Tag Archives: Football

Quick Lane Bowl Set at Ford Field

The annual bowl game at Ford Field has been decided. New Mexico State (6-6) will travel to face Bowling Green State (6-6). Last year saw another team from the southwest, Nevada, travel to Detroit and face Western Michigan. BGSU is likely to be slightly favored and have the benefit of a regional fan base, but expect a competitive matchup.

The teams meet December 26 at 2:30 pm.

Images from 2021 Quick Lane bowl in Detroit between Western Michigan and Nevada. – Jake Szetela, Photojournalist.

Kent City Concludes Season at Muskegon Catholic Central

Kent City traveled west to Muskegon Catholic Central for a first round showdown a year after missing the post season. MCC made their debut in Division 6 and took the victory over the visiting Eagles after a close first half that widened inside the final two minutes of the half when a Crusader interception gave MCC field position and another touchdown to go up 21-7 at half.

The Eagles had a key injury to burly senior running back and linebacker Mason Westbrook, which hampered Kent City on both sides of the ball, but most noticeably on offense. The Eagles suffered another devastating injury that stopped gameplay for an extended period of time as KC senior linebacker and tight end Chase Moreno went down with a broken fibula.

The Eagles made one more push for a score, but were stifled at the goal line and ended the season with a 42-14 loss.

Perhaps, interestingly enough, electrical service to the stadium was experiencing issues, which kept half the lighting from functioning and the scoreboard was only lit intermittently throughout the night.

Muskegon Catholic Central will travel to face a formidable foe in Reed City in what is likely to be a very tough contest for the Crusaders.

Predicting Every Game of the 2022-2023 Lions Regular Season

The revamped Lions are looking to make sizable gains this upcoming season. My prediction is they trade games the first quarter of the season before falling to 2-4 in a loss to Dallas. Things will start to click for the young team and they will eventually pull even at 7-7 against the Jets and end the season just outside the playoffs with a season finale loss to the Packers. While not peaking early enough to make the playoffs, young talent proves things are headed in the right direction and the Lions will finish tied for second in the division, splitting games with Minnesota and edging out the Bears who bring up last place in the NFC North. The Packers claim the division… again.

PHI

PHI 1:00 PM Loss 0-1

WSH

vs WSH 1:00 PM Win 1-1

MIN

@ SEA 1:00 PM Win 2-2

NE

@ NE 1:00 PM Loss 2-3

DAL

@ DAL 1:00 PM Loss 2-4

MIA

vs MIA 1:00 PM Win 3-4

GB

vs GB 1:00 PM Loss 3-5

CHI

@ CHI 1:00 PM Loss 3-6

NYG

@ NYG 1:00 PM Win 4-6

BUF

vs BUF 12:30 PM Loss 4-7

JAX

vs JAX 1:00 PM Win 5-7

MIN

vs MIN 1:00 PM Win 6-7

NYJ

@ NYJ 1:00 PM Win 7-7

CAR

@ CAR 1:00 PM Loss 7-8

CHI

vs CHI 1:00 PM Win 8-8

GB

@ GB TBD Loss 8-9

Forecasting Week Two of MHSAA Football

Game of the Week
It may be July, but the days are quickly passing like a 7 on 7 tournament happening all over the Mitten state as teams prep to chase their dreams at a state title. While some may have more reasonable hopes of achieving that dream, squads of helmeted teens prepare, nonetheless, to take the field in just over a month.

We wanted to take an early look at what will be our game of the week taking place during Thursday/Friday week 1 action the Rockford Rams and visiting Mona Shores Sailors.

The Sailors finished their season last year with an 8-3 (6-1) record with victories and defeats that were lopsided. When the Sailors won, they did with emphasis. When they lost, it was by a large margin. Much of this was due scheduling some difficult opponents in eventual state champion Detroit Martin Luther King and perennial power Muskegon. Mona Shores eventually fell in the second round of the playoffs in a lopsided 49-12 defeat to Caledonia.

Rockford had a tremendous season 11-1 (7-0) that saw them finish the regular season with a conference championship and undefeated record before being bounced in heartbreaking fashion in the third round of playoffs to Grand Blanc 28-27. The Rams came through in clutch time with several close victories throughout the year, but were unable to do it one more time and the magical run came to an end.

