We have arrived at the final game of September? How can this be? While there are still lots of games to be played, it’s not an infinite amount. The leaves are beginning to change. The Cottrell family has already eaten a half bushel of apples. We are getting into the good stuff with the apples, just like with the football season. There is lots of action this week to look forward to. I even get to profile one of my favorite UP rivalries this week! I can hardly contain myself! On two, on two! Ready? HIT!
Kingsford (4-0) at Menominee (4-0) (Friday September 27, 7pm)
Although it’s not the Hofer Bowl anymore, I don’t believe the rivalry has any less meaning. Especially now that both squads are undefeated and looking make a statement in early league games. In last week’s homecoming game against Rhinelander, Kingsford blasted them 49-13. Quarterback Joe Hofer completed nine of his 11 passes for 173 yards and three touchdowns. He also nailed all six of his extra points. Leading the Flivver rushing attack was Brody Sundquist with 10 runs for 73 yards. Alex Patterson scored on a 53 yard scamper and finished with 64 yards on seven carries. Austin Stanchina grabbed two passes for 65 yards and a score. Cole Tengesdahl reeled in five receptions for 58 yards and a score.
Menominee also blasted their opponents. The Maroons beat Gladstone 56-6. Luckily, they had favorable field position for most of the game. Running back James Brown ran five times for 70 yards and scored four touchdowns. Quarterbacking tailback (it’s a single wing offense, remember?) Justin Brilinski completed four of his six passes for 60 yards and a touchdown. He also ran four times for 45 yards. Devon Barley grabbed that touchdown pass and finished with two receptions for 26 yards as well as five runs for 28 yards. The great field position allowed the Maroons to score all those points while only outgaining Gladstone by 45 total offensive yards.
Portage Northern (3-1) at Portage Central (4-0) (Friday September 27, 7pm)
Last week didn’t go exactly as planned for Portage Northern. They had their sites locked on going 4-0 for the first time since 1981, but two fourth quarter touchdowns by St. Joseph ended that dream abruptly. They had been having issues running the ball, but Coach Pete Schermerhorn was happy with the way his offensive line had played and opened holes for the backs. It’s a young line with a sophomore and three juniors starting. Quarterback Riley Bell completed four of his five passes for 36 yards. Tyler Cummings grabbed two of them for 26 yards. Preston Simon rushed 26 times for 99 yards and a touchdown.
The Mustangs of Portage Central are playing good football right now. They have a wicked three person rushing attack. Last week, they were able to overcome a huge mistake to win the game. P-C had intercepted a pass in the end zone very late in the first half. Instead of taking a knee and going to the locker room, they ran a play and had the ball stripped. Stevensville-Lakeshore recovered in the end zone to take a 21-14 lead into the break. Two plays into the second half, the Mustangs tied the score. That three person rushing attack had a great night. Jacob Allen finished with 147 yards and three touchdowns (including a receiving touchdown.) Quarterback Ryan Mergner ran for 116 yards and a rushing touchdown as well as a passing touchdown. Jerrod Davis got over the century mark with 105 yards and a score.
Macomb Dakota (4-0) at Utica Eisenhower (2-2) (Friday September 27, 7pm)
This game is always important to these two teams. Many times, it’s a chance to get a leg up on another league team. Both have good coaching and know how to get it done. Last week, Dakota blasted Port Huron Northern 47-7. Those seven points are almost half of the 16 total the Cougar defense has given up this season. None of the points has come against the first string. Quarterback Tyler Crowell started off shaky, but came around quick. He finished seven of nine for 93 yards and a touchdown. He also ran five times for 12 yards and a score. Teddy West, a JV player who had just been called up, ran nine times for 60 yards and a touchdown. Brendan Roberts carried the ball five times for 85 yards and a score. Leading the receiving corps was Brendan Mangan with four catches for 76 yards. Mustafa Abdur-rahman returned a punt 65 yards for a special teams score. Everyone got a chance to take a shot at Port Huron Northern from the sounds of it.
Last week, the Eisenhower only got on the scoreboard by Eric Dulinski’s foot. He nailed two field goals to propel his team to a 6-0 win over Grosse Point South. Quarterback Dan Chmielewski completed four of his 15 passes for 56 yards and two interceptions. He also ran eight times for a negative six yards. Nate Emery led the rushing attack with 21 carries for 92 yards. He was also the leading receiver with two catches for 25 yards and finished with 167 all-purpose yards (including kick returns and punt returns.) The Eagles will need much more offense than that if they want to beat Dakota this week. If they don’t, they will be put in a situation where they need to win all remaining games to get into the playoffs.
Middle of Michigan
Coleman (4-0) at Carson City-Crystal (4-0) (Friday September 27, 7pm)
Coleman is off to a great start this year. They have already matched the win total from last season. It’s their best start since 2002. Last week in the 28-8 win over Blanchard Montabella, the defense and special teams came through for the Comets. Zach Frazer returned a first quarter punt 49 yards for a touchdown. The defense had four interceptions. Quarterback Adam Stremlow completed seven of his 27 passes for 160 yards and a touchdown. Mitchell Franklin grabbed three of those passes for 105 yards and a touchdown. Zach Frazer rushed 13 times for 106 yards and an offensive touchdown. Lars Murray chipped in 11 runs for 44 yards and a score. Head coach Chad Klopf told Mlive, “Next week at Carson City-Crystal: it’s going to be another dog fight. Pretty much everyone in the league is equal.”
Carson City is playing very well. They beat a good Vestaburg 24-6 last Friday night in the Salute Our Soldiers game. Running back Will Beedy got his team on the scoreboard first with a 13 yard run. He finished with 116 yards on 22 carries. Quarterback Rhett Pringle completed five of his six passes for 78 yards. Robert Failing ran nine times for 68 yards and a score. Garner Cusack grabbed a touchdown reception. It will be interesting to see these two teams battle. Both are tied with Mount Pleasant Sacred Heart for first place in the Mid-State Athletic Conference South Division. After tonight, one team will be on the outside looking in.
High School Spartans
Jayru Campbell & Deon Drake – Detroit Cass Tech – I swear, the Detroit Public School League never gets all their games written up. It’s been the same thing since I started writing my columns. Cass Tech beat Detroit Cody 30-6.
Byron Bullough – Traverse City St. Francis – 16 carries for 108 yards and a touchdown in the 34-14 win over Grayling. Byron scored from 32 yards out on a fourth and two play. He also grabbed an interception and threw a two point conversion pass. The pass was batted, but Bullough grabbed the deflection and ran five yards for the two point conversion. I guess he wanted to do it the hard way!
Matt Sokol – Rochester Adams – 10 carries for 84 yards and a touchdown on a rainy night. Rochester Adams beat Southfield Lathrup 38-7.
David Beedle – Clarkston – No stats, he was out with an injury.
Jalen Watts-Jackson – Orchard Lake St Marys – One forced fumble and several pass breakups.
Nick Padla – Berrian Springs – Couldn’t find stats, but the Michigan State Marching Band stopped at the game and played during halftime of the 18-15 loss to Dowagiac.