1st & Goal: 2022 Week 4 Review

By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com senior editor

September 19, 2022

All winning streaks eventually end. And in mentioning them, it is more in recognition of what was accomplished than what is now over.

MI Student AidA couple of those endings took center stage during Week 4.

In 11-player, reigning Division 2 champion Warren De La Salle Collegiate saw its 16-game winning streak end with a one-point loss to rival Bloomfield Hills Brother Rice. The Pilots hadn’t been defeated since the 2020 Division 2 Final.

In 8-player, Adrian Lenawee Christian lost its first game since switching from 11-player at the start of 2020, and a week after tying Powers North Central’s 8-player record of 27 straight victories from 2015-17. Colon ended the streak, while the same weekend North Central’s current team also tied their record with a 27th-consecutive win.

See below for many more headliners as we move toward the midpoint of the regular season this week.

Bay & Thumb

HEADLINER North Branch 34, Almont 14 There are four strong contenders for the Blue Water Area Conference title, but it’s starting to feel like the decider will be the Week 8 matchup between North Branch (4-0) and Croswell-Lexington. Almont (3-1) can still impact this race – the Raiders see Armada this week and Croswell-Lexington next – but the Broncos have to feel pretty good about getting this one out of the way. Click for more from The Sports Report.

Watch list Bay City Western 70, Midland Dow 41 It was only five years ago that Western scored 45 points for the season, but in this victory the Warriors (3-1) went over 60 for the third time over the last two seasons – and after playing Dow (2-2) to a one-point loss and two-point playoff win last fall.

On the move Ubly 42, Harbor Beach 0 Two games into the league schedule, the Greater Thumb Conference East appears strongly in Ubly’s grasp, as the Bearcats (4-0) upped their average margin of victory overall this season to 46-7 while handing the Pirates (3-1) their lone loss. Davison 56, Saginaw Heritage 20 The Hawks (3-1) had earned much of the attention in the Saginaw Valley League over the first three weeks, but the Cardinals (3-1) solidified a spot as a top contender in the SVL South with Lapeer. Swartz Creek 26, Fenton 23 The Dragons (4-0) have done some impressive building the last three seasons and likely enjoyed this win a little more after splitting last year’s Flint Metro League Stripes title with the Tigers (2-2) because of a 41-27 defeat.

Greater Detroit

HEADLINER Bloomfield Hills Brother Rice 43, Warren De La Salle Collegiate 42 This might be the stunner of the 11-player season so far, as De La Salle (3-1) had won 16 straight games and 21 of its last 22. But looking back, it must be noted that Brother Rice (2-2) had given the Pilots some of their toughest games over the last five seasons, falling last year only 21-15 and winning the 2019 and 2020 matchups. The Detroit Catholic League Central is so loaded, it’s tough to forecast what happens from here. But this will certainly be a difference-maker in some way. Click for more from the Oakland Press.

Watch list Detroit Martin Luther King 28, Detroit Cass Tech 23 Any other week this would be the premier game in the Detroit area and beyond, as this time King (2-1) held off a late comeback by Cass Tech (1-3) after the Crusaders took a 28-10 lead.

On the move West Bloomfield 35, Clarkston 27 These Oakland Activities Association Red rivals can’t help but combine for must-see football, with this the third-straight meeting and fifth game over their last six together decided by eight or fewer points. West Bloomfield is up to 4-0, and Clarkston is 2-2 with two one-score defeats. Walled Lake Western 51, South Lyon East 23 The Warriors (4-0) are halfway through the Lakes Valley Conference schedule alone in first and a win better than multiple other contenders – including South Lyon East (3-1) in a competitive race. Gibraltar Carlson 27, Trenton 6 The Marauders (4-0) have downed two of the other three top contenders in the Downriver League in successive weeks, the time handing Trenton (3-1) its lone defeat.


HEADLINER East Lansing 36, DeWitt 30 The Trojans (4-0) scored the only points of the four quarter – in fact, of the entire second half – to earn valuable position in the Capital Area Activities Conference Blue and potentially put DeWitt’s 15-season league title streak in jeopardy. Jace Clarizio made the big plays on both sides of the ball late as East Lansing avenged last season’s 49-14 loss to the Panthers (2-2). Click for more from the Lansing State Journal.

Watch list Mason 37, Williamston 29 While most eyes have been on East Lansing and DeWitt, Mason (4-0) might be the best CAAC team few are talking about. Williamston (3-1) joined Holt from two weeks ago among league title contenders to suffer their first loss this season to the Bulldogs.