If the game had been played last year, Rockford would have been the clear favorite, but a single year can make a large difference; even at schools with larger class sizes. Rockford graduated a considerable number of impact players on both sides of the ball in 2021 and will see someone new under center in 2022. Replacing such incredible talent won’t be easy. On the flip side, Mona Shores also graduated star quarterback Mark Konecny. Both teams will be looking to find success regardless of changes in the lineup.

Mona Shores struggled to keep up when their defense put them in a position to make the game a shootout last year. If the Sailors are going to have a chance, it will be with stout defense in a game that keeps the score tight and low. If the Rams start stacking up points, the game will likely get out of reach for Mona Shores’.

Our “too early” prediction for the week one game of the week is: Rockford 38 Mona Shores 20

Other Week One Predictions:
Coopersville 28 – Sparta 7
GR Catholic Central 35 – Port Huron 20
Unity Christian 48 – Whitehall 14
Cedar Springs 7 – River Rouge 56
Reeths Puffer 14 – Grand Haven 13
Kent City 20 – Newaygo 13
Forest Hills Central 21 – Jenison 14
Northview 27 – West Ottawa 20
Forest Hills Northern 40 – Wyoming 13
West Catholic 28 – Edwardsburg 35



Michigan Falters Against Hoosiers

Joe Milton topped 300 passing yards for a second straight week on just 18 completions and junior wide receiver Ronnie Bell pulled down 6 catches for 149 yards and a touchdown, but the Michigan Wolverines lost their second in as many weeks. Indiana dominated from the opening and held off a late surge by the Wolverines at the end of the third quarter; grabbing two interceptions and closing the afternoon 38-21. The loss marked the first time the Wolverines have lost to Indiana since 1987.

While the #23 ranked Wolverines seemed poised for a strong year after a season opening victory against Minnesota, but have taken a beating in back to back weeks. While #13 Indiana sits at 3-0, the loss must be a tough pill to swallow for the Maize and Blue as they struggled against a Hoosier squad that has showed flashes in years past, but remained a perennial second tier Big 10 football program.

The victory may show that the Hoosiers are for real in 2020, but it may also display that Michigan is on track to have their most disappointing season in a string of seasons full of them.

The Wolverines will try to get things back on track with a signature win against #10 Wisconsin next week, a game likely circled on the schedule by many at the beginning of the season, but the prospects of that are looking less likely after recent struggles.

Kent City Fends Off Morley Stanwood in Opener

Friday night brought fans their first taste of high school football this fall in a CSAA matchup between the visiting Kent City Eagles and the hometown Morley Stanwood Mohawks.

The Eagles managed to hold the Mohawks out of the end zone after a long drive in the first quarter that stalled with a strong goal line stand.

The Eagles were subsequently the beneficiaries of several short fields after repeated defensive stops, but failed to capitalize on the excellent field position with multiple fourth down passes falling incomplete.

A final defensive effort kept the Mohawks buried in their own territory and forced a punt in the closing seconds of the first half and took both teams into halftime with a scoreless tie. Despite the initial Mohawk drive, the Eagles managed to hold the Mohawks to just 61 yards in the opening half.

The score would not remain tied, however, as Kent City sophomore running back, Mason Westbrook, barreled in for a touchdown early in the third quarter. The Eagles capped off the score with a two point conversion to make the score 8-0.

A few series later, Mason Westbrook went down with an apparent leg injury midway through the third quarter and was sidelined to receive attention from trainers and coaches.

Sophomore QB Kyler Larson also went down shortly after and forced an Eagles timeout with under a minute left in the third quarter. Both returned to action after the Kent City defense stifled the driving Mohawks once again; this time taking advantage of a fumbled snap.

Kent City answered with a drive of its own, but was also almost derailed by a fumble before being recovered by Kent City. The Eagles gained 6 yards on the play and a few plays later, sophomore running back, Webb Longcore, sprinted into the endzone on a second and goal play. Giving the Eagles their second touchdown of the evening. A penalty pushed the two point try to the 7-yard line, but sophomore quarterback, Kyler Larson, was able to scamper through a small hole up the middle and gave the Eagles the 16-0 lead.

The Mohawks responded on the kickoff with a determined return by junior Levi Schuberg that gave them position at the 40 yard line. The drive extended once again, but ended with an interception on a highly lofted ball tossed by junior quarterback, Aaron Moore, that enabled Eagles DB, Kyle Monterusso, to step in and take the pass the other way with just under 4 minutes left in the fourth quarter.

