Drive for Detroit: Week 6 in Review

October 8, 2013

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

A handful of undefeated teams ended perfect seasons for others during Week 6, and a number of league races began to clear up as we finished the second third of the football regular season. 

But we'll assume no team celebrated its win with more relief than the team that hadn't won in quite a while. 

We don't often point to a lack of success, but Lincoln Park deserves a shout for its perseverance over the last eight seasons. The Railsplitters sit 1-5 thanks to their first win last week since the second week of 2006. 

You do the math, but keep in mind the streak included four losses by five points or fewer. Lincoln Park clearly earned some fans statewide as it battled on, and they'll surely be rooting for that next win to come soon as well. 

For the rest of Week 6 results of most significance all over the state, read on. 

West Michigan

Shelby 22, Muskegon Oakridge 19

Thanks in part to a trick play-turned-touchdown with 25 seconds to play, Shelby ended Oakridge’s 18-game regular-season winning streak and a personal four-game losing streak against its West Michigan Conference rival. Shelby (6-0) still has a few tough games left on the league schedule, and Oakridge (5-1) will be hoping for an upset so it can claim a share of the title. Click to read more from the Muskegon Chronicle.

Also noted:

Lowell 42, East Grand Rapids 39 (4 OT): This is one of those games that draws statewide eyes, and was decided in extra periods after East Grand Rapids (3-3) cut a halftime deficit before Lowell (6-0) prevailed.

Muskegon Reeths-Puffer 46, Zeeland East 26: The Reeths-Puffer revival continues, with the Rockets now 5-1 – they won a combined 10 games from 2008-12 – and their win over Zeeland East (5-1) was one of their most impressive of the last decade.

Grand Rapids South Christian 35, Grand Rapids Catholic Central 29 (OT): Losing to GRCC and finished second in the O-K Gold to the Cougars (3-3) was one of South Christian’s few disappointments during its Division 4 championship season of 2012; the Sailors (5-1) look strong to claim the league title this time. 

Grandville Calvin Christian 17, Hopkins 16: This turned the O-K Silver into a three-team race, with these two and NorthPointe Christian all tied for first with two league games to play (but none against each other). Calvin Christian improved to 3-3 overall and Hopkins fell to 4-2. 

Lower Up North

Lincoln Alcona 63, Oscoda 10

Lincoln Alcona moved to the North Star League this fall. So far, so good. The Tigers claimed their first league title ever with this Battle of F41 trophy game win, and at 6-0 qualified for the playoffs for the second straight season – and fourth time ever. Click to read more from the Bay City Times.

Also noted:

Grayling 48, Elk Rapids 28: The Elks (4-2) were major obstacles Grayling (5-1) needed to overcome to continue surging in the Lake Michigan Conference.

Indian River Inland Lakes 56, Central Lake 30: Inland Lakes (4-2) equaled its win totals of each of the last four seasons; Central Lake fell to 2-4.

Petoskey 42, Traverse City Central 37: Neither is likely to still contend in the Big North Conference this season, but this likely will end up a key result as both are 3-3 overall.

Lake City 46, McBain 0: Wow. Lake City (6-0) has given up just six points this season, and also shut out a McBain team that at 4-2 will push for a playoff spot. 

Upper Peninsula

Crystal Falls Forest Park 43, Felch North Dickinson 20

These small-school powers have faced off at least once every season (and multiple times when they've also met in the playoffs) since 1992. Forest Park (6-0) entered in first place in the Great Western Conference, and North Dickinson (5-1) is the same in the Mid-Eastern Conference. Although this helps neither’s league chances, it does give Forest Park a 16-11 edge in their 27 recent meetings. Click to read more from the Iron County Reporter.

Also noted:

Iron River West Iron County 41, Calumet 0: The Copper Kings (0-6) are having a are down season, but West Iron (6-0) appears to be building one of its best.

Marquette 24, Kingsford 0: Marquette (5-1) kept pace just one win back of Great Northern UP Conference leader Menominee with another impressive win, this one over the frequently-contending Flivvers (4-2).

Rapid River 45, Cedarville 28: Few teams have had Cedarville’s number during the three seasons of 8-player football, and only Rapid River (6-0) has beaten the Trojans (5-1) the last two seasons.

Engadine 36, Posen 20: Engadine (1-5) has had a tough couple seasons, but beating solid Posen (4-2) is something the Vikings surely enjoyed. 

Greater Detroit and Southeast

Milan 21, Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central 14

Make that 15 straight regular-season wins for Milan (6-0) and a strong edge moving forward as it attempts to claim a second straight Huron League championship. To beat its toughest competition this season, Milan had to hold off St. Mary (5-1) after jumping out to a 14-0 lead. Click to read more from the Monroe Evening News.

Also noted:

Waterford Our Lady 21, Royal Oak Shrine 14: The Lakers (4-2) have now won four straight and have a one-game lead in the Catholic League Intersectional after handing a first loss this season to Shrine (5-1).

Manchester 29, Grass Lake 18: The Warriors (5-1) were one of two teams challenging first-place Manchester (5-1) atop the Cascades Conference; the other, Michigan Center, comes up in Week 8.

