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