Drive for Detroit: Week 5 in Review

September 29, 2014

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

No set up is needed to explain the significance of many of the games played across Michigan during Week 5 of the MHSAA football season. 

The scores speak for themselves.

Read on for some of the details behind a wide array of results that wowed many over this weekend. 

In addition, Ishpeming (5-0) became the first playoff qualifier for 2014, and Battle Creek St. Philip put up one of the most incredible point totals in MHSAA history – 89 points after trailing early in its 8-player win. 

Total, seven games this weekend saw teams combine to score more than 100 points – while six games saw both teams score in single digits, including one of the matchups highlighted below.  

Bay and Thumb

Goodrich 41, Montrose 39

The game of the season in the Genesee Area Conference Red was shaping up as Montrose vs. Flint Beecher on Oct. 17 – until Goodrich changed things up substantially by ending the Rams’ 22-game league winning streak. That Beecher/Montrose matchup might still decide part of the league title – but Goodrich is back in play as a contender. Click for more from the Flint Journal.

Also noted:

Almont 23, Richmond 6 – The Raiders (5-0) remained perfect while ending a 12-game Blue Water Area Conference winning streak for Richmond (4-1).

Lapeer 63, Mount Pleasant 0 – This is the most impressive win of an early run by the first-year Lightning (5-0), which looks like the Saginaw Valley Association Red favorite after dominating the Oilers (3-2).

Burton Atherton 34, Flint Hamady 22 – Atherton (4-1) still trails in the Genesee Area Conference Blue by a win, but knocked Hamady (4-1) out of a tie for first.

Millington 30, North Branch 29 – Only a week after a huge win over rival Frankenmuth, Millington (5-0) just survived against the Broncos (1-4) to remain atop the Tri-Valley Conference East. 

Southwest and Border

Battle Creek Lakeview 27, Stevensville Lakeshore 0

Lakeview has had plenty of success the last few seasons and is 19-3 over its last 22 games, two playoff losses included. But this might be the most impressive win of the run – although Lakeshore plays in the Southwest Michigan Athletic Conference East and Lakeview in the West, the Spartans (3-1) still should celebrate their first win (and in impressive fashion) over the Lancers (4-1) since 2001. Click for more from the Battle Creek Enquirer.

Also noted:

Battle Creek Central 21, St. Joseph 10 – The Bearcats (3-2) already have their most wins since 2008 and now an upset of one of the best teams annually from the southwest in St. Joseph (3-2).

Plainwell 31, Vicksburg 21 – The Wolverine B Conference East title may have been decided Friday, with Plainwell (4-1) bouncing back from a Week 4 loss to slow the upstart Bulldogs (4-1).

Paw Paw 62, Edwardsburg 57 – The favorites in the Wolverine B West also met and combined for more than 100 points for the second straight season as Paw Paw (3-2) took a 2-1 advantage on Edwardsburg (4-1) in their recent series.

South Haven 34, Dowagiac 28 – South Haven (2-3) hadn’t beaten Dowagiac since 2007 – or scored a point on the Chieftains (2-3) since 2011. 

Lower Up North

Boyne City 28, Traverse City St. Francis 27 (OT)

This victory will become "legendary" if it ends up deciding the first Northern Michigan Football Conference Legends title. Boyne City (5-0) held on to first place after choosing to go for a 2-point conversion instead of an extra point that would’ve instead sent the game into a second overtime. Both losses for St. Francis (3-2) this season have come in OT. Click for more from the Petoskey News.

Also noted:

Traverse City Central 18, Gaylord 7 – The Big North Conference race is getting whittled down, with Central (4-1) putting much improved Gaylord (4-1) a game back of the leaders.

Suttons Bay 48, Charlevoix 19 – The Norsemen (4-1) with a win over East Jordan this week can clinch a share of the NMFC Legacy title; Charlevoix (2-3) must win out to guarantee a playoff berth.

Manistee 30, McBain 20 – The Chippewas (4-1) broke a four-game losing streak to McBain (2-3) to surpass last season’s win total with four more games to play.

Whittemore-Prescott 34, Lincoln Alcona 0 – The Cardinals (5-0) clinched a share of the North Star League’s Huron Shores title, although Alcona (3-2) can still gain a share with some Week 7 help from Rogers City. 

Greater Detroit

Clarkston 42, Oxford 14

Clarkston (5-0) left no doubt which is the top team again in the Oakland Activities Association Red, downing Oxford (4-1) to go with previous wins over Rochester Hills Stoney Creek and surprise contender West Bloomfield. The Wolves, defending MHSAA Division 1 champions, broke open the game at the end of the first half and pulled away during the second. Click for more from the Detroit Free Press.

Also noted:

West Bloomfield 39, Lake Orion 0 – The Lakers (4-1) are off to their best start since 2000 with their only loss to Clarkston; Lake Orion (2-3) finds itself needing to win out to avoid missing the playoffs for the first time since 2000.

Farmington Hills Harrison 34, Southfield 27 (3 OT) – Harrison (4-1) kept its hopes alive for a share of the OAA White title, but now needs help from Southfield (3-2) against league leader Oak Park in Week 8.

