1st & Goal: 2023 Week 9 Review

By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com senior editor

October 23, 2023

By now, you’ve likely moved on to prepping for this weekend’s start of the 2023 Football Playoffs. We don’t blame you – it’s impossible to not look forward at this time of year.

MI Student AidBut we like to say we tell the stories behind the scores – and the Week 9 regular-season scores below tell a lot of the story of how we got here and what’s set to begin.

(And join us again Friday as we switch up the “1st & Goal” preview format to take a look at matchups in every playoff division.)

Bay & Thumb

HEADLINER Davison 56, Lapeer 55 The Saginaw Valley League Red title race went down to the final minutes and last points of the regular season as Davison (9-0) held on to claim the outright championship; a Lapeer win would have awarded a share of the title to runner-up Grand Blanc. What’s next? The Lightning (5-4) go back to Davison for a Division 1 District Semifinal on Friday. Click for more from the Flint Journal.

Watch list Harbor Beach 17. Beal City 8 This was among the headliners statewide as Harbor Beach (8-1) not only handed Beal City (8-1) its only loss but also leaped to No. 6 on the final playoff-points average list.

On the move Frankenmuth 38, Gladwin 0 Frankenmuth (8-1) went on the road for a rematch of last season’s Division 5 Final, won by Gladwin 10-7 on a closing-seconds field goal, and this time finished a regular-season run that guaranteed home games at least through the Regional and could include hosting the Flying Gs (7-2). Midland Dow 29, Midland 9 This got Dow (5-4) into the playoffs and boosted the Chargers enough to keep them home for a rematch with the Chemics (5-4) this week. Freeland 35, Croswell-Lexington 32 Freeland came back from 26 points down to not only get to (8-1) but eventually earn home field for this week’s game against Lake Fenton, which entered Week 9 only one spot behind the Falcons on the Division 4 playoff-points average list.

Greater Detroit

HEADLINER Lake Orion 35, Saline 28 These two entered both undefeated and Nos. 4 and 5, respectively, on the Division 1 playoff-points average list. Lake Orion (9-0) finished the weekend with its first perfect regular season since 2006 and the top spot overall in Division 1, guaranteeing itself three home playoff games. The Dragons took their first lead with 4:36 to play. Saline (8-1) moved down only to No. 6 on the Division 1 list and will be home this week as well. Click for more from the Detroit Free Press.

Watch list Harper Woods 24, Roseville 7 The Pioneers (6-3) continued their rise from a 1-2 start and continued to benefit from a loaded schedule by moving up six spots to No. 1 on the final Division 4 playoff-points average list after avenging last season’s 28-0 loss to the Panthers (6-3).

On the move Belleville 42, Northville 0 Belleville (9-0) posted its third-straight shutout and fifth this season to claim the overall Kensington Lakes Activities Association title; the Tigers could see Northville  (8-1) again in a Regional Final. Oxford 24, Detroit U-D Jesuit 21 Oxford (4-5) climbed in the top 32 in Division 1 playoff-point average last week for the first time this season and stayed there by edging Jesuit (6-2). Birmingham Seaholm 21, Birmingham Groves 14 Seaholm (8-1) broke a four-game losing streak against its rival, and after falling to Groves in both in the regular season and playoffs last year – and the Maples will host the Falcons (6-3) again this week.


HEADLINER East Lansing 35, Grand Ledge 21 East Lansing (7-2) finished an outright Capital Area Activities Conference Blue championship, its first league title since sharing the Blue in 2019, and jumped up to No. 10 on the Division 2 playoff-points average list while securing home games through the District Final. Grand Ledge (6-3), last year’s Blue co-champion, narrowly missed getting a home game and will travel in Division 1. Click for more from the Lansing State Journal.

Watch list Portland 43, Berrien Springs 0 The Raiders (9-0) capped their first perfect regular season since 2018 with their second straight shutout and this one over another league champion in Berrien Springs (5-3).

On the move Hastings 38, Battle Creek Pennfield 3 Hastings (7-2) clinched the outright Interstate 8 Activities Conference title, the Saxons’ fourth-straight league championship (including one shared), but Pennfield also can be pleased finishing 4-5 after going 0-9 a year ago. Belding 66, Howard City Tri County 20 The Black Knights (8-1) scored a season high in their best win of the regular season as they finished 8-1 for the second straight. Tri County (7-2) helped provide the boost to keep Belding No. 5 on the final Division 5 playoff-points average list. Bath 28, Perry 6 While Perry (5-4) did still qualify for the playoffs for the first time, Bath (6-3) celebrated on this night and has made the playoffs for the second straight while also earning a home game this week in Division 7.