In the end, the visiting Eagles stifled Mohawk attempts to get on the board and posted the 16-0 shutout to start the season.

HS Football Makes its 2020 Debut Tonight

When the class of 2020 graduated and athletes walked off their respective fields, diamonds and courts for the last time a bit earlier than planned, many had to assume their senior year would be among the most unique in history. Six months later, the argument could be made that the class of 2020’s swan song was mostly “normal.”

Tonight, thousands of Michigan football players will take to the field in helmets and pads. Only this year, those accoutrements will be accompanied by another piece of gear: masks.

As the 2020 high school football season kicks off we will all watch and hope it provides the athletes and fans some sense of normalcy in a tumultuous and tenuous situation this fall.

Stay tuned for our coverage of the CSAA conference matchup between the Mohawks of Morley Stanwood and the Eagles of Kent City.

Miami University Crowned MAC Champs as Central Michigan Comeback Falls Short

The Mid-American Conference Football Championship at Ford Field was full #MACtion on Saturday afternoon in Detroit. The Miami Redhawks came into the game with a 7-5 record after winning the MAC East Division despite being picked to finish third in the west by the pre-season coach’s poll.

Central Michigan’s path to the championship game was even more improbable as the Chippewas were picked to finish dead last in the overall conference pre-season poll, but clawed their way into the final with a 8-4 record.

NCAA Division 1 football often lacks the parity seen in other college athletics that often makes events like March Madness a draw for it’s unpredictability and underdog stories.

Football is a different animal. The underdog rarely wins. The college football playoff has seen only ten different schools represented in the five years since its inception. That is what made this year so special for the MAC conference. Parity abounded.

Ohio University and Toledo were picked to be the teams representing their respective divisions in the MAC conference championship game in the coach’s preseason poll. Toledo came in last in the West Division and Ohio, the far and away favorite to win the conference in August, only outpaced two teams in their division by December.

So what else could we expect to cap off the season than a tightly contested game that ebbed and flowed without providing any indication who would come out on top until the very last second ran off the clock and a Hail Mary attempt fell to the ground?

The game featured a 98-yard kickoff return that came just a yard short of a touchdown on the very first play of the game, a fake punt attempt deep in CMU’s own territory, a 48-yard booming field goal by Kicker of the Year candidate Sam Sloman and an onside kick that was ran in for the likely game-winning touchdown, only to be called back for an offside penalty.

Fans of both teams were treated to college football at its absolute best as CMU and Miami provided spectators hope that their team would be crowned champions even in the final moments as the ball hung in the air as outstretched arms desperately clawed to bring it in.

The game started in a hurry as Miami returner, Maurice Thomas, took possession of the kickoff at the Miami 1-yard line and proceeded to streak down the sideline with a wall of blockers ahead of him before cutting across the field and being brought down just a yard short of the end zone. The 98-yard kickoff return started Miami off with an early opportunity that they would capitalize on with running back Jaylon Bester leaping into the end zone for the first points of the game. Miami Kicker Sam Sloman booted the extra point and CMU found themselves down 7-0 just over a minute into the contest.

Both teams traded short-lived drives the rest of the quarter and Miami took a 7-0 lead into the second.

CMU opened the second quarter continuing their drive and was able to move the ball through a combination of their two quarterbacks, Tommy Lazzaro and Quinten Dormady, near the Miami Redzone. On 3rd and 3 from the Miami 21, Lazzaro ran the option from shotgun and busted around the left side of the line and in for the Chippewa touchdown. Ryan Tice’s extra point kick tied things up 7-7 with 11:46 remaining in the half.

The next two drives stalled out and CMU was forced to punt on 4th and 6 from their own 19-yard line. In a move that surely surprised all in attendance, CMU elected to run a fake punt and snapped it to one of the punt protectors who attempted to catch the Miami punt team sleeping. The play was unsuccessful as Oakley Lavallii was stuffed at the line of scrimmage. CMU’s defense took the field for the second time with their backs against the wall, but managed to hold Miami to a three and out and force the Miami field goal attempt.

Sam Loman lined up and kicked a 41-yard field goal that soared through the uprights with relative ease and gave Miami a 10-7 lead.