On the move Belding 46, Grandville Calvin Christian 26 Both entered undefeated, and Belding (4-0) has yet to play a single-digit game this fall. Grand Ledge 37, Lansing Waverly 20 The Comets (3-1) came back from a Week 3 loss to rival Holt to hand Waverly (3-1) its lone defeat. Mount Pleasant 27, Traverse City Central 21 The SVL is even stronger this season with the additions of TC Central and TC West, and the Oilers (4-0) held off the Trojans (1-3) in their league debut after breaking a halftime tie with all 13 points of the third quarter.

Northern Lower Peninsula

HEADLINER Traverse City St. Francis 49, Kingsley 12 The Gladiators (4-0) ran their winning streak over Kingsley to two straight and in doing so may have gained the eventual edge to repeat as Northern Michigan Football League Legends champion. St. Francis scored more than 42 points for the fourth time in four games this fall, but maybe more impressive is a defense that held the Stags (2-2) to their fewest points since 2018. Click for more from the Traverse City Record-Eagle.

Watch list Charlevoix 48, Elk Rapids 0 The Rayders (4-0) have put together great starts all of the last four seasons, but nothing like this. They’re up to three straight shutouts, winning by a combined score of 165-0, and handed Elk Rapids (3-1) its only defeat.

On the move Gaylord 27, Petoskey 12 After a slight stumble two weeks ago against Marquette, Gaylord (3-1) got a third win to guarantee its best season since 2018. McBain 55, Houghton Lake 19 After opening with defeats to Kingsley and Beal City, McBain (2-2) has evened its record with more tough Highland Conference competition on the way. Cadillac 46, Alpena 14 The Vikings’ two defeats came against much larger opponents from the Saginaw Valley League, but they are likely the strongest contenders now in the Traverse City-less Big North Conference.

Southeast & Border

HEADLINER Carleton Airport 41, Grosse Ile 34 Both of these teams are in the midst of bounce-back campaigns, and Carleton Airport (4-0) has now equaled its win totals of both of the last two seasons. Handing Grosse Ile (3-1) its first defeat also leaves the Jets and Week 7 opponent Riverview as the last undefeated teams in the Huron League. Click for more from the Monroe News.

Watch list Union City 18, Reading 16 The Chargers (3-1) ran their winning streak over Reading (3-1) to two straight and have put themselves on firm footing tied with this week’s opponent Homer atop the Big 8 Conference.

On the move Addison 42, Michigan Center 40 The Panthers (3-1) have defeated Michigan Center (1-3) the last two seasons by a combined three points. Jackson Lumen Christi 19, Parma Western 14 The Titans’ three losses have been so strong that adding in this win over Western (2-2) sends Lumen up to No. 24 in Division 7. Tecumseh 48, Adrian 26 They have two more to win first, but this one puts Tecumseh (4-0) much closer to playing Chelsea for the Southeastern Conference White title in Week 7.

Southwest Corridor

HEADLINER Edwardsburg 10, Vicksburg 7 The scores have been a little closer than usual during the early going in the Wolverine Conference. But Edwardsburg is still the team to chase. The Eddies (3-1) remain undefeated in league play thanks to Carter Houseworth’s 42-yard field goal with two seconds to play that sent Vicksburg to 2-2. Click for more from the Niles Daily Star.

Watch list St. Joseph 35, Battle Creek Lakeview 14 The Bears (3-1) have set themselves up for a Southwestern Michigan Athletic Conference showdown this week against reigning champ Portage Central, which defeated St. Joseph 36-30 a year ago.

On the move Paw Paw 56, Sturgis 42 The Redwolves (3-1) have upped their offensive production each of the last three weeks, this time to outlast a Sturgis team that has scored a combined 97 points over its last two games. Constantine 56, Schoolcraft 22 This rivalry restored went Constantine’s way in a big way as the Falcons (3-1) defeated Schoolcraft (3-1) for the first time since the 2015 playoffs. Battle Creek Central 42, Stevensville Lakeshore 35 After falling just short against Byron Center in the season opener, Central has won three straight to guarantee equaling its best overall record since 2018.

Upper Peninsula

HEADLINER Gladstone 40, St. Ignace 0 Make Gladstone the Upper Peninsula team that should be getting the most attention statewide. The Braves (4-0) are up to No. 5 in Division 6 playoff points after handing St. Ignace (3-1) its lone defeat, and they have yet to play a single-digit game despite facing four opponents which are all 2-2 or better. Click for more from RRN Sports.

Watch list Houghton 34, Bark River-Harris 16 We’ve had an eye on Houghton all season, and it remains justified as the Gremlins (3-1) bounced back from last week’s loss to Iron Mountain to hand the Broncos (3-1) their lone defeat.

On the move Menominee 48, Escanaba 28 The Maroons (2-2) got back to .500 and back to scoring 40 points after being held to just six both of the last two weeks. Ishpeming Westwood 14, Ishpeming 12 (OT) The Patriots (1-3) have had a tough start with two losses by three points or fewer, but getting one of those results back against the rival Hematites (2-2) could provide a jumpstart. Kingsford 28, Marquette 14 The Flivvers (2-2) broke a two-game losing streak as they wait for a possible Gladstone slip-up in the Great Northern Conference.