Northern Lower Peninsula

HEADLINER Gaylord 20, Sault Ste. Marie 8 Just two seasons after going 2-7, Gaylord (9-0) completed its first perfect regular season since 2002 and finished off a Big North Conference outright championship in the process. The win also kept Gaylord at No. 6 in Division 3 playoff-points average and guaranteed them home games through the District, but also likely kept Sault Ste. Marie (5-4) out of claiming one of the final spots in the Division 4 bracket. Click for more from the Petoskey News-Review.

Watch list Traverse City St. Francis 27, Muskegon Catholic Central 0 Last season’s Division 7 runner-up Gladiators had a lot of faces in different places or larger roles starting this fall, but they’ve qualified for the Division 7 playoffs thanks to a tough schedule and three wins over playoff teams including this one over MCC (5-4).

On the move Cheboygan 29, Benzie Central 25 Proving again that there’s always something to play for, Cheboygan (1-8) scored a season high in points, gave up their second fewest and closed a tough fall with an upset of playoff-bound Benzie (5-4). Traverse City West 17, Traverse City Central 8 Central (4-5) grabbed one of the final spots in the Division 2 playoff field and West (4-5) fell just three outside of qualifying, but the Titans surely should celebrate doubling their win total from a year ago and breaking a four-game losing streak against their rival. Ogemaw Heights 21, Almont 7 Ogemaw Heights (8-1) tied its winningest season since 2009, handing Almont (8-1) its only defeat, and earned a rematch, this time at home, against the only team it lost to this fall – Week 1 opponent Gladwin.

A Lapeer defender pursues a Davison ball carrier during Friday's 56-55 Cardinals win.

Southeast & Border

HEADLINER Addison 24, Napoleon 0 The timing couldn’t have been better for Addison to show arguably its best performance. The Panthers (9-0) earned the overall Cascades Conference championship in this matchup of previous undefeated divisional winners, posting their first shutout of the fall against an offense that was scoring 42 points per game, to avenge last year’s 36-18 loss and to move up to No. 5 on the Division 8 playoff-points average list with a home game against Hudson coming up next. Napoleon (8-1) will open the playoffs at home as well. Click for more from the Jackson Citizen Patriot.

Watch list Clinton 29, Hudson 0 With its second-straight shutout, Clinton (8-1) clinched an outright championship in the Lenawee County Athletic Association for the second-straight season. A Hudson win would have meant a shared title with the Tigers (7-2). Clinton has four shutouts this fall and suffered its only loss in the season opener.

On the move Chelsea 31, Dexter 21 After opening in August with a loss to Grand Rapids Northview, Chelsea (8-1) has been on a roll and made its loudest statement against the Dreadnaughts (6-3), who also hadn’t lost since starting 0-2. Ida 14, Dundee 7 Ida (5-4) jumped from No. 32 to a more comfortable No. 25 in Division 6 playoff-point average with this win, while Dundee (5-4) was left four spots outside the field in Division 5. Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central 28, Detroit Country Day 27 A tough schedule already had SMCC (5-4) in fine shape to make the playoffs, but the Falcons have won three straight to move up to No. 5 on the Division 7 playoff-points average list, in this one handing County Day (3-5) its third loss by six or fewer points this fall.

Southwest Corridor

HEADLINER Niles 56, Paw Paw 18 Niles pulled away from what had been a much closer game at halftime, in doing so claiming the Wolverine Conference championship outright and assuring itself of home games through the Regional. Moreover, the Vikings (8-1) reached eight wins for the first time since 1979, according to Michigan-Football.com, and they could host Paw Paw (8-1) if both win their Division 4 District Semifinals this week. Click for more from the Niles Daily Star.

Watch list Buchanan 34, Union City 0 The Bucks (6-3) enter the Division 6 playoffs on an impressive defensive streak, as they haven’t given up a point over their last three games – including this one against the playoff-bound Chargers (6-3).

On the move South Haven 44, Kalamazoo United 42 South Haven (6-3) will host a Division 5 playoff opener after edging the Titans (5-4), who had defeated the Rams the last two seasons including in a 2021 playoff opener. Benton Harbor 24, Hopkins 16 The Tigers’ playoff chances seemed slimmer after a tough run midseason during which they lost two one-score games over three weeks, but Benton Harbor (4-5) won two of its final three games to qualify for the playoffs for the first time since 2017 (not counting 2020, when all teams qualified because of the COVID-adjusted schedule). Portage Central 42, Stevensville Lakeshore 0 Portage Central (8-1) completed an outright championship run in the Southwestern Michigan Athletic Conference with its first shutout of the fall. Lakeshore (5-4) has reason to be pleased as well this week, as it finished the regular season back in the playoffs and two wins better than a year ago.