Ida 36, Hudson 28 (OT): The Bluestreaks (5-1) took a strong step toward their first Lenawee County Athletic Association championship since sharing the title in 1997 by outlasting the formerly first-place Tigers (5-1).

St. Clair 36, Marysville 13: This left St. Clair (6-0) and Marine City as the lone undefeated teams in the Macomb Area Conference Gold, with Marysville (4-2) now a game back in the league standings. 

Bay and Thumb

Marlette 36, Vassar 35

Marlette (6-0) has had some solid teams over the last decade, but never one that has come out of the gate like this one. Marlette has scored at least 35 points in every game and just edged a Vassar team (3-3) contending for a playoff spot. MHSAA Student Advisory Council member Connor Thomas caught three touchdown passes for the Raiders. Click to read more from the Tuscola Advertiser.

Also noted:

Frankenmuth 21, Millington 6: The Eagles (5-1) have beaten their rivals two straight seasons and can clinch a share of the Tri-Valley Conference East title this week. Millington (4-2) must hope for a loss and then beat second-place North Branch to stay in the hunt.

Davison 35, Flint Powers Catholic 17: Ended is the rough start for Davison (3-3), which has won three straight to potentially set up a Week 9 matchup with Flint Carman-Ainsworth for the Saginaw Valley Association South title. Powers is 3-3 with losses to teams that are combined 12-6 this fall. 

Fenton 30, Lapeer East 7: The Tigers (6-0) are making space atop the Flint Metro League standings, pushing the Eagles (3-3) back to fourth with Lapeer West and Swartz Creek still tied for second.

Saginaw Heritage 21, Saginaw Arthur Hill 8: These teams appear to be moving different directions – Arthur Hill (3-3) has lost three straight, and Heritage (4-2) has won its last three. 

Southwest and Border

Schoolcraft 28, Battle Creek Pennfield 22

It’s possible some considered Schoolcraft (5-1) out of the Kalamazoo Valley Association race after it fell to Olivet in Week 3. Not so fast. The reigning champion is just a game back and now will be rooting for Pennfield (5-1) – which also is tied for second place and faces first-place Olivet this week. The Eagles also must face Constantine in Week 8, another matchup we’ll surely be watching. Click to read more from the Kalamazoo Gazette.

Also noted:

Climax-Scotts 21, Pittsford 14: Climax-Scotts (6-0) has won six straight over the Wildcats (4-2), but they haven’t come easily; this was the fourth straight decided by eight points or fewer.  

Bridgman 22, Cassopolis 21: This also has turned into a close one of late, with Bridgman (4-2) also beating Cassopolis (3-3) last season by only three points.

Lawton 33, Hartford 22: The Blue Devils (6-0) kept pace with Watervliet in the ultra-competitive Southwestern Athletic Conference South, with Hartford (3-3) now looking to win out to make the playoffs for the fourth straight season.

Lawrence 53, Deckerville 38: The move to 8-player continues to look great for Lawrence (4-1 in 8-player, 5-1 overall), which looks like a title contender after beating last season’s MHSAA champion Deckerville (3-3). 


Homer 40, Jonesville 12

Homer moved to 6-0, and in the process earned its first playoff appearance since 2006 and got within one more win of claiming at least a share of its first Big 8 Conference title since 2005. Jonesville fell to 5-1, but still looks strong to make the postseason for the second straight. Click to read more from the Jackson Citizen-Patriot.

Also noted:

Lansing Sexton 48, Holt 7: No team since Chelsea on opening night has come closer than 21 points to the Big Reds (6-0), who handed Holt (3-3) its first loss since Week 2.

Lansing Everett 25, East Lansing 17: This left Everett (5-1) with Grand Ledge and Holt as one of three teams one game back of Sexton in the Capital Area Activities Conference Blue, but the only one of the three still to face the Big Reds; East Lansing (3-3) has dropped two straight and faces Sexton this week.

Jackson Lumen Christi 35, Mason 0: This should sew up the CAAC Gold title for the Titans (6-0), with Mason (4-2) still looking great to qualify for the playoffs.

Portland 43, Williamston 22: This gave Portland (6-0) at least a share of the CAAC White title, with Williamston (4-2) and Lansing Catholic a game back and facing each other this week. 

Trophy games

Each week, the MHSAA highlights trophy games around the state. Here are a few in addition to the one mentioned above:

County Line Trophy: Bath vs. Laingsburg. These two renewed this rivalry in 1986 and have played annually since, with the Bees last weekend ending a two-game losing streak to their rival. Final: Bath 20, Laingsburg 19.

Old US 131 Trophy: Big Rapids vs. Morley-Stanwood. Big Rapids has followed up three straight losses to this rival with two straight wins. Final: Big Rapids 30, Morley-Stanwood 9.  

Friendship Trophy: Coopersville vs. Sparta. These two have played every season since 1966, most recently as members of the O-K Blue. Final: Sparta 41, Coopersville 14.

Hinker Bell Game: Escanaba vs. Menominee. These two continue to face off annually in a game that recalls this trophy although it disappeared a number of years ago. Final: Menominee 44, Escanaba 0. 

PHOTO: Lowell (on offense) needed four overtimes to hold off East Grand Rapids on the Pioneers' Homecoming night. 

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.)