Blue Water Area football: Week 9 roundup
Broken records, big wins, and well-fought losses highlighted the final week of the Michigan high school football regular season. Tonight teams will find out their district semifinal matchups and begin a week of postseason preparation. The Selection Show can be viewed on Bally Sports Detroit at 6 p.m.
Until then, let’s review this weekend’s games:
Cros-Lex 41, Freeland 34
After falling to Freeland in the regional final last fall, Cros-Lex invited the Falcons to Pioneer stadium for a rematch and won in record-breaking fashion.
Junior quarterback Gavin Espinoza threw for 372 yards and five touchdowns, breaking the school record for touchdown passes in a single game.
And on the receiving end was senior Trevor Soule who tied the single-game touchdown reception record with three, surpassing the single-game receiving yards record with 177.
Junior running back Gabriel “Belly” Groppi chipped in with 174 rushing yards on 27 carries for a touchdown, and seniors Drew Hosterman and Nolan Moore each had another touchdown reception.
The victory will surely give the Pioneers a much-needed confidence boost as they improve to 7-2 and prepare for the district semifinal. They won the program’s first district championship since 2012 last fall, and they could look to add another in two weeks.
North Branch 50, Three Rivers 13
North Branch met Three Rivers midway at Okemos High School for a Division 4 non-conference matchup and set a school record en route to victory: most points scored in a season.
The Broncos have now tallied 450 points this fall, averaging 50 points per game. One more game at this pace could etch the team into the MHSAA record books.
Leading the high-scoring offense Friday night was senior Ryan Henne with 137 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Fellow senior Lucas Schapman added 114 yards on the ground and one 24-yard touchdown reception, totaling four scores on the night. And senior Aiden Swoish scored the seventh touchdown, accumulating 103 rushing yards.
At the helm of it all was senior quarterback Will Damaska with a 3-for-7, 43-yard passing performance while adding 57 yards rushing.
North Branch is now 8-1, leading the area along with Port Huron Northern as the only two one-loss teams among several 7-2 teams that have kept this season interesting and competitive.
Port Huron 28, Marysville 0
After a 6-0 lead at the half, the Big Reds closed the regular season at 7-2 overall with their victory over Marysville.
Senior quarterback Nate Oriel was 9-for-16 on the night with 123 passing yards and two touchdowns – one on the ground and one on a pass to senior Conner Rosenau (three receptions, 36 yards).
Leading Port Huron on both sides of the ball was junior Gavin Troy. He ran for 80 yards and two touchdowns while adding 69 receiving yards. He also recorded five tackles.
The Vikings, who had won their previous three games, fall to 5-4 on the season. Both teams will await to hear their district semifinal pairings tonight – Port Huron in Division 2, Marysville in Division 4.
Goodrich 42, Almont 21
A 21-21 tie game at the half soon belonged to the Martians as they broke loose with a 21-point third quarter. It was a good test for the Raiders as they were playing up two divisions against a team that hasn’t lost since week 1.
The senior-sophomore duo of Bryce Ferman and Chase Battani led Almont’s running game with 103 and 100 yards, respectively. Battani scored the Raiders’ first two touchdowns while Ferman ran in the third.
Freshman Sean O’Neil was 3-for-3 on extra points, improving to a notable 30-for-34 on the season.
Almont’s defense managed four turnovers on the night – a pair of interceptions from junior Ayden Ferqueron and senior Connor Nascivera, and a pair of fumbles from senior Carson Wood and junior Isaiah Bankston. They were led in tackles by senior Tyler Filinger with 11.
Durand 48, Marine City 28
The Railroaders entered the game 8-0, leading the state in Division 6, and would leave with their perfect record in tact. They scored on six of their eight possessions and added another six points with an interception, proving their efficient offense.
Marine City, however, managed four scores on the night under the leadership of freshman quarterback Lyncoln Osterland. He was 18-for-24 with 196 passing yards.
Senior Jeff Heaslip had two of the Mariners’ touchdowns after 14 carries for 75 yards, and sophomore Paul Muscat scores twice more with 35 rushing yards. Junior Anthony Ruffino led the offense with 117 total yards, 47 on the ground and 70 in the air.
Leading the Mariner defense with nearly 10 tackles per game this fall, Brock Osterland and junior Bodie Ramsey recorded 12 and 10 tackles Friday night. Atkinson added an interception during Durand’s first possession.
The Mariners, who finished as runner-up in Division 5 last fall, will look to repeat another postseason run, starting with the district semifinal this week.
OTHER AREA SCORES:
Bishop Foley 27, Cardinal Mooney 14
Brown City 60, Capac 6
Clintondale 20, Richmond 17
Deckerville 62, Peck 60 (4 OT)
Flint Kearsley 25, Armada 22
Flint Southwestern 32, Imlay City 22
Harbor Beach 51, Vassar 12
Kingston 36, CPS 0
Marlette 42, Our Lady of the Lakes 14
Melvindale 38, Memphis 6
Port Huron Northern 13, St. Clair 0
Sandusky 44, USA 20
Yale 38, Lutheran North 28
For in-game updates and other news, follow Calli on Twitter @ newberry_calli
To receive notifications about new stories from The Sports Report, subscribe for free.