1st & Goal: Week 6 Preview

October 1, 2020

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

We may have only just begun this abbreviated Michigan high school football season, but this weekend we’ll reach the midway point – and the beginning of another October full of opportunities.

Every game matters even more with a six-game schedule, and early league leaders are meeting everywhere over the next two days – including in five leagues in the Grand Rapids/Muskegon areas alone.

Below is a quick look at some of the especially intriguing matchups. Check out the MHSAA Score Center beforehand for kickoff times and locations of all games, and come back Friday and Saturday for scores as they’re reported.

This week’s broadcast schedule includes 48 varsity football games on MHSAA.tv; click the link for listings.

Bay & Thumb

Mount Pleasant (2-0) at Midland (2-0)

Seven of the last 10 meetings between these Saginaw Valley League Blue foes have been decided by eight points or fewer, including Midland’s 22-21 win a year ago that helped the Chemics to a shared conference title. Along with matchups both still face with Midland Dow, tonight’s should significantly shape this season’s league race.

Keep an eye on these: FRIDAY New Lothrop (2-0) at Montrose (2-0), Grand Blanc (1-1) at Lapeer (2-0), Midland Bullock Creek (1-1) at Hemlock (2-0). SATURDAY Croswell-Lexington (2-0) at North Branch (2-0).

Greater Detroit

West Bloomfield (2-0) at Clarkston (2-0)

The Wolves quickly are making last season’s uncharacteristic 3-6 finish – their first below .500 since 2002 – a distant memory, but this matchup will allow them the opportunity to avenge a 2019 loss for the first time. West Bloomfield claimed last year’s matchup 24-0 on the way to finishing 10-2, and more interestingly hasn’t lost a game by more than seven points since 2016. With both programs surging again, we could be in for another close contest.

Keep an eye on these: FRIDAY Detroit Denby (2-0) at Detroit Martin Luther King (1-1), North Farmington (1-1) at Birmingham Groves (1-1), Clinton Township Chippewa Valley (1-1) at Sterling Heights Stevenson (2-0). SATURDAY Warren De La Salle Collegiate (1-1) at Detroit Catholic Central (2-0).


Lansing Catholic (2-0) at Portland (1-1)

Lansing Catholic rode last year’s first win in this rivalry since 2015 all the way to the Division 5 championship, and the Cougars have tuned up on both sides of the ball outscoring their first two opponents by a combined 85-3. The Raiders will hope for a result similar to last year’s first meeting with Lansing Catholic, a 21-20 win, before they fell 21-0 in that District Final rematch. Portland last week bounced back with a shutout of Charlotte after falling big in its opener to DeWitt.

Keep an eye on these: FRIDAY Reed City (2-0) at Central Montcalm (2-0), Canton (2-0) at Brighton (1-1), Stockbridge (1-1) at Lake Odessa Lakewood (1-1), Ortonville Brandon (2-0) at Corunna (1-1).

Northern Lower Peninsula

Kingsley (2-0) at Traverse City St. Francis (1-1)

The Stags ended their six-game losing streak to St. Francis last season with a 26-7 victory that eventually decided the Northern Michigan Football League Legends title. Kingsley hasn’t slowed down, running its regular-season winning streak to 16 last week. But St. Francis’ 14-7 loss to new league member Sault Ste. Marie in the season opener is looking even better after the Sault’s win over Marquette, and the Gladiators still have reason to hope for at least a three-way tie for the Legends championship.

Keep an eye on these: FRIDAY Traverse City Central (2-0) at Cadillac (2-0), Harbor Springs (2-0) at Manistee (2-0), Frankfort (1-1) at Johannesburg-Lewiston (2-0), Charlevoix (2-0) at Boyne City (1-1).

Southeast & Border

Clinton (2-0) at Blissfield (2-0)

Reshuffling among southeastern Lower Peninsula leagues took these teams’ regular Week 2 nonconference meeting up a few levels. It already was a solid nonleague matchup – they’ve played regularly since 2012 and split the last four meetings with Clinton winning last season 45-13. Now they find themselves tied for the early lead in the Lenawee County Athletic Association, with Blissfield coming off a 31-14 win over reigning champion Hillsdale last week.

Keep an eye on these: FRIDAY Saline (2-0) at Monroe (2-0), Hillsdale (1-1) at Ida (1-1), Battle Creek Harper Creek (1-1) at Jackson Lumen Christi (1-1). SATURDAY Schoolcraft (2-0) at Chelsea (2-0).

Southwest Corridor

Cassopolis (2-0) at Centreville (2-0)

The Rangers are up to 26-1 in league play since the Southwest 10 Conference was formed in 2017, and that means even more considering five of the remaining six 11-player football members made the playoffs in 2019. Cassopolis’ closest league win last year was 15-0 over Centreville, which has continued its rejuvenation and could have its sights set on more after losing four games in 2019 by a combined 28 points. The Bulldogs avenged one of those defeats downing White Pigeon 14-8 last week.

Keep an eye on these: FRIDAY Sturgis (2-0) at Paw Paw (2-0), Portage Central (0-2) at St. Joseph (2-0), Constantine (1-1) at Watervliet (2-0), Stevensville Lakeshore (1-1) at Battle Creek Central (1-1).

Upper Peninsula

Gladstone (1-0) at Sault Ste. Marie (2-0)

Gladstone provided an uplifting story last weekend, coming off short prep time to edge Negaunee 22-20 and after also missing out on opening weekend. Next up is the team generating the most buzz in the Upper Peninsula. Sault Ste. Marie has wins over Traverse City St. Francis and Marquette – and will be looking to avenge last season’s 20-8 loss to the Braves.  

Keep an eye on these: FRIDAY Marquette (1-1) at Kingsford (2-0), L'Anse (1-1) at Negaunee (1-1), Menominee (1-1) at Escanaba (0-0), Norway (0-2) at Bark River-Harris (0-2).

West Michigan

Zeeland East (2-0) at Zeeland West (2-0)

This next-door showdown always means a lot. It might mean even more now that Muskegon Mona Shores and Muskegon High have joined the Zeeland schools to make what was a strong Ottawa-Kent Conference Green now one of the most powerful football leagues in the state. West won both meetings last year, by 20 and then 31 points in a Division 3 playoff opener.

Keep an eye on these: FRIDAY Cedar Springs (2-0) at Grand Rapids Catholic Central (2-0), Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central (2-0) at Byron Center (2-0), Grandville (2-0) at Hudsonville (2-0), North Muskegon (2-0) at Whitehall (2-0).


Whittemore-Prescott (2-0) at Gaylord St. Mary (2-0)

Whittemore-Prescott was a late addition to 8-player before the start of this fall. But it looks like the Cardinals made a sound decision. Their two wins in two weeks equal their total for the entire 2019 season. That said, St. Mary certainly will be W-P’s biggest challenge to date. The Snowbirds have put 111 points on the board over just two games and could be prepping for a serious run in their second season of this format.

Keep an eye on these: FRIDAY Adrian Lenawee Christian (2-0) at Climax-Scotts (2-0), Brethren (1-1) at Mesick (1-1), Indian River Inland Lakes (2-0) at Onekama (1-1). SATURDAY Hillman (1-1) at Portland St. Patrick (2-0).

PHOTO: Lapeer is looking to improve to 3-0 after downing Flint Powers Catholic 36-21 last week. (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.