We’re three weeks into the 2022 high school football season and four area teams remain unbeaten: Almont, Croswell-Lexington, North Branch, and Port Huron Northern. That’ll change this Friday, however, as the Raiders will welcome the Broncos for a conference game.
Here’s a look at how our local teams did in week three:
After leading 6-0 at the start of the second quarter, the Pioneers made the most of the following 12 minutes to lead 26-6 by the half, and that was all they would need to secure the win.
Junior quarterback Gavin Espinoza led the Pioneers with a 14-for-25 performance that totaled 202 yards and three touchdowns. He also rushed for 38 yards and a touchdown.
Junior Braylon Day and seniors Jaxon Gonzales and Trevor Soule each had one touchdown reception, and junior Nick Monzo led with 56 receiving yards on five catches. Junior Gabriel “Belly” Groppi led the Pioneers running game with 108 yards on seven carries.
For Armada, sophomore quarterback Lucas Pratt threw 5-for-9 for 47 yards and rushed for 48. Senior running back Kyle Coenen had 72 yards on 18 carries, and fellow senior Vinny Fodale had 48 yards and one touchdown. Senior Leo Andrews ran in the other Tigers touchdown.
Cros-Lex (3-0, 2-0 BWAC) will have a bye week this Friday and Armada (2-1, 1-1 BWAC) will travel to Imlay City.
Almont 42, Imlay City 17
The Raiders remain undefeated on the season after picking up their first conference win over Imlay City Friday night. They led 35-0 by halftime and held onto their lead for the remainder of the game.
Senior Matthew Measel had 121 rushing yards on the night for one touchdown to lead the Almont offense. Sophomore Chase Battani added 60 yards and one touchdown, and senior Bryce Ferman added one more with 35 yards.
Senior quarterback Trenton Kruse threw 2-for-6, totaling 49 yards and one touchdown to junior Cole Walton.
Defensively, junior Cayden DuRall led with five tackles, while sophomore Jacob Fuller and junior Aiden Oliphant each had one tackle for loss.
The junior-senior duo of Cade and Brady VanderPloeg led the Spartans in the effort. Brady threw 5-for-13 and 91 yards and Cade was on the receiving end with three catches for 33 yards. Brady also rushed for 150 yards and two touchdowns.
Sophomore Andrew Cezik added 52 more rushing yards on seven carries and sophomore Tanner Land had one 33-yard reception.
Junior Brady Redd led with 10 tackles and George Amjos added five, including two tackles for loss.
The Raiders (3-0, 1-0 BWAC) will play North Branch next week while the Spartans (0-3, 0-2 BWAC) will host Armada.
North Branch 51, Yale 0
The Broncos have averaged 55.7 points per game while only allowing one touchdown so far this season. They hosted Yale in their home opener Friday night, jumping out to a 35-0 lead by the half.
Senior quarterback Will Damaska led the Bronco offense with two rushing touchdowns (128 yards) and one pass to senior Griffin Mabery. Seniors Aiden Swoish added 179 offensive yards for two touchdowns and Lucas Schapman had 49 more for a touchdown of his own.
Senior Mason Haken led the defense with nine tackles on the night and junior Ryan Bruff added six more.
For the Bulldogs, junior Connor Jakubiak threw 4-for-19 and 32 yards while senior James Bahr led with 41 rushing yards on seven carries. Senior Kaden Proctor had nine tackles to lead his team defensively, while senior Josh Craig had two – one for loss – and junior Jeremy Griffith added three.
North Branch is now 3-0 (2-0 BWAC) and will play Almont (3-0, 1-0 BWAC) Friday while Yale (1-2, 0-2 BWAC) will host Richmond (2-1, 0-1 BWAC).
Marine City 33, St. Clair 8
The East China rivalry matchup took place Friday night in which the Mariners claimed victory, keeping the bell trophy for the third straight year.
Senior Zach Tetler had three of the five Mariner touchdowns, rushing for 176 yards on the night. Senior quarterback Jeff Heaslip punched the ball across the goal line for one touchdown himself while throwing 7-for-13 and 87 yards on the night.
Senior Cole Smalstig had one sack in the second quarter, forcing a fumble which was recovered by sophomore Collin Gabler who returned the ball for a touchdown. Junior Bodie Ramsey led the Marine City defense with 10 tackles while senior Caleb Curtis had seven.
Sophomore quarterback Peyton Ellis scored the only eight points for the Saints, first for a touchdown on a one-yard carry and then he punched in the 2-point conversion. He threw 5-for-14 on the night and 42 yards, mostly to senior Hunter Richardson who had 33 yards on four receptions.
Senior Logan Ellis added 61 yards on 11 carries and led the St. Clair defense with six tackles (one for loss) and junior Carter Peterson had three tackles for loss.
Marine City (2-1, 1-0 MAC-Silver) will hit the road this Friday to play South Lake (3-0, 1-0 MAC-Silver), while St. Clair (1-2, 0-1 MAC-Silver) will host Clintondale (1-2, 0-1 MAC-Silver).
South Lake 32, Marysville 25
Marysville fell in a close conference opener on the road against South Lake Friday night. Senior quarterback Noah LaValley led the Vikings in the effort with two touchdowns and 84 rushing yards. Sophomore Ben LaValley and senior Tyler McKenney each ran one more in.
Defensively, junior Conner Frayley snagged one interception and senior Mitchell Donaldson had one fumble recovery.
The Vikings are now 1-2 (0-1 MAC-Silver). They’ll return home this week to host Madison Heights Lamphere (3-0).
OTHER AREA SCORES:
Port Huron 34, Warren Mott 14
Port Huron Northern 26, L’Anse Creuse North 6
Richmond 28, Detroit University Prep 6
Cardinal Mooney 8, Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett 0
Harbor Beach 30, Cass City 16
Bad Axe 49, Caro 0
Toledo Christian 54, Deckerville 8
Laker 50, Vassar 10
Peck 50, Akron Fairgrove 22
Reese 34, USA 6
Sandusky 52, Memphis 14
Ubly 57, Marlette 16
Blue Water Sports Media Association week four poll: