Itâ€™s on!Â Time to eat some turkey and play some football!Â Teams have battled all season long to realize the dream of playing for a championship.Â Now that dream is a reality for some lucky young men.Â There were a few surprises this weekend and a few games that ended up blowouts.Â Either way, these teams played very well and got to the semifinals: something that few other teams could say.Â Letâ€™s review the games from Saturday.
Rockford 27 Livonia Stevenson 13
The Rams of Rockford know all about state championship games.Â They won back to back titles and were a runner up in 2004 and 2006, respectively.Â Rockford came out of the gates fast and scored twice, but was then plagued by turnovers.Â They had a punt blocked and fumbled a kickoff.Â This let Livonia back into the game but Rockford held a slight lead, 14-13.Â The Rams were able to shut down Livoniaâ€™s Austin White (18 carries for 55 yards and 3 receptions for 5 yards) which kept the score low.Â As Iâ€™ve said every time I write about Rockford, their special teams helped out.Â Paul Mudgett kicked two field goals, 39 yards and 33 yards, which helped keep Stevenson at bay.Â Starting running back Aaron Kwekel was out for Rockford so Ryan Cochran helped as did Jordan Morren.
Lake Orion 38 Dearborn Fordson 0
The Dragons scored on the first play of the game; John Chanthakhot intercepted a pass and ran it in from 26 yards out.Â It was all downhill for Fordson at that point.Â Fordson fumbled away their next possession which led to a Branden Oakes score.Â Oakes also scored on a 44 yard run before halftime to push the lead to 21-0.Â He ended the game with 126 yards on 20 carries.Â Lake Orion was aggressive and their offense tallied 162 yards in the first half, compared to Fordsonâ€™s 74 yards.Â Dearborn also turned the ball over five times.Â Abe Mroue had 49 yards on 10 carries for Fordson and their quarterback Ali Baidoun completed six of his 13 passes for 69 yards but was picked off three times.
Muskegon 38 Davison 35
Things were looking good for Davison.Â They had a 35-13 lead with under five minutes to play.Â Muskegon had turned over the ball six times.Â All they needed to do was play defense and run out the clock.Â Then, Elan Banks hit Karey Webb on a 77 yard touchdown pass, but was not able to run in the two point attempt.Â The Big Reds needed to kick an onside kick and were able to recover it.Â Banks again tossed the ball, but this time Dominique Maybanks caught a 28 yard touchdown pass.Â Maybanks was also the one who recovered the onside kick.Â This brought the score to 35-31 with about 2:30 left.Â Again, Muskegon was forced to kick an onside kick and just like the last time, the Big Reds were able to recover.Â Six plays later, Greg Wickliffe ran 20 yards for a score to take a 38-35 lead with only 42 ticks left.Â Davison drove to the Muskegon 32 on the ensuing drive, but Banks intercepted a pass in the end zone with no time remaining to win.
Warren DeLaSalle 21 Southfield 6
The Pilots scored first, but it came at a price.Â Receiver and defensive back John Martinez caught a seven yard touchdown pass, but injured his foot on the play.Â Martinez returned the opening kickoff 42 yards to help set up his touchdown reception.Â After that, the offense stalled for a while.Â Then, at the beginning of the second half, DeLaSalleâ€™s Tim Zabawa stepped up and made some plays.Â On a third and long, he caught an 11 yard pass and later in the drive ran in the touchdown from two yards.Â Quarterback Josh Sinagoga completed 10 of his 19 passes for 110 yards and two touchdowns.Â The defense was tough and didnâ€™t allow Southfield to get their game going.
Inkster 36 Bloomfield Hills Lahser 20
Inkster was up early.Â They had a 20-0 lead from three big plays; two in the first half and one in the second.Â Devin Gardner tossed a 24 yard touchdown pass to Jonathan Tayler for the first score.Â Then Damond Smith intercepted a pass and returned it 98 yards for another score.Â Gardner finished five of 15 for 120 yards, three touchdowns and one rushing score.Â Alan Freeman paced Inkster with 82 yards on eight carries.Â Lahser wasnâ€™t finished though.Â Fullback Devin Gibson was able to score before halftime for the Knights.Â He scored again in the third quarter and finished with 47 yards on 18 carries.Â After Jason Gikas recovered a fumble at the Inkster 43, quarterback Drew Jackson completed a touchdown pass to Mike Hafeli to tie the score at 20.Â Â Jackson finished the day 16 of 40 for 263 yards, one touchdown, and four interceptions.Â After that, it was Gardner again; this time he passed 52 yards to Cameron Gordon for the third big play of the game.Â Â Next, Gardner scored his rushing touchdown with under two minutes to put the game out of reach.
