A Game for Every Fan: District Finals

November 1, 2012

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

Time is running out on the 2012 MHSAA football season.

And that's why it's the favorite time of year for fans all over the state.

The field that began with 272 teams has been cut in half. Seven teams that entered the postseason undefeated suffered their first and only losses last week. And for a number of other contenders, things are about to get much more serious as the matchups get tougher and the first playoff trophies are handed out.

Four games again will be streamed live on FoxSportsDetroit.com's Prep Zone: Constantine at Schoolcraft, Traverse City Central at Midland, Macomb L'Anse Creuse North at Macomb Dakota and Plymouth at Livonia Churchill.

Below are some of the District Finals that could have the most bearing on championship races in each division. Visit the MHSAA Score Center for game times and dates, and all weekend for updated scores and standings.

Division 1

Plymouth (8-2) at Livonia Churchill (10-0)

This is a rematch of the deciding game in the Kensington Lakes Activities Association South, although Livonia Churchill’s 35-31 win came all the way back in Week 3. The Wildcats rebounded nicely off a Week 9 loss to Grand Blanc with a 40-28 win over Canton last week, while the Chargers, with their 10th win, extended their best season in program history.

Others that caught my eye: Holland West Ottawa (8-2) at Rockford (8-2), Utica Eisenhower (8-2) at Lake Orion (9-1), Grand Blanc (6-4) at Clarkston (10-0).

Division 2

Lowell (8-2) at Muskegon (9-1)

When these two met in Week 4, they were considered the top two teams in Division 2. They’re still among the elite despite a few bumps since, but Lowell might have an upward battle to keep its string of three straight MHSAA championship game appearances alive. The reigning Division 2 runner-up fell to the Big Reds 36-21 in that earlier meeting.

Others that caught my eye: Traverse City Central (9-1) at Midland (10-0), Walled Lake Western (7-3) at Mattawan (9-1), Wyandotte Roosevelt (9-1) at Taylor Truman (9-1).

Division 3

Auburn Hills Avondale (9-1) at Orchard Lake St. Mary (8-2)

Avondale has its most wins since 1995 and won the Oakland Activities Association Blue championship before surviving with a two-point rematch win over Bloomfield Hills Lahser last week. The last time these two met turned into one of the wildest games of the 2010 playoffs – a 71-44 Eaglets win in the District Final. Beating St. Mary this time would give Avondale arguably its best playoff victory ever.  

Others that caught my eye: DeWitt (8-2) at Linden (9-1), Zeeland West (7-3) at Grand Rapids Christian (9-1), Detroit East English (8-2) at St. Clair (9-1).

Division 4

Richmond (7-3) at Croswell-Lexington (10-0)

Richmond has come back after two straight losing seasons to return to the playoffs, but has to be smarting a bit after missing out on the Blue Water Conference title by a combined 11 points over three losses. The first was to Croswell-Lexington, 27-24 in Week 2, and the Pioneers have won every game but one since by at least 15 points.

Others that caught my eye: Comstock Park (9-1) at Grand Rapids Catholic Central (10-0), Grand Rapids South Christian (7-3) at Dowagiac (10-0), Detroit Country Day (8-2) at Pontiac Notre Dame Prep (9-1).

Division 5

Frankenmuth (10-0) at Flint Powers Catholic (10-0)

This is the Eagles’ best run since making a Class B Semifinal in 1997 and has included its first league title since 2007. Frankenmuth is outscoring opponents by an average of 34-7. But reigning MHSAA champion Powers has won 18 straight games and has been one of the most impressive teams in the state all season.

Others that caught my eye: Kingsford (9-1) at Menominee (9-1), Grand Rapids West Catholic (7-3) at Muskegon Oakridge (10-0), Lake Fenton (8-2) at Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard (9-1).

Division 6

Millington (9-1) at Montrose (9-1)

Montrose got the scare of its season in the District Semifinal before edging Vassar 7-6. Millington had a much better time last week, cruising to a 66-18 win over Byron, the Cardinals' fourth straight game scoring at least 60 points. That sounds like bad news for the Rams, but consider: Montrose is giving up 14 points per game, and has faced five playoff teams including a pair still alive in Divisions 4 and 5.

Others that caught my eye: Constantine (8-2) at Schoolcraft (10-0), Detroit Consortium (7-3) at Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central (8-2), Hemlock (9-1) at Ithaca (10-0).

Division 7

Saginaw Nouvel (8-2) at Reese (10-0)

The Rockets have a strong football tradition, and this is their fourth season with at least 10 wins over the last 13. But beating the reigning MHSAA champion would add another degree of credibility to an already impressive run. The Panthers played teams from all over the Lower Peninsula again this fall, with their only losses to Flint Powers and Traverse City St. Francis.

Others that caught my eye: Mancelona (10-0) at Ishpeming (9-1), Decatur (8-2) at Lawton (9-1), Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett (8-2) at Detroit Loyola (10-0).

Division 8

Climax-Scotts (10-0) at Mendon (10-0)

This might be the most anticipated game in the state this weekend. Mendon has been untouchable the last two seasons and is riding a 24-game winning streak. There were two close calls over the last three weeks, and Climax-Scotts is built to provide another. This is the Panthers’ fourth straight season with at least 10 wins, and their ninth over the last decade. But Mendon beat Climax-Scotts 35-10 in last season’s Regional Final.

Others that caught my eye: Mount Pleasant Sacred Heart (9-1) at Beal City (10-0), Muskegon Catholic Central (7-3) at Fowler (9-1), Harbor Beach (9-1) at New Lothrop (10-0).


Rapid River (9-1) at Cedarville (10-0)

Cedarville entered the postseason with the highest playoff point average in this division, and this game will be a big step regardless of what happened the first time these teams met this fall. Rapid River finished runner-up in last season’s inaugural Final, and should give the Trojans a much better game than the Cedarville's 72-12 win on Sept. 28.

Other Regional Finals: Owendale-Gagetown (8-2) at Bellaire (7-3), Kinde-North Huron (6-4) at Deckerville (9-1), Battle Creek St. Philip (7-3) at Portland St. Patrick (10-0).

PHOTO: Montrose survived a tough challenge from Vassar to win last week's District Semifinal, 7-6. (Click to see more from HighSchoolSportsScene.com).

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

By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com 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.