West Michigan

HEADLINER Byron Center 48, Lowell 35 Put in context, Byron Center’s 2-2 start might be the best 2-2 start in Michigan. The Bulldogs handed Lowell (3-1) its lone loss, and their Week 1 win over Battle Creek Central remains the Bearcats’ only defeat. Byron Center’s losses came to still-unbeaten Grandville and Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central. This time, the Bulldogs got up 28-7 by halftime and never looked back. Click for more from Michigan Sports Radio.

Watch list Grand Rapids Northview 22, Grand Rapids Christian 14 After falling to East Grand Rapids in the Ottawa-Kent Conference White opener, Northview (2-2) bounced way back to avenge last season’s 48-17 loss to Grand Rapids Christian (2-2).

On the move Muskegon Oakridge 30, Ludington 18 This combined with Whitehall’s big win over Montague has made the Eagles and Vikings remaining favorites in the West Michigan Conference Lakes. Kent City 67, White Cloud 26 The Eagles (4-0) are one more win from matching their season totals of the last two. Ada Forest Hills Eastern 35, Wayland 16 The Hawks are 4-0 for the first time since 2015 and a win from equaling last year’s success, while Wayland (2-2) already has guaranteed its best finish since 2018.


HEADLINER Colon 40, Adrian Lenawee Christian 24 Not only had Lenawee Christian never lost an 8-player game, but the Cougars had played only one single-digit game during that 27-win streak – in Week 2 this season against Toledo Christian. Colon has been nearly as impressive since switching to 8-player in 2018 and moved to 45-6 over those five seasons with this victory. Click for more from the Sturgis Journal.

Watch list Rudyard 34, Pickford 6 This was the second-straight win for Rudyard (2-2) over Pickford, and whereas last year’s denied Pickford (3-1) a championship share in the Great Lakes Eight Conference East, this one could also shake up the league race.

On the move Norway 30, Crystal Falls Forest Park 28 Adding this to the Lake Linden-Hubbell win two weeks ago, Norway has surged into contention in the GLEC West and sits as the most likely challenger to North Central. Powers North Central 67, Ontonagon 0 Speaking of, this was the performance that gave the Jets that 27th-straight victory – their second shutout this fall (one win was a forfeit) as they’ve given up only three points over the first month. Breckenridge 44, Portland St. Patrick 20 As anticipated, the Huskies (3-1) are adjusting well to 8-player in their first season, with this win over the annually-contending Shamrocks (3-1) the most impressive so far.

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PHOTO: East Lansing's Kanye Jackson (3) works to break away from a DeWitt defender during the Trojans' Week 4 victory. (Click for more from High School Sports Scene.)

Mendon 8-Player Championship Game Run Paced by Record-Setting Rushing

By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com senior editor

May 26, 2023

Mendon’s run to the Division 2 Final last fall included some of the strongest rushing performances over the history of 8-player football.

The Hornets ran for 4,317 yards, second-most all-time, on the second-most attempts (520) and with a record-setting 682 yards Oct. 14 against Marcellus. Mendon also set the record for total offense with 692 total in that game, and made the single-season touchdowns list with 76 including 66 rushing (also second on that list).

Junior Jack McCaw made the single-season scoring list with 212 points, most coming on 29 touchdowns, and Evan Lukeman made the single-game rushing list with 401 yards against Marcellus. Mendon’s defense also earned praise, twice making the fewest-first-downs-allowed list with a low of three.

See below for more recent additions to the 8-player portion of the football record book:

8-Player Football

Athens’ Landon Bennett earned a pair of record book entries after reaching the end zone seven times during his team’s 72-0 win over Burr Oak on Sept. 8. His seven scores are tied for third-most in 8-player history and included three rushing, three on punt returns and one on an interception return. The three punt return touchdowns are a record. Bennett is a junior.

On the night Powers North Central broke its 8-player record for consecutive wins, claiming its 28th straight, senior Luke Gorzinski tied Jets great Jason Whitens for the record for interception touchdowns in a game with two, scoring on returns during the second and fourth quarters. Gorzinski has signed with Michigan Tech, and North Central’s winning streak is 37 games and counting.

A pair of Atlanta offensive playmakers and a top defensive lineman earned a total of seven entries in the record book for achievements last fall. Senior quarterback Tyler Currie threw for 30 touchdowns over eight games, and also made the records for six touchdowns and 419 passing yards against Whittemore-Prescott on Sept. 23; the passing yards are second-most for one 8-player game. Sophomore Landon Galea was added for 263 yards and five of those touchdowns against the Cardinals, and also for 1,418 yards receiving and 23 touchdowns over nine games. Junior teammate Tucker Kendrick made the tackles for loss list with five against Hillman on Oct. 6.