Miami and CMU traded possessions once again before CMU took the ball at 2:57 for what became the last drive of the half. Dormady was sacked on first down by Andrew Sharp, but came back on second with a much needed 24-yard pass to JaCorey Sullivan. This took the Chippewas to the Miami 23-yard line. CMU would manage to get themselves into a third and five situation with 1:01 left in the half.

CMU elected to run with Kalil Pimpleton for a gain of 7 yards, which gave the Chippewas a fresh set of downs inside the redone and with time waning in the half. CMU called timeout on third and ten with 36 seconds left in the half from the Miami 11. Dormady alluded pressure and rolled right out of the pocket where he found Tyrone Scott for the 11-yard touchdown catch. Tice buried the extra point and gave the Chippewas the final points of the half, leading Miami 14-10.

CMU’s first drive of the second half was stalled after 4 plays and a punt. Miami freshman quarterback Brett Gabbert took the Redhawks on a fast and furious drive completing passes of 35 yards to James Maye and 31 yards to Jack Soreneson with Sorenson’s catch delivering Miami their second touchdown of the game and a 17-14 lead.

Much like the first quarter, both teams managed to find their groove and a quarter that begin in a fury ended with several drives ending without points.

The fourth quarter opened with Miami driving again before stalling out at the Chippewa 15 yard line. Sloman came in again and easily knocked through the 33 yard kick for a 20-14 Redhawk lead.

CMU’s next drive began with several solid plays as Dormady competed a 9 yard pass to Da’Quaun Jamison and Lazzaro hit Tony Poljan for 24-yards. The completion brought the Chippewas into Redhawk territory and after a roughing the passer penalty on the ensuing play, the Chippewas found themselves at the Redhawk 27-yard line and a chance at taking the lead.

There would be no such occasion, however, as Dormady’s next pass was intercepted by Miami defensive back Travion Banks and ran back for a touchdown, before being called back on an illegal block in the back penalty. Nevertheless, the play stifled CMU’s first comeback attempt. Gabbert got to work again, hitting Sorenson on three times on the drive. CMU held the Redhawks to a 4th and 4 at the CMU 30 when Sloman came on the field to attempt a 48-yard field goal. CMU’s best hope was a miss that would keep the game at just a 6 point differential. Sloman left little doubt that there would be such a chance.

The kicker delivered a strike and gave the Redhawks a 9-point lead at 23-14 with 4:06 left in the 4th quarter.

CMU was not done fighting. They started their drive at their own 20 yard line and proceeded to drive with speed and efficiency down the field before finally driving in for a rushing touchdown behind a diving Lazzaro. Tice’s kick made the game 23-21 with 1:24 on the clock.

CMU attempted the onside kick, which was caught off a bounce by the kicking team’s Rolliann Sturkey and ran all the way in for a score to the screams of a crowded Ford Field before being called off for an offside penalty. Another off-side penalty would be declined on the second attempt and Miami took possession at the CMU 30-yard line. CMU had one chance to get the ball back: do not give up a first down. The Chippewas did what they had to do and forced the Redhawks to kick a field goal on 4th and 4. Sloman booted yet another field goal, this time from 42 yards away.

The ensuing kickoff was sent through the end zone for a touchback and CMU took the ball at their own 25-yard line with just 28 seconds to go in the game. CMU managed to drive the ball 20 yards and stop the clock with just 6-seconds to play. Dormady rolled right as CMU receivers ran towards the end zone in a pack. Dormady heaved the ball as high and far as he could. The ball hung in the air for what seemed like an eternity and came down into the outstretched arms of both Redhawk defenders and CMU receivers before falling to the ground. Incomplete.

Miami players rushed the field in jubilation after securing the 26-21 Mid-American Conference championship.

CMU’s improbable run felt just as incomplete as the Hail Mary attempt. After a season defying the odds and rising from the bottom of the MAC conference standings, they found themselves just short of making their story complete. Both teams played their hearts out and it is only a shame that one team had to lose.

CMU’s season is not finished, however, as they move on to play in the New Mexico Bowl against San Diego State. Miami is also going bowling as they will face off against Louisiana in the Lending Tree Bowl.

Congratulations to both teams on stellar seasons.

Players of the Game:
Offense – Jack Sorenson (WR)
Defense – Emmanuel Rugamba (DB)
Special Teams – Sam Sloman (K)

Box Score

Team1234Total
Central Michigan0140721
Miami University737926
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