A Game for Every Fan: Week 7
October 4, 2012
By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
Two thirds of the MHSAA football regular season are complete. And one tenth of Michigan’s teams are still perfect – at least two for only a few more hours.
A total of 59 teams are 6-0, and four are playing each other in two of our most significant clashes in the state this weekend.
See below for those matchups and more from your neighborhood. And be sure to check out the first-time, full-hour MHSAA Football Friday Overtime, kicking off with highlights from 13 games at 11:30 p.m. tonight on Fox Sports Detroit.
Also, remember to visit the MHSAA Score Center all weekend for updated scores and standings.
(All games below are tonight unless noted. Go to Score Center for additional dates and kickoff times.)
Grand Ledge (5-1) at Lansing Everett (6-0)
The Vikings have turned aside all challengers in their pursuit of a first league title since 1986. But despite a 6-0 win over East Lansing last week, the toughest might still be yet to come. Grand Ledge has won five straight since opening with a loss to East Kentwood, and over the years has thrived in games when everyone else is talking more about the other team.
Others that caught my eye: Pewamo-Westphalia (5-1) at Fowler (5-1), Grand Blanc (4-2) at Hartland (6-0), Lansing Catholic (5-1) at Portland (6-0), Olivet (5-1) at Battle Creek Pennfield (5-1).
Thumb and Bay
Flint Carman-Ainsworth (6-0) at Flint Powers Catholic (6-0)
Powers' season has been plenty eventful; the reigning MHSAA Division 5 champion owns wins over reigning Division 7 champ Saginaw Nouvel and reigning Division 3 runner-up Mount Pleasant, and fought through an emotional evening a week ago to beat Davison on the same day as retired coach Jack Pratt's funeral. Carman-Ainsworth's journey to this potential Saginaw Valley Association South title decider has rolled along a little more quietly. All the Cavaliers have done is outscore their first three league opponents by a combined 148-8.
Others that caught my eye: Frankenmuth (6-0) at Essexville Garber (4-2), Freeland (5-1) at Hemlock (5-1), Marysville (5-1) at Marine City (5-1), Croswell-Lexington (6-0) at Almont (4-2).
Lower Up North
St. Ignace (6-0) at Pickford (5-1)
Both are newcomers to the Ski Valley Conference this fall, from different former leagues, and are dominating the North division. The winner tonight claims a share of the league title, and Pickford already has beaten third-place Pellston big. A sixth win would give the Panthers their most since 2007. The Saints aren't budging, outscoring opponents 253-12 so far.
Others that caught my eye: Maple City Glen Lake (6-0) at Frankfort (3-3), Grayling (6-0) at Kalkaska (5-1), Johannesburg-Lewiston (4-2) at Onaway (5-1), Benzie Central (3-3) at Kingsley (4-2).
Ishepming (6-0) at Negaunee (6-0)
Two of six undefeated teams in the Upper Peninsula meet to decide at least a share of the Mid-Peninsula Conference – and eventually, this result could decide the whole title with the way these two have dominated. Negaunee has had a few close calls, but has some additional incentive after losing to Ishpeming in six of the last seven meetings.
Others that caught my eye: Marquette (4-2) at Menominee (5-1), Iron Mountain North Dickinson (6-0) at Powers North Central (4-2), Kingsford (5-1) at Iron Mountain (4-2), Rapid River (4-1) at Eben Junction Superior Central (5-1).
Muskegon Oakridge (6-0) at Shelby (5-1)
Winning the West Michigan Conference generally is a strong endorsement for a team's playoff hopes. Six of eight league teams still are up for automatic playoff berths, but Oakridge can claim a share of the championship tonight. Shelby's lone loss was to Montague, which lost to Oakridge; a Shelby win would create a three-way tie for first place between all three.
Others that caught my eye: Grand Rapids South Christian (4-2) at Grand Rapids Catholic Central (6-0), Caledonia (5-1) at Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central (4-2), East Grand Rapids (2-4) at Lowell (5-1), Grand Rapids Northview (5-1) at Cedar Springs (4-2).
Garden City (4-2) at Dearborn Heights Robichaud (6-0)
Robichaud hasn't been perfect this deep into a season since 1991, and got a lot of the heavy work out of the way last week by beating reigning league champion Redford Thurston to earn a share of the Western Wayne Athletic Conference Red. But the Bulldogs can't forget about Garden City, which like Thurston is just a win back of Robichaud and would create a three-way title with a win tonight.
Others that caught my eye: Farmington Hills Harrison (4-2) at Oak Park (6-0), Birmingham Seaholm (5-1) at Bloomfield Hills Lahser (5-1), Plymouth (5-1) at Canton (4-2), Detroit Catholic Central (4-2) at Birmingham Brother Rice (4-2), Saturday.
Southwest and Border
Dowagiac (6-0) at Three Rivers (4-2)
Dowagiac hasn't given up a point in three games and easily could look ahead to Edwardsburg, next week's opponent and the other team tied for first in the Wolverine B Conference South. But the Chieftains won't overlook Three Rivers, which is two eight-point losses from being 6-0 -- including one of those to Edwardsburg two weeks ago.
Others that caught my eye: Lawton (5-1) at Marcellus (5-1), Mattawan (6-0) at Portage Central (5-1), Niles Brandywine (4-2) at St. Joseph Lake Michigan Catholic (6-0), Hartford (5-1) at Decatur (5-1).
PHOTO: Portland running back Jacob Kimmell works to break away from multiple tacklers during the Raiders' 36-13 win over Corunna on Sept. 8. (Click to see more from HighSchoolSportsScene.com).
Mendon 8-Player Championship Game Run Paced by Record-Setting Rushing
By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com 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:
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.)