Updated: Aug 30, 2022
Football season is finally here and boy, was the first week an exciting one. Let’s take a look at some of the highlights from the week:
Sure, it might have only been the first game, but it will likely stand as one of the most exciting games of the 2022 season.
Armada trailed Marine City 21-7 heading into the fourth quarter. The Tigers came back on a successful trick play for the game-tying 2-point conversion, and its defense proved relentless when it stopped the Mariners from a 2-point conversion of its own in the second overtime.
Sophomore quarterback Lucas Pratt went 9-12 for 69 yards and one touchdown in the win. Senior Kyle Coenen led the offense with 21 carries for 98 yards and one touchdown; sophomore Zac Dykes rushed for 27 yards and one touchdown while recording three receptions for 27 yards; and senior Leo Andrews was 2-2 in receptions for 12 yards and one touchdown.
A menace on both sides of the ball, senior Vinny Fodale ran for 51 yards and one touchdown while also recording 10 tackles.
For the Mariners, senior quarterback Jeff Healsip was 9-22 for 140 yards and two touchdowns. Senior Zach Tetler rushed for 112 yards and one touchdown, while sophomore Paul Muscat had three receptions for 35 yards and one touchdown.
Leading the Mariner defense was senior Cole OKroy who had 13 tackles.
Almont 35, Marysville 24
The Raiders led 7-6 heading into the half and came back to score 21 points in the third quarter alone. The Vikings rallied in the fourth quarter, however, scoring 18 points to close the gap.
Senior Matthew Measel led Almont’s offense with 99 yards on 10 carries. Sophomore Chase Battani made the most of his six carries with 69 yards and three touchdowns, while senior Bryce Ferman carried the ball six times for 54 yards and a touchdown as well.
For the Vikings, senior quarterback Noah LaValley went 8-10 in passing for 95 yards and two touchdowns, while running for 95 yards and two more touchdowns.
Senior Peyton Laubert tallied 45 yards and one touchdown reception on the night, while junior Tommy Hadacz added five more for a touchdown reception. Junior Carter Saccucci (37 yards) and senior Tyler McKenney (24 yards) led the offense in rushing.
Seniors Braden Turner and Tyler Simpson led defense in tackles, and Simpson had one fumble recovery and a blocked PAT.
Croswell-Lexington 34, Saginaw Swan Valley 7
After trailing 7-0 to start the second quarter, the Pioneers settled into their effective running game with three touchdowns, taking an 18-7 lead by the half.
Junior quarterback Gavin Espinoza went 4-11 in the air for 44 yards and one touchdown while rushing for 109 yards and one touchdown.
A name we’ll certainly be hearing more of this fall is Gabriel “Belly” Groppi. The junior running back rushed for 217 yards and two touchdowns on Thursday.
Defensively, Espinoza and senior Drew Hosterman each recorded an interception, while senior Trevor Soule (12 tackles), and juniors Joey Scaramuzzino (14 tackles) and Braylon Day (11 tackles) led the defense.
North Branch 56, Redford Thurston 0
The Broncos recorded 404 total yards of offense while holding Thurston to just 70 en route to a season-opening shutout.
Senior Aiden Swoish led the Bronco offense with 92 rushing yards and one touchdown. Seniors Ryan Henne (89 rushing yards) and Lucas Schapman (70 rushing yards) each recorded two touchdowns as well.
Senior quarterback Will Damaska threw for 33 yards and ran for 77 for two more touchdowns.
Swoish managed eight tackles on the night as well, including 1.5 tackles for loss and one interception. Sophomore Braydon Robinson had six tackles well, and also went 8-for-8 in extra points.
The Blue Devils struck early before the game turned into a defensive battle. Sophomore quarterback Anthony Bonnetti was the only one to find the end zone in the first quarter as he rushed for 24 yards and two touchdowns while going 5-11 for 72 yards in the air. Senior Blake Esselink added 70 yards of offense on 16 carries.
Junior Joey Simmons led the Blue Devil defense with eight tackles, three for loss, while sophomore Gavin Frick had three tackles, one for loss, and one sack, and senior Kyle Bartolomucci recorded six tackles and one sack as well.
For the Saints, who graduated 19 seniors last season, the first game had a few “growing pains,” as assistant coach T.J. Schindler said. Sophomore quarterback Peyton Ellis threw 7-18 for 65 yards and rushed for 35 on 11 carries. Senior Logan Ellis rushed for 79 yards while adding 16 more on two receptions. He also had three tackles.
Junior William Schroeder had six tackles and sophomore Matt Farrow had three, each with one for loss.
Yale 41, Dearborn Heights Annapolis 6
The young Yale football team made a statement on its home field in the season opener. The Bulldogs came out strong in the first quarter, scoring 19 points. By halftime they led 26-0. They totaled 305 offensive yards while holding their opponent to just 74.
Junior quarterback Connor Jakubiak threw for 112 yards and 1 touchdown with his 6-14 performance. He also rushed for two touchdowns. Senior James Bahr rushed for 97 yards on 12 carries, while senior Khazen Morton had three receptions for 48 yards.
Senior Josh Craig is ready to make his final season his best as he stole two interceptions, running one back for six points.
Hazel Park 26, Imlay City 0
The Spartans may have fallen in their season opener, but they still can boast a few notable performances.
Sophomore Tanner Land rushed for 38 yards, sophomore Andrew Cezik recorded 32, and junior Travis Dupont added 30 more. Sophomore quarterback Matt Evans went 3-10 for 40 yards in the air.
Defensively, senior Brady VanderPloeg had nine tackles – two for loss – and junior Latham Perry added six, also with two for loss.
Other area scores:
Port Huron Northern 44, Lake Shore 12
Grand Rapids Catholic Central 54, Port Huron High 0
Marlette 44, Caro 6
Lakers 47, Sandusky 6
Millington 26, Detroit SE 20
Brown City 64, Peck 12
Capac 20, North Huron 8
Cardinal Mooney 42, Parkway Christian 13
Here is the latest Blue Water Sports Media Association football rankings as voted upon by Brady Beedon and Dennis Stuckey of Get Stuck On Sports; Brenden Welper of The Times Herald; and Calli Newberry of The Sports Report: