High 5s: 11/28/12
November 28, 2012
The final MHSAA championships of the Fall 2012 season give us our final High 5s before heading into winter. This week, we recognize both an individual and a team that achieved new heights.
Grand Rapids Christian junior
A 6-foot-4, 180-pound receiver who has committed to play both football and basketball at Michigan State beginning in 2014, Harris posted one of the finest receiving season in MHSAA history capped by playing a huge role in his team's first MHSAA championship. The Eagles beat Orchard Lake St. Mary's 40-37 in overtime Saturday for the Division 3 title. His eight catches for a Finals-record 243 yards and a touchdown put his unofficial season totals at 91 catches for 2,015 yards and 25 scores. Once confirmed, the season yardage will rank as the most in MHSAA history and 12th nationally for one season (his yards per game rank fourth and yards per catch sixth on the NFHS lists). Harris also ranked fourth for catches and second for touchdown catches on the MHSAA single-season lists.
Just ducky: "I'm probably more energized now after he hit that kick," Harris said after teammate Joel Schipper's winning field goal Saturday. "I was probably more tired a little bit during the game. But we condition all practice. We play fast. We play like Oregon, move the ball, (at) a high tempo. We're all in condition, so we really weren't that tired."
Bring on the new guy: Harris has caught more than 3,000 yards worth of passes from senior Alex VanDeVusse over the last two seasons, but will play with a new quarterback in 2013. "I've been with Alex since sophomore year. I guess I have to start over and work hard all next season and hope to get back here."
Be like Calvin: "Calvin Johnson, I want to be just like him when I get older. I know I'm a little skinny right now, but when I get to college, I know they'll put weight on me. I watch film on him all the time, watch him running routes. So I take my game after him. He's the best wide receiver in the NFL right now, probably one of the best wide receivers to play the game, in my opinion."
The Raiders, unranked despite entering the postseason 8-1, finished with their first MHSAA title won in their first trip to the Finals. Portland defeated Grand Rapids West Catholic 12-9 in the Division 5 championship game after knocking out 2011 champion Flint Powers Catholic in the Regional Final. For the playoffs, Portland outscored its five opponents 169-66 while holding three to nine or fewer points. In finishing 13-1 and setting a school record for wins, the Raiders beat nine playoff teams total including eventual Division 3 Semifinalist DeWitt.
Previous 2012-13 honorees:
- Julia Bos, Grand Rapids Christian cross country - Click for more
- Morgan Bullock, Zeeland swimming - Click for more
- Nathan Burnand, Waterford Mott cross country - Click for more
- Aaron Chatfield, Burt Lake Northern Michigan Christian soccer - Click for more
- Erin Finn, West Bloomfield cross country - Click for more
- Alex Grace, Saginaw Swan Valley football - Click for more
- Billy Heckman, Portage Central tennis - Click for more
- Codi Jenshak, Escanaba tennis - Click for more
- Amanda McKinzie, Battle Creek St. Philip cross country - Click for more
- Connor Mora, Cedar Springs cross country - Click for more
- Kelsey Murphy, Plymouth golf - Click for more
- Dewey Lewis, Rockford soccer - Click for more
- Nick Raymond, Erie Mason cross country - Click for more
- Jacqueline Setas, Lansing Catholic golf - Click for more
- Michael Sienko, Williamston tennis - Click for more
- Carli Snyder, Macomb Dakota volleyball - Click for more
- Beal City volleyball - Click for more
- East Kentwood soccer - Click for more
- Flint Beecher football - Click for more
- Grand Blanc boys soccer - Click for more
- Holland girls swimming and diving - Click for more
- Ithaca football - Click for more
- Lansing Everett football - Click for more
- Ludington boys tennis - Click for more
- Muskegon Mona Shores girls golf - Click for more
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.)