Drive for Detroit: Week 7 in Review

October 15, 2013

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

Numbers are part of most conversations at the end of high school football season. We keep an eye on movements within league standings, monitor daily playoff point averages and watch in awe as some of our biggest stars put up incredible statistical performances.

Consider a few numbers from Week 7 that fascinate:

  • Lawrence and Kingston combined for 132 points in their 8-player game, won 88-48 by the Tigers.
  • In Detroit Cesar Chavez's 64-41 win over Mayville, receiver Nate Drew caught 17 passes for 459 yards and seven touchdowns. Once confirmed, the 459 yards would be a national single-game record.
  • Cesar Chavez quarterback Omar Salih completed 32 of 52 passes for 689 yards and nine touchdowns. The yards and touchdowns would be MHSAA records.
  • With all results in, there are 71 teams qualified for the 11-player playoffs, but another 231 that have the opportunity to make the 256-team field by winning the rest of their regular season games.

Those scratched the surface of significant numbers put up as champions continued to be crowned and postseason berths were earned.

Read on for more of those reports from all over the state.

Greater Detroit and Southeast

Canton 34, Plymouth 23

If recent history is an indication, these neighbors will see each other again in a few weeks – they’ve met in the playoffs as well the last five seasons. But Canton has bragging rights for now after moving to 7-0 overall and claiming the Kensington Lakes Activities Association South title outright by edging the second-place Wildcats (5-2). Click to read more from MLive Detroit.

Also noted:

Farmington Hills Harrison 60, Oak Park 52: Although Harrison (6-1) has only a dim chance of catching Southfield in the Oakland Activities Association White, the Hawks did make the playoffs with this win while leaving Oak Park (5-2) needing one more victory to qualify.

Detroit Cass Tech 41, Detroit Mumford 6: The Technicians (7-0) claimed their fourth straight league championship, earning the Detroit Public School League West title by one win thanks to this victory over second-place Mumford (6-1).

Belleville 20, Dearborn Fordson 17: Belleville (5-2) earned a share of the Western Wayne Athletic Conference Blue title, with Fordson (4-3) now needing to beat Edsel Ford this week to also claim a share.

Clinton Township Clintondale 37, Mount Clemens 22: The Dragons (7-0) solidified at least a share of the Macomb Area Conference Bronze title with Mount Clemens (3-4) falling into a second-place tie with Clawson, its opponent this week.

West Michigan

Muskegon Mona Shores 49, Zeeland East 26

One of our favorite watch lists is made up of teams seeking their first appearance in the MHSAA playoffs, which began in 1975. Cross off Mona Shores, which improved to 6-1 and earned its first postseason berth thanks to this victory. The Sailors also remain only one win back of the co-leaders in the O-K Black. Despite falling out of that race, Zeeland East (5-2) still can extend its three-year postseason streak with one more win. Click to read more from the Grand Rapids Press.

Also noted:

Spring Lake 36, Ludington 26: The Lakers (6-1) can do no worse than share the Lakes Eight Conference title and can win it outright this week; Ludington (4-3) must win out to guarantee a playoff bid.

Allendale 38, Sparta 7: The Falcons (6-1) beat Sparta to earn a playoff berth, and would love the Spartans (5-2) to join them in the postseason if it means Sparta beats O-K Blue frontrunner Comstock Park in Week 9 – which could then give Allendale a share of the league title.

East Kentwood 34, Holland West Ottawa 18: The Falcons (5-2) guaranteed their first winning regular season since 2009 and remain atop the O-K Red, tied with Rockford, while West Ottawa (4-3) fell to fourth.

Lowell 53, Caledonia 25: The Red Arrows (7-0) needed to survive a challenge from Caledonia (5-2) to set up this week’s O-K White decider against also first-place Grand Rapids Christian.     

Southwest and Border

Paw Paw 15, Plainwell 13

These teams have dominated defensively all fall, and that remained the theme when they met with a share of the Wolverine B East on the line. The win gave the Redskins (7-0) nine in nine games over Plainwell (6-1) since the two became league foes in 2006 – although Paw Paw has to beat co-second place Otsego this week to win the league title outright. Click to read more from the Kalamazoo Gazette.

