Drive for Detroit: Week 3 in Review

September 17, 2013

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

Swartz Creek and Flint Kearsley combined for 137 points in Week 3, second most in MHSAA history for two football teams when the losing team scores at least 40 (Swartz Creek won 77-61). 

Reigning Division 7 runner-up Detroit Loyola dropped reigning Division 4 runner-up Detroit Country Day to 0-3 with a 20-14 win. And Deckerville, last season's 8-player MHSAA champion, beat 2011 champion Carsonville-Port Sanilac 42-0. 

All were pretty significant and worth mentioning for sure. But they were just honorable mentions in this week's recap of the most significant results from every region of the state. 

West Michigan

Muskegon 45, Rockford 0 

Instead of trying to explain the shock factor that accompanied this score, let’s instead focus on how good this likely means Muskegon (3-0) is again this season. The Big Reds are coming off a runner-up finish in Division 2, and have to be considered a favorite to return to Ford Field after defensively dismantling the Rams (2-1) while getting another big night from quarterback Deshaun Thrower. Click to read more from the Grand Rapids Press.

Also noted:

Holland West Ottawa 27, East Grand Rapids 23: The Panthers (2-1) earned another key nonleague win as they gear up for a tough O-K Red schedule; East Grand Rapids (2-1) will hope to pick up another this week before beginning in the similarly-strong O-K White. 

Muskegon Mona Shores 21, Caledonia 20: The Sailors, seeking their first playoff berth, are 3-0 for the first time since 1980 with this win over frequent postseason qualifier Caledonia (2-1).

Zeeland East 14, Hudsonville 12: This Chix (3-0) made it 18 straight wins in the regular season, this time against a Hudsonville team (2-1) that also should be in the O-K Red mix.  

Grand Rapids South Christian 34, Grand Rapids West Catholic 17: Another solid win by the reigning Division 4 champion Sailors (2-1) puts reigning Division 5 runner-up West Catholic (0-3) in a must-win scenario for the rest of the regular season. 

Lower Up North

Traverse City West 17, Traverse City Central 14 (OT)

At the high school level especially, with rosters changing dramatically each season, it’s difficult to pick which early-season games will be the most competitive. But this rivalry game was again as good as advertised, coming down to an overtime field goal. West avenged last season’s loss to regain the Nowak-Olson Memorial Trophy and earn a 5-4 edge in the teams’ most recent nine meetings. Click to read more from the Traverse City Record-Eagle.

Also noted: 

Traverse City St. Francis 36, Elk Rapids 26: Although these two no longer play each other in the Lake Michigan Conference, this matchup between Gladiators (2-1) and Elks (2-1) remains one of the best among Traverse City’s smaller schools.  

Cadillac 20, Petoskey 7: The Vikings (3-0) look good to be in the Big North Conference mix again after defeating another contender in Petoskey (2-1) on the first night of league play.

Hale 12, Oscoda 8: The Eagles (1-1) beat Oscoda (0-3) for the first time in their recent five-game series.

Indian River Indian Lakes 36, Pickford 34 (OT): The Bulldogs (2-1), seeking their first playoff berth since 2009, avenged last season’s loss against Pickford (2-1), a 2012 qualifier.

Bay and Thumb

Lapeer West 19, Lapeer East 13

As the Flint Journal led, “it was a classic finish to a storied rivalry.” These schools entered their final game against each other both 2-0 and were tied until the final two minutes. The series, which began in 1975, is ending because the schools are merging next summer. West finished with a 29-10 all-time lead. Click to read more from the Flint Journal.

Also noted:

Flint Beecher 40, Goodrich 7: The Bucs (3-0) pulled nearly a reversal of last season’s 26-0 loss to the Martians (1-2).

Saginaw Arthur Hill 21, Bay City Western 18: The Lumberjacks (3-0) already have equaled their best season since 2008 and did so last week by beating the regularly-ranked Warriors (1-2).

Saginaw Swan Valley 29, Freeland 19: Vikings running back Alex Grace ran for 337 yards as Swan Valley (3-0) continued to impress against the rival Falcons (2-1).

Yale 16, Croswell-Lexington 13: Yale (2-1) broke a four-game losing streak against Croswell-Lexington (1-2) which included regular season and playoff defeats in 2012. In doing so, Yale reclaimed The Helmet traveling trophy.

Upper Peninsula

Iron River West Iron County 23, Iron Mountain 20

How big was this win for West Iron? The Wykons hadn’t beaten their rival since 1990, including five seasons where they also lost playoff games to Iron Mountain. The Mountaineers (1-2) outscored West Iron by a combined 116-0 from 2010-12. And now the Wykons can celebrate their first 3-0 start since that same season 23 years ago. Click to read more from the Iron Mountain Daily News.  

Also noted:

Crystal Falls Forest Park 31, Hurley (Wis.) 14: The Trojans (3-0) earned a significant Great Western Conference edge by handing rival Hurley (2-1) its first loss.

