A Game for Every Fan: Week 6

October 1, 2014

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

We’ve reached October, and that means two things – league titles and lots of numbers.

We’ll cover the former by telling you which teams are winning what in our weekly Drive for Detroit reports posted each Monday. As for those piles of numbers, here are a few: Ishpeming is the first to qualify for the 2014 MHSAA playoffs because it started 5-0 and is playing eight games this season; 66 more teams have started 5-0 and can qualify with victories this weekend.

Below are some of the best games from every corner of the state, most of which will help define those league title races while giving us more numbers to crunch with playoff selection only four weeks away. (All games are Friday unless noted.)

Greater Detroit

Detroit East English (4-1) at Detroit Cass Tech (5-0), Saturday

All 16 Detroit Public School League football teams are playing in one division this season after being split into multiple the past many years. The top six contenders have begun to separate from the pack – with East English, Cass Tech and Martin Luther King the only three with perfect league records. Because of the way the schedule fell, neither East English nor Cass Tech plays King in a league game – so whichever wins this weekend’s matchup should receive a top seed in the PSL playoffs that begin Week 8. East English is a nine-point nonleague loss to Lansing Sexton from being undefeated, but hasn’t given up a point since that opening weekend defeat.

Others that caught my eye: Waterford Mott (4-1) at Walled Lake Central (4-1) on Thursday, Orchard Lake St. Mary's (5-0) at Birmingham Brother Rice (5-0), Morenci (5-0) at Clinton (5-0), Monroe (4-1) at Saline (4-1).


DeWitt (5-0) at St. Johns (5-0)

This feels a lot like the rivals’ matchup in 2010, when DeWitt came into Week 9 undefeated and dominating everyone and left with a 49-35 loss (the Panthers went on to make the Division 3 Semifinals). Once again, the Panthers are likely considered heavy favorites despite the teams’ matching records – but St. Johns has enough speed to try to match DeWitt’s high-octane offensive attack. There’s another big difference from 2010– this time, both are in the same league, the Capital Area Activities Conference Red.

Others that caught my eye: Coldwater (5-0) at Jackson Lumen Christi (5-0) on Saturday, Stockbridge (4-1) at Olivet (4-1), Manchester (4-1) at Grass Lake (5-0), Portland (3-2) at Williamston (5-0).

Lower Up North

Ishpeming (5-0) vs. Beal City (5-0) at Gaylord

Although technically neither of these teams is from the counties of the northern Lower Peninsula, this game will be played in between them at Gaylord – and could be the most entertaining game of the weekend. Beal City has finished Division 8 runner-up the last two seasons and hasn’t given up a point in the last two games. Ishpeming has won the last two Division 7 championships and hasn’t allowed an opponent this season within 26 points.

Others that caught my eye: Gaylord (4-1) at Cadillac (5-0), Whittemore-Prescott (5-0) at Tawas (4-1), St. Ignace (5-0) at Mancelona (3-2), Petoskey (4-1) at Traverse City Central (4-1).

Southwest and Border

Niles (4-1) at Portage Central (3-1)

It’s time to give Niles a look and some credit for a solid turnaround; the Vikings are 4-1 after winning two games last season and no more than four since 2003. They did fall to Portage Northern two weeks ago – but can cement themselves as a probable playoff team and possible Southwest Michigan Athletic Conference West spoiler for some other contenders by beating reigning champion Portage Central.

Others that caught my eye: Portage Northern (4-1) at Stevensville Lakeshore (4-1), Paw Paw (3-2) at Berrien Springs (3-2), South Haven (2-3) at Edwardsburg (4-1), Buchanan (2-3) at Mendon (4-1).

West Michigan

Grand Rapids Christian (4-1) at Lowell (5-0)

The Ottawa-Kent Conference White includes these two plus a Caledonia (3-2) team that beat Rockford 42-0 last week, improved East Grand Rapids (3-2), and a Forest Hills Central team that is 1-4 but beat Caledonia and has losses to teams that are a combined 14-6. Lowell already has gotten EGR out of the way, and a win over the Eagles – 35-34 winners over the Red Arrows a year ago – would solidify its frontrunner status in arguably the state’s most competitive conference.

Others that caught my eye: East Kentwood (5-0) at Holland West Ottawa (4-1), Stanton Central Montcalm (3-2) at Remus Chippewa Hills (5-0), North Muskegon (3-2) at Ravenna (4-1), Holland Christian (2-3) at Holland (3-2).

Bay and Thumb

Saginaw Swan Valley (5-0) at Freeland (5-0)

Alex Grace is up to 994 yards rushing this fall and more than 6,100 for his three-year varsity career, and as such Swan Valley remains one of the scariest Class B teams in the state. But Freeland actually has outscored the Vikings by seven points this fall – although Swan Valley also has given up only 22 to Freeland’s 83. The last seven matchups between the two have been decided by 15 points or fewer, which could make a standout runner and his offensive line the difference-makers once again.

Others that caught my eye: Birch Run (5-0) at Frankenmuth (4-1), Warren Woods-Tower (5-0) at Marysville (3-2), Saginaw Michigan Lutheran Seminary (4-1) at St. Charles (3-2), Lake Fenton (2-3) at Flint Beecher (5-0).

Upper Peninsula

Crystal Falls Forest Park (3-1) at Felch North Dickinson (3-2)

While these two remain in different leagues, this remains one of the best annual matchups in the Upper Peninsula. Forest Park came back from a 2012 28-point loss to North Dickinson by sweeping the Nordics in two games in 2013, including 24-20 in a Regional Final. North Dickinson also is trying to avoid losing three regular-season games for the first time since 2008. Both are playing only eight games this fall, so both need only two more wins to qualify for the postseason and the potential to face off again.

Others that caught my eye: Iron River West Iron County (5-0) at Calumet (3-2), Gladstone (3-2) at Sault Ste. Marie (2-3), Marquette (4-1) at Kingsford (2-3), Rudyard (2-3) at Munising (4-1).


Cedarville (5-0) at Rapid River (5-0)
Lawrence (5-0) at Deckerville (5-0) on Saturday

It’s impossible to separate these two – Friday’s game matches the top two 8-player programs in the Upper Peninsula, while Saturday’s matches arguably the two best from the Lower Peninsula not including reigning MHSAA champion Peck and last week’s 89-point scorer Battle Creek St. Philip. Needless to say, the results could mean a lot when playoffs are drawn up and home teams for Regionals are assigned at the end of this month.

Others that caught my eye: Battle Creek St. Philip (5-0) at Webberville (3-2), Peck (5-0) at Kingston (3-2).

PHOTO: Detroit East English (in blue) fell to Lansing Sexton during opening weekend but hasn’t given up a point since that Saturday afternoon. (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.