Also noted:

Battle Creek Pennfield 15, Olivet 14: This turned the Kalamazoo Valley Association race back into a three-team battle with Pennfield, Olivet and Schoolcraft all 6-1 and having played each other; fourth place Constantine plays Olivet and then Pennfield and could have a giant impact on the final order.

Dowagiac 14, Three Rivers 7: The Chieftains (6-1) needed to beat third-place Three Rivers (4-3) to remain undefeated in the league heading into this week’s Wolverine B West deciding game against also first-place Edwardsburg.

Hartford 17, Decatur 14: It’s still possible for four of five teams in the Southwestern Athletic Conference South to earn playoff berths, but Hartford (4-3) needed this win over Decatur (5-2) to keep that hope alive.

Niles Brandywine 24, St. Joseph Lake Michigan Catholic 6: With seven wins, Brandywine (7-0) equaled last season’s total and its most since winning eight 1997, while handing the Lakers (5-1) their first loss of the season.

Lower Up North

Cadillac 26, Traverse City West 21

This Big North Conference showdown literally came down to the final seconds and a few yards, with Cadillac’s defense making a final stand at its 3-yard line to stay ahead as the game ended. By doing so, the Vikings (7-0) claimed a share of the Big North championship while dropping Traverse City West (4-3) one win back with one more league game to play. Click to read more from the Traverse City Record-Eagle.

Also noted:

Grayling 35, Kalkaska 18: Three of seven teams in the Lake Michigan Conference could still have a hand in the league title, but Grayling (6-1) remained tied for first while eliminating Kalkaska (5-2) from contention.

Evart 31, McBain 28: The Wildcats (6-1) earned a second straight playoff berth while leaving McBain (4-3) needing to win out to qualify.

Ogemaw Heights 41, Standish-Sterling 28: Ogemaw Heights (5-2) pulled within one more win of making the playoffs by handing Standish-Sterling (6-1) its first loss.

Maple City Glen Lake 55, Suttons Bay 14: By beating third-place Suttons Bay (3-4), Glen Lake (7-0) finished a second straight undefeated run through the Northwest Conference.

Thumb and Bay

Montrose 34, Flint Beecher 18

The Rams (7-0) ran their Genesee Area Conference Red winning streak to 17 over the last three-plus seasons and set themselves up well to play for a third straight league title, with seventh-place Perry up next before a face-off with also first-place Lake Fenton in Week 9. Beecher (5-2) fell two games back and needs one more win to make the playoffs, with opponents a combined 9-5 left on the schedule. Click to read more from the Flint Journal.

Also noted:

Reese 55, Elkton-Pigeon-Bay Port 13: This decider in the Greater Thumb Conference West didn’t end up close, as Reese (6-1) claimed a share of the title and the Lakers (5-2) fell one game back with one to play.

Saginaw Nouvel 28, Traverse City St. Francis 14: The Panthers (6-1) made it six straight wins since falling on opening night, while putting St. Francis (4-3) in position of having to win out to avoid missing the playoffs for the second straight season.

Gladwin 19, Sanford Meridian 14: The Flying G’s (5-2) are back in the Jack Pine Conference title hunt, tied with Sanford Meridian at one game behind leader Clare, with Clare and Meridian (6-1) set to meet in Week 9.

Grand Blanc 17, Hartland 7: Grand Blanc (6-1) missed out on the KLAA West title last year by falling to eventual champion Hartland (2-5) in the final league game of the schedule; this time the title belongs to the Bobcats thanks in part to a win over the Eagles.

Upper Peninsula

Ishpeming 28, Negaunee 24

This one had been circled since the end of last season, even as Ishpeming claimed the MHSAA Division 7 championship despite losing out on the Mid-Peninsula Athletic Conference title to Negaunee earlier in the fall. Alex Briones, who quarterbacked that MHSAA title run, was the star of this one for the Hematites (7-0), who clinched a share of the league title and need to beat only fourth-place Gwinn in Week 9 to claim it outright. Negaunee (6-1) will be cheering Gwinn on in hopes of still claiming a share. Click to read more from the Marquette Mining Journal.

Also noted:

Iron River West Iron County 30, Eagle River Northland Pines, Wis. 6: The Wykons (7-0) remained undefeated in winning a share of their second West Peninsula Athletic Conference title in three seasons.  

Felch North Dickinson 36, Powers North Central 20: The Nordics (6-1) finished a second straight perfect run through the Mid-Eastern Conference schedule by beating the second-place Jets (5-2).

Sault Ste. Marie 34, Cheboygan 14: The Blue Devils (4-3) kept playoff hopes alive by beating a likely qualifier in Cheboygan (5-2).

Houghton 32, Lake Linden-Hubbell 26 (OT): The Gremlins (4-3) needed overtime to keep their playoff hopes alive against another team in Lake Linden-Hubbell (4-3) that also must now win out.


Beal City 42, Lake City 35 (OT)

One of the most highly-anticipated small-school games this season lived up to the billing, with Beal City not taking its first lead until earning the advantage for good in overtime. In what was certainly the toughest test this season so far for both teams, the Aggies’ offensive prowess proved superior to Lake City’s stingy defense. Beal City (7-0) claimed a share of the Highland Conference title, while Lake City (6-1) fell to second place. Click to read more from the Mount Pleasant Morning Sun.

Also noted:

Carson City-Crystal 51, Mount Pleasant Sacred Heart 49: The Eagles (7-0) hung on after opening a big early lead to not only beat Sacred Heart (5-2) but claim the Mid-State Activities Conference South title, its first league title since 1961.

Pewamo-Westphalia 25, Fowler 0: The Pirates (7-0) avenged last season’s loss to their biggest rival and in the process won a share of the Central Michigan Athletic Conference title; Fowler (5-2) remains in second place, a game back with one to play.

Hillsdale 31, Ida 14: Four teams are tied atop the Lenawee County Athletic Association standings with two games to play, and that’s thanks to Hillsdale (4-3), which toppled Ida (5-2) from its former spot in first place alone.

Grand Ledge 41, Lansing Everett 19: The Comets (4-3) continue to battle back from an 0-3 start and now are a game behind first-place Lansing Sexton in the Capital Area Activities Conference Blue, with Everett (5-2) facing the Big Reds this week.

Trophy Games

Each week the MHSAA highlights trophy games across the state. Last week’s slate included:  

Little Brown Jug: Brighton vs. Howell. These KLAA rivals have faced each other every season but one dating to 1977. Final: Brighton 27, Howell 20.

Baseline Jug: Northville vs. Novi. In the KLAA Central, Northville won this rivalry game to claim the league title outright. Final: Northville 40, Novi 13.

Cedar Log: Menominee vs. Marinette, Wis. These old rivals played for the 107th time, with Menominee tying the series record at 50-50-7. Final: Menominee 56, Marinette 27.

Champions of the North: Traverse City Central vs. Alpena. The Trojans claimed this trophy game for the fourth consecutive season. Final: Traverse City Central 45, Alpena 0.

Ford Cup: Newberry vs. Manistique: This series restarted in 2012 after eight seasons off with a big Manistique win, now followed by a close one by Newberry. Final: Newberry 7, Manistique 6.

Pioneer-Thunderbird Spirit Bowl:  Dearborn vs. Dearborn Edsel Ford. The Pioneers own a four-game winning streak in this city rivalry game between teams 2.5 miles apart. Final: Dearborn 41, Edsel Ford 14.

Battle of Bogie Lake Road:  White Lake Lakeland vs. Walled Lake Northern. These two both sit, logically, on Bogie Lake Road separated by a 1.6-mile trip around said lake. Final: Walled Lake Northern 45, Lakeland 26.

Skipper's Oar:  Waterford Mott vs. Waterford Kettering. The Captains have claimed five of the last six against their rivals located a mere 3.9 miles away. Final: Kettering 27, Mott 0. 

PHOTO: Beal City (white jerseys) remained undefeated and claimed a share of the Highland Conference championship by edging Lake City in overtime. (Click to see more from High School Sports Scene.)

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.)