Marquette 17, Sault Ste. Marie 14: Few teams in Michigan can match the Marquette's start of three wins against 2012 playoff teams, with Sault Ste. Marie (1-2) its final opponent before the start of league play.

Menomionee 40, Harbor Beach 21: What a way for Menominee (3-0) to enter league play – coming off beating a Harbor Beach team (2-1) coming off the Division 8 championship.

Powers North Central 22, Lake Linden-Hubbell 14: The Jets are 3-0 for the first time since 1998, while the Lakes fell to 1-2 for the first time since 2004.

Greater Detroit and Southeast

Madison Heights Madison 29, Warren Woods Tower 22 (OT)

It’s only the end of Week 3, but Madison (3-0) looks pretty good to repeat at Macomb Area Conference Silver champion thanks to this win combined with last week’s over Warren Fitzgerald, the only team to beat Madison during last season’s title run. Madison trailed Warren Woods Tower (2-1) by two scores early before coming all the way back. Click to read more from the Detroit Free Press.

Also noted:

Detroit Mumford 26, Detroit Cody 22: By improving to 3-0, Mumford bested its records of the past two seasons while dropping Cody – a playoff team last season – to 1-2. 

Oak Park 36, Rochester Adams 30: The Knights (3-0) scored twice over the final eight minutes to survive an Adams team that is much better than its 1-2 record indicates.

Warren DeLaSalle 42, Harper Woods Chandler Park 14: Chandler Park (2-1) is considered a team to watch in the Detroit area, which makes this win even more impressive for the Pilots (2-1).

Clinton Township Chippewa Valley 42, Utica Eisenhower 21: The Big Reds (3-0) continued their best start since 2006, with Eisenhower (1-2) now left to chase Chippewa Valley and Macomb Dakota in the Macomb Area Conference Red.  


Olivet 28, Schoolcraft 14

Wasn’t the Kalamazoo Valley Association supposed to come down again to Schoolcraft and Constantine? The Eagles no doubt used that as a motivating factor in handing the reigning league champ its first regular season loss since 2011 and only a week after Schoolcraft had beaten Constantine. Now it’s Olivet setting pace in the KVA, with Constantine coming up in Week 8. Click to read more from the Battle Creek Enquirer.

Also noted:

Eaton Rapids 17, Charlotte 12: The Greyhounds (2-1) regained the Little Brown Jug traveling trophy for the first time since 1992 against a solid Charlotte team (2-1), and with one more win will equal their most for a season since 1997.

Lansing Sexton 35, Grand Ledge 0: The Big Reds (3-0) haven’t given up a point in two weeks and with this win put the rival Comets (0-3) in a must-win situation for the rest of the regular season.

Grass Lake 27, Michigan Center 20: Only a loss to Michigan Center (2-1) kept Grass Lake (3-0) from a second straight outright Cascades Conference title last season; the Warriors, Cardinals and Manchester ended up sharing first place, but now Grass Lake has an upper hand.

Howell 14, Hartland 12: The Highlanders (3-0) survived to remain undefeated and avenge last season’s 12-point loss to the rival Eagles (1-2).

Southwest and Border

Plainwell 10, Dowagiac 0

These two don’t play in the same division of the Wolverine Conference, but are arguably the two best teams in the league. Dowagiac (2-1) entered this matchup 19-1 over its last 20 regular-season games and having won all seven of this recent series with the Trojans (3-0). Click to read more from the Kalamazoo Gazette.

Also noted:

Decatur 27, Saugatuck 20: This was the first time Decatur (3-0) gave up points this season, but this also was the most impressive of the victories; Saugatuck (2-1) had outscored its first two opponents by a combined score of 117-12.

Battle Creek Harper Creek 14, Marshall 6: The Beavers (2-1) were in need of a quick bounce-back after last week’s five-point loss to St. Joseph, and got it with a close win over Marshall (0-3).

Portage Central 34, Mattawan 8: After falling to Mattawan (1-2) by a point last season, Portage Central (3-0) left no question this time in the teams’ Southwest Michigan Athletic Conference West opener.  

St. Joseph 32, Stevensville Lakeshore 20: The Bears (3-0) continued their impressive opening surge by winning the annual War by the Shore trophy and ending a four-game regular-season losing streak to Lakeshore (2-1).

Trophy Games

Every week of football season, the MHSAA highlights trophy games around the state. Here are two more not previously mentioned above: 

Little Brown Jug - Suttons Bay vs. Kingsley: The Stags held onto this trophy for the third straight season. Final: Kingsley 34, Suttons Bay 21. 

Bayou Battle Paddle - Fruitport vs. Spring Lake: Spring Lake claimed this trophy for the second time in three seasons, both times with one-point wins. Final: Spring Lake 10, Fruitport 9.

PHOTO: Detroit Mumford (maroon jerseys) edged Detroit Cody 26-22 to move to 3-0. (Photo courtesy of Detroit Public School League.)

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

By Geoff Kimmerly 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.)