MHSAA Football Playoffs - Regional Championship Recap

Jeffrey Cottrell

Teams are gearing up or turning in gear. The playing field has been cut in half yet again and only 16 teams remain (18 which include the two squads playing for the 8 man title this Friday). The games at this time of year are very exciting and full of great players. Some are from perennial powerhouse programs and others are exploring uncharted territory. Still others are back to a point they have been at in the not too distant past. Let’s explore the games from this past week.

Capital Area

Mount Pleasant 28 East Lansing 20

East Lansing got on the scoreboard first, but Mount Pleasant found the end zone more often. Elijah Hamilton-Wray ran in a 39 yard score in the first quarter and finished with 14 rushing attempts for 70 yards and a touchdown. Michael Tweh answered right back for Mt. Pleasant, scoring twice in the first quarter on one yard runs. He also scored again in the 4th quarter. On the game, he gained 210 yards on 31 attempts. Chris Hagan gave East Lansing the halftime lead by running in a touchdown and kicking in a field goal in the second quarter. He finished with one run for one yard and a score and one reception for six yards as well as two 21 yard field goals. Quarterback Alex Carlson completed nine of his 18 passes for 63 yards but tossed two picks. Javon Haines caught four passes for 50 yards. Mount Pleasant quarterback Ryan Elliott completed eight of his 12 passes for 38 yards and one interception. He also ran four times for 46 yards and a touchdown. Dustin Lee ran six times for 20 yards and caught one pass for negative three yards. Colton Odykirk caught seven passes for 41 yards.

West Coast

East Grand Rapids 42 Holland 21

Holland had beaten East Grand Rapids earlier this year to snap the Pioneers winning streak. This time, it was East Grand Rapids turn to win the game. Quarterback Travis Palmer completed six of his 10 passes for 82 yards and a touchdown. Marcus Hall caught that touchdown pass and finished with two receptions for 45 yards. David Drummond was the workhorse for EGR, running 30 times for 245 yards and four touchdowns. Jahaan Brown chipped in 15 carries for 153 yards. Holland, even though their tournament run ended, finished with one of the best runs in school history. Junior quarterback Corey Willis had a great game. He completed seven of his 14 passes for 136 yards and also ran 28 times for an additional 174 yards and three scores.

Detroit

Detroit Catholic Central 21 Ann Arbor Pioneer 0

The game plan for DCC was quite simple; get an early lead and shut down Pioneer running back Drake Johnson. It worked to perfection as they got the opening kickoff and scored to cap a 66 yard drive. Johnson only needed 134 yards to break the single season rushing record, but was held in check by the Shamrock defense, finishing with 48 yards on 16 carries. He also attempted five passes that all fell incomplete, except for the one that was intercepted. Aedan York and Zach Davis combined for five rushing attempts that lost 11 yards. DCC had a nice game. Quarterback Kyle Cooper completed three of his eight passes for 21 yards and one interception. He also ran four times for eight yards. Zach Bock rushed 12 times for 96 yards and a touchdown. Anthony Darkangelo ran 14 times for 46 yards and two scores. David Houle ran 16 times for 65 yards.

Mid-Michigan

Flint Powers 26 Hemlock 0

The game was closer than the score indicates. Unfortunately for Hemlock, they made plenty of mistakes and fortunately for Flint Powers, they capitalized on them. Powers got on the board first with a rushing score from quarterback Garrett Pougnet from four yards out. In the third quarter, Ethan Wiskur caught a touchdown pass from Pougnet. Idris Hobdy scored twice in the fourth quarter to seal the win. Pougnet completed one of his seven passes for six yards and a score. He also ran 13 times for 83 yards. Hodby ran 10 times for 57 yards and two scores. For Hemlock, quarterback Chase Weichmann completed two of his eight passes for 28 yards and an interception while also running eight times for 23 yards. Michael Devereaux ran 12 times for 35 yards. Dylan Honsinger ran seven times for 28 yards. On the receiving front, five different people caught one pass. They were led by tight end Zach Stedry with one reception for 18 yards.

North

Rapid River 40 Engadine 0

The Rockets of Rapid River punched their ticket to Northern Michigan University’s Superior Dome to play for the inaugural 8 man football championship. Rapid River quarterback Jake Pearson had a monster of a game. He completed five of his eight passes for 111 yards, one touchdown, and an interception. When he tucked and ran, which he did 16 times, he gained 112 yards and scored three times. On top of the rushing and passing, he caught an 11 yard touchdown pass. Running back Jake Berglund ran 28 times for 140 yards and a score while also catching one pass for an additional 38 yards. Engadine played tough, but couldn’t win the game. Their quarterback, Connor Fritsch completed one of his seven attempts for six yards and had six rushing attempts for a negative four yards. Jeff Dishaw was their leading rusher with 88 yards on nine attempts. Victor Collins gained 53 yards on his 11 rushes.

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