Upper Peninsula

HEADLINER Iron Mountain 42, Negaunee 7 There’s conversation that Iron Mountain (9-0) may be the Upper Peninsula’s best team regardless of division this fall, and it’s hard to argue with success. The Mountaineers haven’t been challenged much after moving into the Western Peninsula Athletic Conference Iron, but this win over Copper co-champion Negaunee (7-2) says plenty and kept Iron Mountain in position to host both District rounds. Click for more from UPMatters.com.

Watch list Kingsford 46, Marquette 11 Kingsford is the other side of the argument for best in the UP, and the Flivvers (8-1) have their most wins since 2017 and are a one-point loss to Negaunee from a perfect regular season. This defeat of Division 3 Marquette (5-3) pushed Kingsford to No. 10 on the Division 5 playoff-points average list.  

On the move Menominee 44, Bark River-Harris 14 The Maroons (7-2) bounced back from back-to-back losses to hold steady at No. 7 on the Division 7 playoff-points average list, but ended playoff hopes for Bark River-Harris (5-4) in the process. Gladstone 30, Escanaba 0 Gladstone (7-2) is No. 6 on the Division 6 list and will be home for both District rounds as well. Ishpeming 30, Ishpeming Westwood 0 The Hematites (6-3) have their best record since 2019 after ending a three-game losing streak to rival Westwood.

West Michigan

HEADLINER Wayland 49, Grand Rapids South Christian 40 Wayland not only qualified for the playoffs for the first time since 2013 (not counting 2020’s COVID-related format), but the Wildcats (6-3) with this win downed the reigning Division 4 champion and reached six wins for the first time since that playoff season a decade ago. They’ll go to South Christian (6-3) this week for a Division 4 District Semifinal. Click for more from Michigan Sports Radio.

Watch list Hart 44, Ravenna 0 Hart (8-1) will be making its first playoff appearance this week (not counting 2020), coming off its first win over Ravenna (3-6) since 1992 and after losing to the Bulldogs 48-0 a year ago. The eight wins are the program’s most since 1968.

On the move Rockford 48, Hudsonville 0 The Rams (9-0) finished an outright Ottawa-Kent Conference Red championship and fourth-straight perfect regular season, and could see Hudsonville (5-4) again in a District Final. Muskegon Reeths-Puffer 14, Zeeland West 12 After losing to West by 40 two seasons ago and 18 last fall, Reeths-Puffer (7-2) edged the Dux (6-3) to get to seven wins for the first time since 2013. Zeeland East 21, Muskegon Mona Shores 20 (OT) Similarly, East (6-3) had fallen to Mona Shores (6-3) by 19 in 2021 and then 35 last year before this win that boosted the Chix to No. 16 on the Division 3 playoff-points average list.


HEADLINER Indian River Inland Lakes 36, Gaylord St. Mary 30 Inland Lakes (8-1) ran its Ski Valley Conference title streak to all three since joining the league, taking this winner-take-all matchup. Inland Lakes also moved up to No. 5 on the 8-player Division 1 playoff-points average list, while St. Mary (6-3) fell two spots and missed qualifying by four slots. Click for more from the Petoskey News-Review.

Watch list Posen 46, Au Gres-Sims 42 This winner-take-all for the North Star League Little Dipper title went Posen’s way after Au Gres-Sims (7-2) won their Week 9 matchup last season to claim the championship. Posen is 8-0 and set to host both Division 2 Regional rounds.

On the move Fulton 36, Carson City-Crystal 28 Fulton (6-3) sat three spots off the Division 2 playoff list heading into the weekend, but reached the final spot in the field by handing Carson City-Crystal (8-1) its only loss. Powers North Central 48, Crystal Falls Forest Park 24 The three-time reigning Division 2 champion Jets (7-2) also were in danger of missing the playoffs in the No. 16 slot when the weekend began – but moved up to No. 14 by getting past the Trojans (7-2). They could meet again in a Regional Final. St. Ignace 42, Pickford 10 The Saints (8-1) handed Pickford its only loss, limiting an offense that entered averaging 54 points per game. A rematch would come in a Division 1 Semifinal.

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PHOTO Bath and Perry faced off under the lights and rain in Week 9, and both will continue as the playoffs begin this weekend. (Middle) A Lapeer defender pursues a Davison ball carrier during Friday's 56-55 Cardinals win. (Top photo by Max McCallister. Middle photo by Terry Lyons.)

Ubly Offense, Kicker Pile Up Record Book Listings During Championship Run

By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com senior editor

April 12, 2024

Ubly finished a combined 27-1 over the last two seasons, following up a Division 8 runner-up run in 2022 with its first MHSAA Finals championship this past November. And the Bearcats stacked plenty of record book performances along the way.

Individually, senior Brett Mueller made the single-season extra point list again this past season with 76 in 81 tries, and he set the MHSAA career record with 220 extra points over 232 attempts, 40 games and three seasons. He has signed with Saginaw Valley State.

