job of bringing the emotion out on the first play.
“Our seniors gave a great shot in the second half but it just wasn't enough. We needed to limit the turnovers and 3 and outs to keep our defense off of the field. We will get back to the drawing board pending the playoff look out.”
“We know we let the automatic qualifier piece for playoffs slip, but now we will wait to see what happens,” he added. “ We are right on the bubble. “
Aaron Herron and Austin Hawkins each ran for touchdowns while Herron (17) and Draven Wyant(9) paced the team in tackles.
Kent City 26 Grant 6
The Eagles shook off last week’s loss to Lake City and finished their season on a high note taming the Tiger offense for win number 8.
Grant tumbled to their third loss in a row to finish the season 4-5.
Kent City likely locked up a home game with the win and come Sunday they will know the details.
Hart 36 White Cloud 0
With a team composed of Junior Varsity and Varsity players,missing 3 starters from last week, the Indians played some of their best football of the year. They played hard for all four quarters never giving up despite what the scoreboard displayed.
Steven Holt scored White Cloud's only touchdown on a broken play where Alex Doke, while being tackled, pitched the ball back to Holt who then scampered around the left end to reach the end zone.
Adrian Rodriguez pulled in 3 passes for 27yds, and Hunter Ciolk grabbed 2 for 33yds.
Alex Doke rushed for 64yds on 9 carries and Adrian Rodriguez added 43 yds on 8 attempts.
Tucker Kooman grabbed 10 tackles and Alex Doke had 9 tackles.
Alma 55 Big Rapids 12
The Cardinals needed everything to fall their way to have a shot against the Panthers and gain an automatic spot in the playoffs.
It didn’t. Alma rolled out a potent offense and took control early to finish at 8-1. The Cards complete their first winning record in three years at 5-4
Reed City 46 Pine River 0
The Coyotes haven’t slowed down a bit. Could a possible rematch with Swan Valley be looming ahead?
Morley Stanwood 35 Beal City 0
The Mohawks move on to the postseason after shutting out the Aggies.
Lakeview 38 Central Montcalm 8
The Hornets finish 0-9, the ‘Cats 4-5.
By Ken DeLaat
Will any teams in our coverage area make it to the dance?
Well, two of them (Newaygo, Holton) have a chance but both face opponents who have been inconsistent enough to be dangerous. Two nearby schools, Silver titleholder Kent City and Morley Stanwood, are already in as is Gold champ Reed City. Big Rapids needs to beat a really good Panther team on the road as they take on 7-1 Alma while Hesperia and White Cloud will play games involving four teams with a total of 2 wins between them, both over other teams in the quartet. Grant looks to end on a winning note but Kent City wants to shake off their lone loss of the season as they head into the pre-districts It might be a long bus ride home for the Pack if the Ramblers are on their game and the Vikes can close out a winning season with a win over the playoff-hungry Red Devils.
Muskegon Catholic Central at Newaygo
It comes down to this for the Lions...win and you’re in.
Last weeks debacle against Reed City aside the Lions have had a good year rebounding after two tough losses to open the season by peeling off 5 straight wins. One more lets them play at least an additional week and all they have to do is defeat the perennial state champion Crusaders.
Granted MCC is having an off year. Midseason they were shut out by Cassopolis the first time they had gone scoreless in 82 games, but the Rangers have only allowed 4 TDs all year.
They handed playoff bound Ludington one of the two losses the Orioles have on the season and battled an undefeated Manistee team to the end before coming up short.
They also lost to OV whose only other victory was against winless Muskegon Heights.
They give up points and the Lions can certainly put points on the board but the Crusaders can also score and score quickly.
Newaygo is at home which should help and they are playing for an automatic invite which should provide extra incentive.
This will be the final game of the season for the Crusaders as they miss the postseason for just the second time in 12 years, a span that has included 6 state championships.
They won’t be playing for the playoffs.
They’ll be playing for pride.