East Grand Rapids 41 Stevensville Lakeshore 13
This game was much closer than the score indicates.Â It was 14-13 EGR with just under three minutes remaining in the third quarter.Â It was then that the Pioneers capped an 87 yard drive with a one yard run by Joe Glendening.Â Next, Lakeshore went three and out, but junior Kirk Spencer returned the punt 67 yards for another touchdown.Â Then Colin Voss picked off a screen pass and ran 40 yards for yet another score.Â Last, Glendening ran 43 yards for a touchdown, set up by an interception by AJ McEwen.Â The whole onslaught of points came in a four minute period.Â Joe Glendening ended up with 149 yards on 20 carries and scored twice.Â Quarterback Andrew Thompson completed nine of his 10 passes for 121 yards and two more scores.Â Those two touchdown receptions came on long plays.Â Chris Blair caught a 52 yard TD and McEwen caught one from 27 yards out.
Holland Christian 38 Grand Rapids Catholic Central 14
The Maroons can thank their defense for the win.Â Grand Rapidsâ€™ Nick Ens, who had set a state record for touchdown passes the week before, completed 19 of his 40 passes for 248 yards.Â His counterpart won the game though; AJ Westendorp completed 13 of his 21 passes for 155 yards and three touchdowns and a game high 86 rushing yards (18 carries).Â Holland Christian was able to send the clock running in the middle of the third quarter after Westendorp hit Kyle Boer for a 28 yard touchdown pass.Â Matt Hochhalter had two touchdowns and 81 yards on the day; one of his touchdowns coming on a 20 yard pass.
Detroit Country Day 48 Croswell-Lexington 6
Croswell-Lexington struck first, but Country Day struck more often.Â A few plays into the second quarter, C-Lâ€™s Cameron Barrett hit Dominic Arnold with an 18 yard pass into the end zone on fourth and 17.Â From there on, it was all Country Day.Â Oâ€™Neil Swanson broke a 48 yard touchdown shortly after and the Yellow Jackets never looked back.Â They blocked C-Lâ€™s punt on their next possession and gained control at the 20.Â Then Country Day recovered a fumbled kickoff at the CL 22.Â Bennie Fowler scored this time from six yards out.Â On the last pay of the first half, Brett Bukari hit a 29 yard field goal.Â Jason Ray intercepted a pass and ran 42 yards for another touchdown.Â Swanson finished with 147 yards on 15 carries while Fowler carried seven times for 50 yards.Â Their defense only allowed 29 rushing yards and 174 total yards in the game.
Ovid-Elsie 55 Standish-Sterling 20
Chalk up another win thanks to running back Chris Robinson.Â It was a close game through the first half with OE leading 21-13 at the break.Â Fortunately for the Marauders, the third quarter belonged to Chris Robinson.Â In the third alone, Robinson rushed for touchdowns of 35, 52, 43, and 43 yards.Â He also scored on two 50 yard runs in the first and second quarter, giving him six on the day.Â His final stats were 22 rushes for 346 yards and six touchdowns.Â Quarterback Jason Goosen completed six of his 13 passes for 132 yards and a touchdown.Â Nick Madden, another running back for Ovid, had a nice day as well.Â He had 66 yards and two touchdowns on six runs.Â Standish scored a big touchdown on an 85 yard kickoff return by Mitchell McFarland, but OE scored twice more and started the running clock.Â Robinson needs 163 yards to tie the single season rushing record set by Chris Lomasney of Chippewa Valley back in 2000.
Muskegon Oakridge 27 Jackson Lumen Christi 16
The Eagles ran all over the Titans.Â Their three running backs combined for 293 of their 329 total yards.Â Matt Eacker led Oakridge with 88 yards on 19 carries.Â Luke Cole scored two touchdowns from his running back position that contributed to the win.Â Jackson Lumen Christi had a chance late in the third quarter though.Â They drove to the Oakridge 20 yard line, but fumbled the ball away.Â The Titans fumbled the ball away at the Eagle 35 on their first possession of the game.Â It all came down to the mistakes that Jackson Lumen Christi made; they were not able to overcome all the errors and Muskegon Oakridge did not make as many mistakes.Â Nick Russler scored for JLC as did Rafe Bellers.Â Kicker Nick Kline also hit a 23 yard field goal for the Titans.
Montague 35 Saginaw Nouvel 34 (OT)
The state champs came up a bit short.Â In overtime, they went for the two point conversion and did not complete it.Â Nouvelâ€™s Ryan Henris went 13 of 24 for 253 yards.Â Ryan Miller had 98 yards and the overtime touchdown.Â For Montague, their running game was stopped by a good front line of Nouvel.Â They were limited to 16 yards on 19 attempts.Â Cody Kater, Montague quarterback, completed 19 of his 31 passes for 324 yards and five touchdowns.Â Matt Dejong caught six passes for 97 yards and kicked seven extra points.Â Anthony Root caught two touchdown passes of 82 and six yards.Â It all came down to big plays and Montague made more big plays than Nouvel did.
