Drive for Detroit: Week 7 in Review

October 13, 2014

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

Just as things are finishing up this MHSAA football regular season, plenty is getting started.

The 11-player playoff field is nearly half full with two weeks to play – 126 teams have earned automatic berths, with 66 more one win from joining them.

Two leagues – the Kensington Lakes Activities Association and Detroit Public School League – finished their league schedules over the weekend but will play one and two weeks of playoff games, respectively, to finish the regular season. The Detroit Catholic League will finish its league schedule this week in advance of its Prep Bowl games during Week 9.

And there's plenty more to come. Read on for some of the results that helped further shape the scene all over the state last week.  


The deciding game in the Capital Area Activities Conference White didn’t end up much of one after halftime. Cougars junior quarterback Tony Poljan averaged 20 yards a completion in throwing for 404 total with four touchdowns, and he also ran for a score as Lansing Catholic (7-0) broke away with a 22-0 third-quarter run. Williamston is 6-1 and has a slim chance of seeing the Cougars again in the playoffs if both fall into Division 4. Click for more from the Lansing State Journal.

Also noted:

Hartland 29, Grand Blanc 26 – The Eagles (6-1) battled back from a loss in the league opener to take a share of the Kensington Lakes Activities Association West title from co-champ Grand Blanc (5-2) in the final league game of the season.

Okemos 27, Holt 20 – The Chieftains (4-3) reached four wins for the first time since 2011 and should make the playoffs for the first time since that season with their final two opponents owning a combined two wins this fall.

Lansing Everett 38, Grand Ledge 24 – The Vikings (5-2) set themselves up to face Sexton this week with a chance to share the CAAC Blue title, while knocking third-place Grand Ledge (4-3) out of contention.

Charlotte 39, Battle Creek Pennfield 36 – A 39-yard field goal by Sy Barnett with 20 seconds to play kept Charlotte (4-3) in the hunt for a third straight playoff berth. 

Greater Detroit

Walled Lake Western 31, Walled Lake Central 14

Western, Central and Waterford Mott all split the KLAA North championship thanks to the Warriors (6-1), who earned a fourth-straight win over their local rivals. Western scored 21 unanswered second-half points to earn the opportunity to play Hartland this week for the Lakes Conference championship. Click for more from the Oakland Press.

Also noted:

Berkley 32, Birmingham Groves 29 – Berkley dealt Groves (6-1) a painful blow heading into Groves' game this week against Oakland Activities Association Blue leader Farmington that could decide the league title; Berkley (6-1) will now root for Groves to win and make all three teams co-champions.

Canton 30, Plymouth 20 – Canton (6-1) outlasted the rival Wildcats (5-2) to claim the KLAA South championship for the second straight season.

Hudson 12, Ida 7 – The Tigers (6-1) avenged last season’s loss to Ida (6-1) that led to a shared Lenawee County Athletic Association title to keep pace with co-leader Hillsdale, Hudson’s Week 9 opponent.  

Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett 26, Lutheran Westland 6 – The Knights (6-1) finished off their fourth Michigan Independent Athletic Conference title in five seasons by defeating second-place Westland (5-2).

Bay and Thumb

Elkton-Pigeon-Bay Port Laker 32, Bad Axe 30

The Lakers (7-0) needed a second-half comeback to keep their best start since 2002 alive, but also came away with a share of the Greater Thumb Conference West championship and can clinch it outright next week against 1-6 Reese. The Lakers, league runners-up to Reese last season, rode more than 300 yards rushing by Dustin Kady to edge Bad Axe (4-3) – which has already guaranteed its best finish since 2001. Click for more from The Saginaw News.

Also noted:

Goodrich 37, Lake Fenton 36 – After claiming a nail-biter over Lake Fenton (1-6), second-place Goodrich (6-1) will be rooting for Montrose this week as the Rams face Genesee Area Conference Red leader Flint Beecher in the final game on the league schedule.

Harrison 57, Beaverton 28 – Harrison (7-0) avoided a potential Jack Pine Conference spoiler in Beaverton (4-3) and now will face reigning champion Clare for the league championship.

Bay City John Glenn 33, Saginaw Nouvel 6 – The Bobcats (5-2) have more wins this fall than in 2012 and 2013 combined and need one more to return to the playoffs for the first time since 2011; Nouvel has a slim postseason hope at 3-4 but will need to win out including a big win over Freeland in Week 9.

St. Clair 25, Warren Woods Tower 21 – St. Clair (6-1) knocked Woods Tower (6-1) out of a tie for first place with Marine City in the Macomb Area Conference Gold, but will root for the Titans to beat the Mariners this week and make all three teams co-champions. 

Lower Up North

Cadillac 17, Traverse City West 12

The Big North Conference was the source of most of the north's significant action this weekend, although by Sunday leader Cadillac remained atop the league standings and with a share of the championship – after its second straight win by a less than a touchdown. Cadillac (7-0) got up 17-0 in the third quarter before West (3-4) – playing to remain in the playoff hunt – took advantage of Vikings turnovers to pull within striking distance. Click for more from the Cadillac News.

Also noted:

Traverse City Central 14, Alpena 7 (OT) – Central (5-2) kept its shared Big North Conference title hopes alive by a sliver, edging Alpena (3-4) to remain one win back with Cadillac coming up in Week 9.

Gaylord 49, Petoskey 42 – The Blue Devils (5-2) scored twice during the fourth quarter to ruin Petoskey’s chances at remaining in Big North contention while inching closer to a first playoff berth since 2007; Petoskey (5-2) can earn a return to the postseason for the first time since 2011 against Alpena this week.

Manton 30, Leroy Pine River 27 – The Rangers may be out of the Highland Conference title chase, but they secured their best record since 2005 and need one more win for a first playoff berth since 1994; Pine River (4-3) has its best record since 2007 and by winning out can make the postseason for the first time since 2005.

Elk Rapids 70, Grayling 26 – The Elks (4-3) remain alive for the playoffs although they’ll next face undefeated Boyne City; at 3-4, Grayling will need help to grab an at-large bid. 

West Michigan

Cedar Springs 14, Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern 8

Most of Cedar Springs’ last 15 seasons have ended in the 4 to 6-win range with a hint of league title contention on occasion. But this one is shaking up as special for the Red Hawks (6-1), who sit alone atop the Ottawa-Kent Conference Bronze after sending Forest Hills Northern (6-1) into a second place tie with Grand Rapids Northview. Cedar Springs can clinch a share of the league title next week against Greenville (4-3) or in Week 9 vs. Forest Hills Eastern (3-4). Click for more from the Grand Rapids Press.

Also noted:

East Kentwood 35, Hudsonville 28 – The Falcons (6-1) scored with less than two minutes to play to remain a game behind Rockford in the O-K Red and drop Hudsonville (4-3) out of title contention.

Rockford 27, Grand Haven 21 (OT) – The Rams (6-1) needed overtime against a Grand Haven (3-4) team trying to stay alive for the postseason and now playing for an at-large bid.

Grandville 54, Holland West Ottawa 14 – Grandville (3-4) kept a small playoff hope alive by winning big over former O-K Red co-leader West Ottawa (5-2).

Muskegon Oakridge 50, Whitehall 22 – Oakridge (6-1) regained a share of the West Michigan Conference title and can clinch outright this week; Whitehall (6-1), now tied for second with Ravenna, needs Mason County Central to come through with an upset. 

Upper Peninsula

Marquette 35, Constantine 10

Even at 5-1 entering last weekend, Marquette’s chances of extending its playoff streak to five seasons looked a tad shaky – Constantine was 6-0, and together the Redmen’s final three regular-season opponents were 16-3. But Marquette held Constantine to its fewest points this season (by 21) and tied its biggest offensive output to remain undefeated since falling to Traverse City Central on opening night. Click for more from the Marquette Mining Journal.

Also noted:

Ishpeming 28, Negaunee 0 – The Hematites earned a share of their second straight Mid-Peninsula Athletic Conference title and haven’t given up a point since Week 4; Negaunee (4-3) faces two more tough opponents as it works to earn a playoff berth.  

Munising 42, Bark River-Harris 0 – The Mustangs (6-1) secured a share of the Mid-Eastern Football Conference title by dominating second-place Bark River-Harris (5-2); Munising also hasn’t given up a point since Week 4.

Kingsford 10, Iron Mountain 0 – Kingsford’s at-large playoff bid hope got stronger as the Flivvers (3-4) shut out the Mountaineers (4-3), who are second in the Mid-Peninsula Athletic Conference.

Powers North Central 48, Felch North Dickinson 44 – North Central’s playoff hopes are slim at 2-4, but beating North Dickinson (3-4) for the first time since 1993 is a nice consolation. 

Southwest and Border

Plainwell 34, Three Rivers 28

It seems like most of Plainwell’s games this season have been among the best of the southwest – and the Trojans (6-1) are now one more win from locking up a share of the Wolverine B Conference East title. They ran Three Rivers (4-3) into second place on the legs of Jacob Geter, who rushed for 316 yards on 50 carries. Click for more from the Kalamazoo Gazette.

Also noted:

Saugatuck 26, Fennville 20 – The Indians (5-2) kept pace atop the Southwestern Athletic Conference North with Week 9 opponent Gobles while dropping Fennville (4-3) into third.

Bridgman 62, Centreville 7 – The Bees (5-1) are inaugural champs of the Berrien-Cass-St. Joseph Blue and have scored at least 40 points in all but one victory.

Niles 27, St. Joseph 21 – The Vikings (5-2) locked up their best record since 2003 by beating St. Joseph (4-3) for the first time since 2005.

Union City 41, Reading 34 – The Chargers (7-0) guaranteed themselves a share of the Big 8 Conference title with second-place Homer the only league opponent remaining; Reading (3-4) will hope to win out and earn an at-large playoff bid after losing its second straight game. 


Kingston 64, Owendale-Gagetown 34

Kingston quarterback – and MHSAA Student Advisory Council senior – Aaron Van Horn carried his team back into the playoff hunt with three touchdown passes and two touchdown runs as the Cardinals handed Owendale-Gagetown (6-1) its first loss. Kingston is 4-3 and faces opponents who are a combined 4-10 to finish the regular season. Click for more from The Saginaw News

Also noted: 

Big Rapids Crossroads 21, Akron-Fairgrove 20 – The Cougars have won three straight since opening 0-4 against four teams still undefeated; they look good to make the playoffs with two winnable games left. 

Bellaire 38, Engadine 6 – The Eagles (7-0) may not get mentioned as much as other favorites Cedarville and Rapid River, but are lined up perfectly to make a run at the Bridge Football Alliance title with those two up next over the next two weeks; Engadine (3-4) is hanging on to the 16th spot in the playoff field. 

PHOTO: Lansing Catholic's Zac Baker was among recipients of quarterback Tony Poljan's 20 completions Friday as the Cougars defeated Williamston. (Photo courtesy of the Lansing State Journal.)

Ubly Offense, Kicker Pile Up Record Book Listings During Championship Run

By Geoff Kimmerly 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.