Waterford Mott 20, Walled Lake Western 17 – Mott (4-1) equaled its highest win totals of the last six seasons and kept a share of the top spot in the Kensington Lakes Activities Association North by upending reigning champion Western (4-1).

Warren Woods-Tower 16, Madison Heights Madison 14 – Madison (4-1) had won 20 straight regular-season games, although Woods-Tower (5-0) nearly broke the streak in 2013 after becoming the first to fall in 2012. 

West Michigan

Caledonia 42, Rockford 0

Caledonia opened this season with two impressive wins and looked like a team to watch until then falling to 2-2 (although those losses were to talented teams as well). Put the Fighting Scots (3-2) back on the watch list; over the last decade, only powerhouse Muskegon has managed to put this kind of loss on Rockford (4-1). Click for more from the Grand Rapids Press.

Also noted:  

Grand Rapids Christian 35, Hudsonville 34 – Only the shock of the above result kept this from being the area’s most intriguing game of the weekend; Christian (4-1) scored the go-ahead points during the final minutes, delivering Hudsonville (3-2) its second one-point loss in successive weeks.

Grandville Calvin Christian 29, Wyoming Godwin Heights 28 – The Squires (2-3) trail by a win in the O-K Silver standings but still have hope for the playoffs after giving Godwin Heights (4-1) its first loss.

Grand Rapids South Christian 41, Grand Rapids Catholic Central 14 – Just when it looked like the Sailors (3-2) might struggle after opening with two losses (albeit against strong teams), they’re looking good to win out in the O-K Gold; GRCC (2-3) must do the same to guarantee a seventh straight playoff berth.

Muskegon Oakridge 36, Ravenna 20 – Oakridge (4-1) still owns supremacy in the West Michigan Conference although Ravenna (4-1) is poised to take a share of the league title if the Eagles fall over the next three weeks. 


Manchester 18, Hanover-Horton 16

The Flying Dutchmen dissolved a little of the thrill of Hanover-Horton’s turnaround season with a goalline stand that set up this week’s likely Cascades Conference championship game against Grass Lake. Both are undefeated in conference play – Manchester (4-1 overall) has played one more game – while Hanover-Horton sits tied for third but still 4-1 overall and with a strong shot at its first playoff berth since 2008. Click for more from the Jackson Citizen-Patriot.

Also noted:

Charlotte 42, Parma Western 35 – The Orioles (2-3) delivered another heart-breaker to Western (2-3) which has three losses by seven points or fewer.

Fowler 27, Dansville 6 – The Eagles (5-0) are setting up a Week 8 championship game against Pewamo-Westphalia after the two more or less eliminated Dansville (3-2) from Central Michigan Athletic Conference contention over the last two weeks.  

Eaton Rapids 9, Portland 7 – This was another sign Eaton Rapids (3-2) has turned a corner as a program; after falling badly to Williamston in Week 4, the Greyhounds hung in a nail-biter against improving Portland (3-2).

Homer 40, Jonesville 16 – The Big 8 Conference looks to be a two-team race after Homer (5-0) dropped Jonesville (3-2) into third behind the Trojans and also-undefeated Union City. 

Upper Peninsula

Bark River-Harris 22, Felch North Dickinson 18              

Bark River-Harris (4-1) hasn’t won more than two games in a season since 2009 – and its four wins this fall equal the total of the last four seasons combined. The Broncos have won all four after losing on opening night to Crystal Falls Forest Park, but beating North Dickinson was by far the most impressive as the Nordics (3-2) are playoff regulars and went 8-3 a year ago. Click for more from the Escanaba Daily Press.

Also noted:

Iron Mountain 13, Ishpeming Westwood 8 – The Mountaineers (3-2) are shaping up as second-best in the Mid-Peninsula Athletic Conference, with Westwood (3-2) falling after two straight losses.

Marquette 21, Gladstone 13 – The Great Northern U.P. Conference race is again looking like Marquette (4-1) vs. Menominee, with Gladstone (3-2) falling to both in successive weeks.

St. Ignace 28, Johannesburg-Lewiston 0 – The Saints (5-0) are alone atop the Ski Valley Conference with the Cardinals (4-1) now in a tie for second place.

Hurley, Wis., 32, Bessemer 26 – Hurley (5-1) clinched a share of the Great Western Conference title while Bessemer (3-2) fell to third place despite a strong effort. 


Waldron 66, Webberville 46

When these two have met the last two seasons, it's been busy for the scoreboard operator. Waldron (4-1) scored its most points since Week 6 in 2012, and also scored its season-high points in 2013 in a 56-54 win over the Spartans (3-2). Click for more from the Hillsdale Daily News.

Also noted:

Kingston 26, Dryden 24 – The Cardinals (3-2) surpassed last season’s win total and kept a foot in the North Central Thumb 8-Man League race while handing Dryden (3-2) its second straight loss.

Big Rapids Crossroads Academy 26, Burton Madison 24 – The Cougars (1-4) earned their first win in 8 or 11-player since 2010.

PHOTO: Lapeer, in its first season after former schools West and East combined this summer, is off to a 5-0 start. (Click to see more from

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.)