Adrian Lenawee Christian senior Brady McKelvey became the first to make the career extra points list in 8-player football this past fall. He bettered his previous single-season record making 64 of 66 extra-point attempts over 11 games and finishing his two-year varsity career with 123 extra points in 127 tries.

Sam McKissack reached the record book showcasing multiple skills for Crystal Falls Forest Park during the 2021 season – twice for rushing attempts in a game including with a record 59 against Ontonagon that Sept. 10, and then with a record 70-yard punt Oct. 30, 2021, against Lake Linden-Hubbell. Teammate Devon Basirico also made the record book with six fumble recoveries over 11 games that season. As a team, Forest Park was added twice for single-game rushing attempts – including 73 total in that Ontonagon game – and for 424 rushes over 11 games for the season. McKissack and Basirico are seniors this spring.

Nikolaus Lewis tied for eighth-most rushing touchdowns in an 8-player game when he reached the end zone six times for Carsonville-Port Sanilac in its win over Caseville on Oct. 7. He’s a senior this spring.

Bridgman has won 24 straight games over the last three seasons, and an exceptional offense – and exceptional offensive star – have played major roles. The Bees were added for 658 total yards in a win over Lawrence last season, that total ranking third all-time, and also 613 yards in a win over Eau Claire. Those included totals of 575 and 547 rushing yards, respectively, and Bridgman was added for 3,598 rushing yards (sixth on the list), 59 rushing touchdowns (fourth) and 76 total touchdowns (seventh). Senior Reid Haskins capped his four-year, 32-game varsity career with 13 record book entries, including for 254 points last season over nine games (tied for fifth all-time) and a record 620 career points, 41 touchdowns last season (fifth) and a record 95 for his career, 2,344 rushing yards last season (third) and a record 5,206 for his career, and 41 rushing touchdowns last season (third) and a record 94 for his career. Senior teammate Tanner Peters made the records three times including for 50 extra points last season (fourth) and 99 over 26 games and three seasons (second on the career list).

Mio's Austin Fox rewrote the 8-player passing record book this past fall, with his 621 yards in a game against Whittemore-Prescott setting a single-game record as he totaled four of the five-highest passing yardage totals. He also set a record with 3,516 over nine games for the season, another record with 289 passing attempts over those nine games and a third record for nine touchdown passes in that game against the Cardinals. His 41 touchdown passes total rank fourth. Teammates Gage Long and Nathan Hurst also earned several record book entries on the receiving end of those passes. Long’s 297 receiving yards against Whittemore-Prescott were tied for third most, and Hurst’s 266 against Alcona rank eighth. Long set a single-season record with 1,739 receiving yards, with Hurst sixth all-time at 1,321, and Long’s 14 receptions against the Cardinals and 70 for the season also rank second on those respective lists. Hurst set a record for longest 8-player kickoff return with a 99-yarder against St. Helen Charlton Heston. All three are seniors.

Peck was one of the first MHSAA 8-player champions, claiming the title in 2013, and Cody Abrego one of the state’s first 8-player stars. The Pirates were added to the MHSAA record book 52 times, and Abrego 14 times individually. Among the most notable entries for the 2015 graduate were for 462 points scored over his two-season career (ranking sixth all-time), 74 career touchdowns (sixth), 2,202 rushing yards in 2013 (fifth) and 35 rushing touchdowns in 2013 (sixth). Current senior Caleb Lentner was one of the stars statewide this past season, and he was added eight times including for 50 points scored in a game (ranking second), 272 points for a season last fall (fifth), eight touchdowns in a game (tied for second), 42 touchdowns in a season (fifth), an 8-player record of 2,694 rushing yards from last season, and 38 rushing touchdowns also last fall (fourth). Others to make the individual lists were Nathan Robar, Caleb Dudley, Steven VanConant, Kyle Abrego and Nathan Neihaus, Dudley for a record 20 career interceptions over two seasons and VanConant for a record 12 tackles for loss in a 2022 game and 36 tackles for loss for the season last fall. The Pirates also are all over the 8-player team record book, including for a record 97 touchdowns in 2013, a record 5,895 yards of total offense that season, 528 carries, 4,346 rushing yards and 73 rushing touchdowns in 2013 (all ranking second); and 24 interceptions in 2014, which ranks second on that list.

Senior quarterback JR Hildebrand was one of the most dynamic players in 8-player football in the fall in leading Martin to the Division 1 title. He had one of his most exciting nights in a playoff opener against Tekonsha, making the single-game touchdown pass list with six in a 68-6 victory.

PHOTO Mendon’s Jack McCaw (21) eludes a tackle during the 8-Player Division 2 Final in November at Northern Michigan University. (Photo by Cara Kamps.)