As a team, Ubly was added to the record book 13 times for achievements over the last two years, most notably in the rushing game. The Bearcats topped 5,200 total yards both seasons, and also made the rush yardage list twice including with a sixth-best 5,148 in 2022. Their 90 touchdowns in 2022 rank seventh all-time, and their 85 this past fall tied for 13th, and they tied the record with 10 rushing touchdowns in a 2022 win over Reese and set another record with 84 rushing touchdowns total that season.

See below for more recent record book additions in 11-player football, and click the heading to see the record book in full:

11-Player Football

Dundee’s Ben Miller has a pair of basketball record book entries, and he’s also been added in football for scoring seven touchdowns in his team’s 72-36 win over Erie Mason on Oct. 20, 2017. A senior that season, he ran for five scores and caught two touchdowns passes.

Nearly four decades later, Howard City Tri County’s Mike Wagoner has reached the record book for his work on defense in 1985. A junior that season, Wagoner returned three interceptions for touchdowns – 65, 55 and 35 yards – which would have been second on the list at the time and remains tied for third-most for one season.

Jaxon Lippert tops the list of 21 who have returned kickoffs 99 yards. Lippert, now a senior at Walled Lake Western, joined the list against Davison during his junior season.

A handful of records from Warren De La Salle Collegiate’s recent run of Ford Field teams and also one from decades ago were added. Jake Badalamenti was added three times for kickoff returns between 96-99 yards, one as a junior in 2016 and two as a senior the following fall, and Marty Wyzlic was added for his 95-yarder in 1976. Mason Muragin is the new leader for tackles for loss in a career with 71 over three seasons, and he also was added to the single-season list with 31 as a junior in 2021, as was Will Beasley for 38 as a junior in 2020. Wayne Wright was added for his 16 sacks over nine games as a senior in 1984, and Josh Cox was added for his 100-yard interception return as a senior in 2012. Muragin plays at Illinois, Beesley plays at Princeton, Cox played at Central Michigan, and Badalamenti played baseball at Wayne State.

Pinckney junior Nolan Carruthers caught 16 passes during a 13-7 loss to Jackson on Sept. 15, good to tie for ninth-most in one game and breaking the Livingston County record of 14 by Hartland’s Greg Matthyssen in 2007 – a listing that also was added.

Ethan Wissner did some major lifting, or rather carrying, during Elkton-Pigeon-Bay Port Laker’s 28-14 District Final win over Montrose in 2022. The then-senior ran 42 times to make the record book, for 289 yards and three touchdowns. He’s continuing at Siena Heights.

Senior quarterback Andrew Schuster and junior receiver DeShaun Lanier formed a game-changing pass-catch combo this past season for Clinton Township Chippewa Valley, with Schuster finishing his career with nine record book listings and Lanier totaling six with a season to play. Schuster most notably was added for 212 completions on 301 attempts for 2,766 yards and 28 touchdowns this season, and 321 completions and 4,199 career yards over two years and 22 games. Lanier was added in part for 73 receptions for 1,132 yards and 15 TDs this fall. Junior kicker Juliano Haddad also earned impressive mentions with 10 field goals and 50 extra points – and he’ll carry a streak of 35 straight extra points into next fall. Schuster has committed to Grand Valley State.

Fulton’s Evan Barton has been added to the single-game touchdowns list after catching four scoring passes Sept. 8, 2017, against Potterville. He was a senior that season.

Saginaw Heritage’s Braylon Isom completed his career this past fall as arguably the most accomplished receiver in MHSAA history. His name is listed in the record book eight times, with career records of 3,837 receiving yards and 52 touchdowns over 34 games and four seasons, and with a single-season record 26 touchdowns this past fall over 12 games. His 91 career receptions rank fifth, and he’s also listed for 82 catches and 1,617 yards (seventh-most) as a senior and 1,428 yards and 18 touchdowns as a junior. He will continue at Miami (Ohio).

Evart’s 24-8 run over the last three seasons has been its most successful of the MHSAA playoff era, and senior quarterback Preston Wallace has played an enormous part. He finished his 33-game career in the fall – he came up for one game as a freshman – on record book lists twice for single-season passing yards and touchdowns and on career lists for 662 attempts, 421 completions, 6,955 yards and 88 passing touchdowns over those 32 games and three seasons. The yardage ranks 15th all-time, and the touchdowns are tied for sixth-most for one career.  

The 2005 Midland Bullock Creek team was added for scoring 547 points over 12 games. The Lancers finished 11-1, their only loss in a Division 5 Regional Final.

PHOTO Ubly's Seth Maurer (30) carries the ball during the Division 8 championship win over Ottawa Lake Whiteford in November.