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MHSAA Football Week Nine Recap

…And it’s over! The regular season is gone. There were TONS of great games from Menominee to Dundee over the past nine weeks. We got to watch some of them, wish we saw others, and were glad to have avoided a few. It’s been fun watching all the teams across the state play. For many young men and women, football games are a rite of passage. Nearly every single one of us remembers holding hands with our “sweetheart of the week” (was that just me? Nah!) at a football game, or running around with your friends, some even watching the game! Football holds a dear spot in the hearts of many Americans. Football, apple pie, and colorful leaves paint the memories of this guy when he thinks of the fall seasons he has seen over his lifetime. Now that I’m done reminiscing, let’s get to the games.

Zeeland East 40 Muskegon 39

Yes, the Chix won a big game, but they also lost a big piece. Josh Blauwkamp broke his leg toward the end of the first quarter and is lost for the playoffs. The game was close throughout and featured nearly 1,000 of total offense between the two squads. In the end, it was a stuffed two point conversion with only 1:03 left on the clock that gave Zeeland East the win. Quarterback Michael Custer had a huge night; he completed 21 of his 33 passes for 340 yards and two touchdowns. Six of those receptions went to Zach Hill, who finished with 139 yards and a touchdown. Levi Vanorman caught seven passes for 113 yards. Blauwkamp scored once and ran four times for 14 yards before breaking his leg. Spencer Viening became the main running back and finished with three touchdowns and 146 yards on 13 carries. For the Big Reds, they did most of their damage on the ground. John King was all over the place. He carried the ball 26 times for 227 yards and four touchdowns while contributing seven tackles on defense. Quarterback Jalen Smith completed three of his five passes for 65 yards and a touchdown while also running 18 times for another 111 yards and a score. Marcus Smith caught that lone touchdown pass from 59 yards out.

Grayling 21 Boyne City 0

Congratulations to Grayling for capturing their first ever Lake Michigan Conference title. They did it behind a strong game from quarterback Jake Swander and running back Ty Jensen. Swander completed 12 of his 33 passes for 216 yards and a score. Jensen scored all three touchdowns. He got two rushing scores and 120 yards on 21 runs and caught two passes for 12 yards and a score. Scout Tobin caught two passes for 64 yards. Brandon Handrich made nine tackles and got three sacks. For Boyne City, Malik Smith led the rushing attack with 63 yards on 15 carries. Bradley Fouchia ran the ball three times for 35 yards and caught three passes for 31 more.

Montrose 22 Lake Fenton 21 (2OT)

It was close. All tied at the end of regulation, these two teams battled into overtime. But that wasn’t enough, so they went another session. Montrose scored first, pushing the score up 22-15. Lake Fenton answered two plays later. The Blue Devils decided to go for the win and not kick the extra point. Their run was stuffed and the game was over. Both teams fought hard for the Genesee Area Conference Red Division title. Montrose might have lost a bit though as their top running back Caleb Reinhart got a high ankle sprain. Quarterback Riley Warren completed five of his nine passes for 37 yards and a touchdown while also running eight times for another 44 yards. Caleb Reinhart ran 23 times for 86 yards. Malik Taylor ran five times for 14 yards and a touchdown while also catching four balls for 35 yards and another score. Jimmie Hodge scored the other TD. Lake Fenton quarterback Gage Smith only attempted two passes and completed only one, but it went 65 yards for a touchdown to Neil Allor. Allor also ran 11 times for 65 yards and a rushing TD. Nick VanDuser ran 24 times for 75 yards and a score.

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