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MHSAA Football - Week Seven Review

More squads have qualified for the playoffs. Teams have wrapped up conference titles. Players are looking at basketball season, even though there are two weeks left. This is reality in Michigan for high school football players. Some have big accomplishments to hang their hats on so far, and others are left to wonder what happened to their season. The wind is as cold as the bitter realization of what this really means; some of these guys will shake hands two more times and never put on the helmet and jersey again. Don’t fear, faithful reader! There is PLENTY of football left. Eight teams will walk off the turf of Ford Field with glory to last a lifetime and will go down in community lore. Some of these players will even get a chance to strap it up at the next level, whether it is for Michigan State, Saginaw Valley State University, or Carroll College (Montana).  Interestingly enough, almost all the game profiled had the same score, or within a point or so.

Muskegon Oakridge 20 Shelby 9

It was close. Oakridge was looking at a fourth down and one to go with about three minutes left in the game. They decided to do what many teams do on fourth and short; use the quarterback sneak. Austin Wright was stuffed, but broke free and flew 68 yards down the field to seal the game and add six points to the score. The win allows them to clinch at worst a share of the West Michigan Conference championship and push their record to 7-0. Wright finished with eight rushes for 99 yards and a score while also completing two of his three passes for 23 yards. Dan Shoop was the leading rusher with 22 carries for 146 yards and two scores. Joey Warred hauled in one pass for 20 yards. Derek Masterman chipped in 10 tackles and an interception. For Shelby, they dropped their second consecutive game. Spencer Peters completed 10 of his 25 passes for 162 yards and a touchdown. Devin Mussell pulled in two passes for 17 yards and the sole receiving touchdown. Brody Lee grabbed four passes for 88 yards. Forrest Courtright ran 11 times for 30 yards while Nathan Lentz ran eight times for 38 yards. Ben Schroeder made 15 tackles and teammate Austin Porter made 14. Oakridge can wrap up the title with a win over Whitehall this week.

Negaunee 20 Ishpeming 8

This, like the game above, was very close. The score was 8-7 in the fourth quarter. It was Negaunee’s Tyler LaJoie who busted it open at the end. He caught a 53 yard touchdown pass with his fingertips a few seconds into the fourth from quarterback Tanner Uren. About eight minutes later, he busted a 71 yard scamper up the sideline to put the game on ice. He finished with 116 yards on 16 runs and also grabbed a late interception. Brock Weaver grabbed a 24 yard touchdown as well. For the Hematites of Ishpeming, Eric Kostreva ran 25 times for 111 yards and also returned a fumble 17 yards for a score. Both teams have one conference game left.

Hemlock 21 Freeland 7

This was a heavyweight bout like the other games this week. Hemlock came into the game looking to wrap up their first conference title since 1977. Freeland wanted to extend their streak of conference titles (or shares). It was Freeland who struck first, with an impressive 18 play, 10 minute drive which culminated with a Chris Graebner five yard scoring run. The rest was all Hemlock. Quarterback Chase Weichmann completed four of his seven passes for 61 yards and also ran 12 times for 30 more and a score. On defense, he also grabbed two interceptions, including one in the end zone to seal the game. Dylan Honsinger led the rushing attack with eight runs for 81 yards and a touchdown. Tony Speckhard ran nine times for 44 more. All four completions went to Ryan Hagarty, including a very impressive catch which saw him jump high in the air and grab a rocket sailing by. Reese Engel chipped in 16 tackles from his middle linebacker spot. For Freeland, quarterback Kyle Guster completed six of his 16 passes for 81 yards. Mitch Noack led his team in rushing with 18 runs for 75 yards and grabbed two passes for 13 yards. Graebner chipped in five carries for 16 yards and the lone touchdown. Ryan Richter caught one pass for 28 yards.

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New Haven Merritt Academy 52 Flint Michigan School for the Deaf 6

It wasn’t the Tartar’s day. Merritt Academy put a smack down on them.  I didn't see any stats for either school.  If you saw them or were at the game,  please contact me via the Phalanx Forum.