What an amazing first week! It felt great to see the boys run onto the field and the refs huddle up just before kickoff for last second instructions. As of now, it’s GAME ON! As cliché as it is, I truly believe that the biggest improvement comes between week one and week two. Coaches have confirmed their strengths and weaknesses. New teams are emerging from the shadows and could challenge for league titles later in the season. Let’s review the games from last week.
Rochester Adams 12 Clarkston 7
With 35 seconds left in the third quarter, the game stopped for lightning. When play resumed on Saturday, Adams was leading 12-0. To the surprise of most, injured Clarkston running back Ian Eriksen suited up and played on Saturday. He scored a touchdown early in the fourth quarter. For the day, Eriksen rushed for 56 yards on nine carries and scored once. The offense (and defense) of Rochester Adams found a way to deal huge future Spartan David Beedle and teammate Nick Mattich. In the second quarter, Adams held the ball for so long that Clarkston only ran five plays. For Rochester Adams, running back Clarence Broadnax ran the ball 12 times for 87 yards. Future Spartan Matt Sokol ran the ball 20 times for 81 yards, completed four of his six passes for 38 yards, and also caught a pass for six yards.
Ishpeming 36 Iron Mountain 0
If I had to pick a stat of the game, it would be this; Ishpeming held Iron Mountain to 10 yards. With the Hematites bringing back so many players from their state title last year, it’s easy to see they were a bit more advanced than Iron Mountain. Both coaches acknowledged that IM was trying to get some work on their base offense, after falling behind 30-0 going into halftime. The Ishpeming defense swarmed the whole night and came up with many sacks. For IM, they were led by James Christiansen who ran 12 times for 28 yards. Quarterback Craig Qualley completed one of his five passes for six yards and also threw an interception. On the Ishpeming side, running back Bobby Zhulkie ran for 85 yards on 11 carries and scored twice. Quarterback Alex Briones completed six of his eight passes for 140 yards and a touchdown, while also running in a pair of scores.
Great Lakes Bay Region
Saginaw Swan Valley 27 Nouvel 20
This was a wild one. Nouvel jumped out to a 13-0 lead half way through the first quarter. The Vikings battled back and the defense took over. In the second half, Nouvel ran for 19 yards and passed for 26, after rushing for 75 yards and passing for 125 in the first half. A Nouvel fumble when the game was tied with not even two minutes remaining in the game turned the tide in the tied game. That allowed Swan Valley to march 43 yards to a score and the win with 22 seconds left on the clock. For Nouvel, quarterback Garrett Graham completed nine of his 16 passes for 157 yards, a score, and an interception. When he ran, he gained 47 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries. Running back Ryan Sullivan ran 17 times for 46 yards and a score while also catching a pass for an 81 yard touchdown. For Swan Valley, quarterback Nick Call completed four of his seven passes for 30 yards. Alex Grace caught one pass for 12 yards, but ran the ball 29 times for 202 yards and three scores. Ben Finzel caught two passes for 18 yards and ran eight times for 28 yards and a score.
Grand Rapids Christian 41 Grand Rapids South Christian 13
This game was fairly close, despite what the final score said. Going into the fourth quarter, GRC led 21-13. Then it blew up. New GRC quarterback Tyler Sigler settled down and played very well in the fourth quarter. He tossed two touchdown passes and ran for another. Almost all of the touchdowns GRC made were on big plays (the shortest touchdown being a 27 yard pass.) For the game, Sigler completed 11 of his 22 passes for 211 yards, three scores, and a pick. He also ran 13 times for 157 yards and a score (busted a 71 yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.) Dwayne Barfield caught four passes for 120 yards and two scores. Malik McLaughlin ran four times for 107 yards. On the Grand Rapids South Christian side, quarterback Jon Wassink completed only seven of his 21 passes for 51 yards. Sam Heyboer caught three of them for 13 yards. Wassink also ran 17 times for 50 yards. Ryan Veenstra rushed 11 times for 25 yards. Kyle Haan scored twice on field goals, from 37 and 38 yards. The only touchdown that SC scored was on an 89 yard kickoff return by Ryan Venstra.