Grant at Kent City
The Tigers fell short in their bid to make it to the dance and they finish their season with a trip to the Eagles Nest where they face a Kent City team coming off a battle of unbeatens that saw them fall short by a touchdown.
Only Beal City and Lake City have been able to contain the Eagle offense. The Tigers might find it hard to keep up with the speed of a team that has averaged over 45 points a game when playing a team that doesn’t have the word City in it.
Holton at Tri County
All three of the Red Devil losses have come against teams already prepping for the postseason. The Vikes aren’t going anywhere beyond Friday night but they have won 2 in a row during a season that has seen their football fortunes turn for the better. A season ending victory at home would give them their first winning record since 2005.
Holton wants this one to ensure their spot in the playoffs. They were bested by Kent City then lost a close one to a very good Pine River squad. They will need to win in the trenches and the in-your-face-defense of the Devils can create turnovers, a problem for TC in their four losses.
Coach Nummerdor was disappointed in the first half play of his team last week and after this week’s practice they are more than likely to come off the bus in Viking territory ready to go.
Shelby at Hesperia
One.This team has persevered through a tough season with limited numbers and they deserve as much support as the town can muster entering the final game. The seniors will be playing on their field for the final time.
Two. They have a pretty good chance of picking up their second win. The Tigers have been giving up points by the dozens in most games and the Panthers have some playmakers who can score.
Still, even though Shelby has won just once in the last 39 games?
That win came in last year’s season finale against Hesperia.
White Cloud at Hart
In the last three games these two teams have been outscored by their opponents 317-0 or an average of 58-0.
The Pirates have a win under their belt and have gotten to double figures three times a mark that has eluded the Cloud thus far.
The Indians struggle to score and often fall victim to the turnovers that come with offensive woes. If they can keep from getting bogged down by penalties and other mistakes and piece together enough of a defense to hold in any Pirate offensive, win number one might be within their grasp.
Or given the recent scoring drought these teams have endured this one might well end in a tie.
Fremont at McBain
The Packers lost their opener to Evart who sits at the bottom of the Highland Conference. McBain is one of three teams in the top tier of that rugged league that will still be playing next week and the Ramblers are a solid team with a strong defense and pretty fair offensive talent.
The Packers close out the season and the Fremont seniors will be lacing them up for the last time. The team has shown improvement on both ends of the ball and are a better team than the one that opened the season.
But the playoff bound Ramblers are playing in front of their fans for the first time since September and they return to town riding a five game winning streak. The team will be pumped, the stands will be filled and the game might be a long one for the Packer faithful.
Volley Against Violence this weekend
Hesperia traveled to Middleville on Saturday to face some great competition and began by winning the first three games against Loy Norrix, Delton-Kellogg, and Holland. After the break, Panthers split with host Thornapple-Kellogg sending the team into their next match against Kenowa Hills with both squads sporting a 7 and 1 record and tied or the lead in the tourney. The Knights took the first game and after falling behind the Panthers battled back before coming up just short by a 26-28 score to the eventual champs. The battle for third place went to Tri County and Hesperia ended the day in 4th place with an overall 3-2-1 tournament record.
The Lady Panthers, season record is 26-15-1, with a 6-2 conference record. They will travel to Kent City on Wednesday then hosting the 7th annual Volley Against Violence Tournament on Saturday the 20th.
Alyssa Miller led the team in kills on Saturday with 29, followed by sisters Emily and Ally Bayle with 23 and 22 respectively. Rachel Romero had 16 kills on the day. Kyra Sayer had 41 assists and Aria Thomas had 30 assists. Defensively, Miller led with 3 blocks, Emily Bayle and Isabelle Rumsey had 2 blocks, Romero, Ally Bayle, and Cara Frees finished with a block apiece. Emily Bayle led with 58 digs, Miller 43 digs, Sierra Cechura and Thomas had 23 and 21 digs respectively. At the serving line, Ally Bayle had 13 aces, Thomas 5 aces, and Frees 4 aces. Emily Bayle, Rumsey, and Miller each added 3 aces for the team
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