Leslie 22 Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central 19
For the first time in a while, I wonâ€™t be talking about the Leslie back who rushed for more than 100 yards.Â It wasnâ€™t that close of game until the fourth quarter.Â As the Blackhawks were driving towards another touchdown, quarterback Travis Crowe threw an interception when they were only five yards away.Â St. Mary put together a long scoring drive and was able to recover the onside kick.Â Another scoring drive and another successful onside kick gave St. Mary CC the ball one the 50 with only three points needed to tie the game.Â The Falcons drove to Leslieâ€™s 33, but senior Nate Jansen intercepted the ball to preserve the win for the Blackhawks.Â Devyn Twombley led the Blackhawk rushers with 80 yards on 11 carries and one touchdown.Â Crow connected on four of his eight passes for 85 yards, with 61 yards going to Jansen.
Traverse City St. Francis 28 Ravenna 7
It was a complete team effort for TCSF.Â Four players scored touchdowns.Â St. Francis quarterback Corey Williams tossed to Taylor Hennrick for a 34 yard touchdown to get the first points.Â Ravenna struck back with a 2 yard touchdown run by Jamohn Martin after a roughing the kicker penalty gave them a fresh set of downs.Â Then TCSFâ€™s Jake Gallagher ran in a short touchdown just before halftime.Â Ben Swan ran another touchdown in from seven yards out with about three minutes left in the third quarter.Â Joe Kerridge had 11 carries for 89 yards while Ryan Farley ran 16 times for 89 yards.Â On defense, the Gladiators were led by MSU recruit Max Bullough with 13 tackles.Â Ravennaâ€™s Martin has rushed for over 2,000 yards this season, but was held to 117 on 25 carries.
Ubly 47 Reading 8
We all have heard about how great the offense is for Ubly.Â In this game, the defense came in and shut down another great offense that the Rangers employ.Â The Bearcats used a 41 yard touchdown pass from quarterback Jordan Kaufman to Steven Weber to get the first points of the game.Â Justin Cleary ran in a touchdown to open the second quarter from 35 yards out.Â Alex Peruski scored from six yards out in the middle of the second to put the score at 19-0.Â Mitchel Cleary scored and Kaufman kicked the extra point to push it up to 26-0.Â A fumble by Reading gave the ball to the Bearcats at the Rangers 12.Â Kaufman hit Eric Booms for a touchdown pass from seven yards out, pushing the score up again to 33-0.Â Readingâ€™s Trevor Ryan broke a 48 yard run for a touchdown, but Kaufman returned the ensuing kickoff 81 yards for another score.Â One more score by Peruski finished the day.
Crystal Falls Forest Park 8 Frankfort 6
Both teams scored within a minute of each other late in the first half, and then the scoring was done.Â Crystal Falls Forest Parkâ€™s Jim Wheeler recovered a fumbled ball at their own 25.Â Then, on third down, Bob Reid hit Tony Renner for a 53 yard completion.Â Josh Siler ran for a first down to the Frankfort 12.Â The man who has been coming up huge for Crystal Falls late this season, Jim Wheeler, scored from the one yard line.Â After the kickoff, Frankfort got the ball at their own 42.Â Quarterback Wade Luxford lateraled to Mark Bankston who then threw a deep pass to Alex Stieve and the 48 yard touchdown play was complete.Â They tried the same play for the two point conversion, but Josh Siler was able to break through and got to Bankston before he could pass.Â Two field goal attempts failed and the defense came up big.Â Siler had 15 carries for 44 yards and Wheeler carried 16 times for 35.Â Bob Reid even got into the running game with 28 yards on 13 carries.
Muskegon Catholic Central 45 Beal City 20
The MCC Crusaders ran up the middle, left, and right over Beal City.Â They gained 339 yards on the ground to Beal Cityâ€™s 51.Â Quarterback Jared Johnson had 73 yards on 10 carries and three touchdowns.Â Steve Mitchell had two touchdowns with his 106 yards on 11 carries.Â Rodney Anderson scored as well to go along with 97 yards on 10 carries.Â Johnson credits his linemen for keeping them clean and making it easy to run.Â Mitchell ran the first play of the game to the end zone from 69 yards out.Â Beal City did not protect the ball that well while MCC had no turnovers.Â After a field goal by Tom Pallas, the Crusaders led 31-6 going into halftime.Â MCC drove the ball and chewed up the clock in the third quarter; they drove 80 yards in six and a half minutes before Anderson scored from 11 yards out.Â The ensuing kickoff was fumbled and MCC recovered.Â They scored again, this time Mitchell ran in from the 1.Â Beal City ran one play in the third quarter.