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Weekly Choice - Section B - September 12, 2013

Weekly Choice - Section B - September 12, 2013

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Published by Baragrey Dave
Weekly Choice - Section B - September 12, 2013
Weekly Choice - Section B - September 12, 2013

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Published by: Baragrey Dave on Sep 24, 2013
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12/05/2013

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PETOSKEY -- There were alot of ‘ifs’ coming into theseason for the Petoskey HighSchool football team.The only if now is whetherthe Northmen can match theperformance they producedFriday against Hastings. If they can, they will certainly be a team that can contendfor the Big North Conferencechampionship and makeplans for a trip to the play-offs.The Northmen were domi-nant from start to finish inposting a 41-14 victory overthe Saxons, improving to 2-0 with their league opener upnext at Cadillac on Friday,Sept. 13.Cadillac is 2-0 after a 43-25 win over Lansing Easternin its season-opener and adramatic 21-20 win over Bay City John Glenn last week.The Vikings rallied from a17-0 deficit to beat theBobcats.Petoskey opened the sea-son with an efficient – albeitfar-from-perfect -- 23-7 winover Sault Ste. Marie.“It’s a confidence builder,”Petoskey coach Kerry  VanOrman said. “The firsttwo games of the year canreally make your season orbreak it. The confidencething is big in winning thosefirst couple of games.“I think they sure grew upfrom the (first) week. Takinnothing away from the SaultSte. Marie because they’re agood football team, but Ithink we played way betteron both sides of the ball(against Hastings).The Northmen put togeth-er a vintage performanceagainst the Saxons (0-2),using their trademark ball-control double-wing offenseto the tune of 348 total yards– 311 of which came on theground – and rolling up 18first downs. And their defense wasequally as impressive in allbut silencing a potentHastings ground game thatproduced more than 400 yards in the Saxons’ 38-34season-opening loss to WestBranch Ogemaw Heights.Petoskey held Hastings to139 yards in total offense, allof which came on theground, and six first downs.More than 50 yards andthree of those first downscame during a fourth-quar-ter drive long after the out-come had been decided.Just one Hastings play  went for more than nine yards, and that was a 23-yardscamper by fullback StephenShaffer.“I thought our defense didan outstanding job of shut-ting down their run game,” VanOrman said. “Besides theone breakaway run theirfullback had, our kids did just an outstanding job of defending them.“Coach (Gavin) Fralick and all of our assistants,Mike Loper and Shawn Wonnacott and Mark Ameeland Jamie Buchanan, they deserve a lot of credit forreally putting together agood defensive package.“That’s where it started,and then our kids being ableto run the football like we wanted to was nice. It’s agrowing process for ourteam, especially up front. Ithink they grew up a lot onFriday. I was happy withtheir play for sure.”Chase Ledingham ledPetoskey’s ground game with164 yards and four touch-downs on 24 carries, whileKurt Boucher added 70 yardson 18 attempts. Ledinghamscored on two 7-yard runsand a pair of 3-yard bursts.Sophomore quarterback Evan Whitmore hit on two of his three pass attempts for37 yards and a touchdown, a25-yarder to his brother,Shea, that accounted for thegame’s first points.The Northmen scored onfour of their five first-half possessions for a 27-7 half-time lead.Not to be outdone,Petoskey’s special teamstook a turn in the spotlightas well as its kickoff coverageteam twice covered shortsquib kickoffs, one by StevenSnider, the other by JoeCrittenden. Both of thoseplays came in the first half,giving the Northmen posses-sion in Hastings territory,and both times Petoskey cashed in by scoring onthose drives.The Northmen opened thethird quarter with a 16-play,62-yard scoring drive, andfollowed with 12-play, 71- yard march that resulted in aNick Mesnard 3-yard TDrun. Nathaniel Reed’s extrapoint kick, his fifth of thenight, made it 41-6 with justover eight minutes to play.The two second-half TDdrives totaled 30 plays anddrained more than 15 min-utes of game time – which isexactly what Petoskey’soffense is designed to do –and sandwiched a three-play Hastings drive that ended with a Nick Strobel intercep-tion on the Saxons’ lone passattempt on the night.In Cadillac, the Northmenare bound to see a muchmore balanced attack led by perhaps the Big NorthConference’s best athlete,quarterback Jalen Brooks, athree-year starter.“You’re going to have areally good athlete back there who can run,” VanOrman said. “He’s going to get his yards, but ourbiggest thing is making sure you limit his big plays. We’vegot to be able to defendhim.” A year ago, Brooks torchedthe Northmen for 292 rush-ing yards and six touch-downs in a 44-14 win overthe Northmen. He ranbehind a massive offensiveline led by two of the North’sbest lineman, Jack Ford andRiley Norman. Both havegraduated, but the Vikingsstill pose plenty of problemsup front.“They’re big again upfront, they’re really big,” VanOrman said. “It’s going tobe a challenge for sure.” At 2-0, the Northmen areriding a nice wave of momentum and confidenceheading into Cadillac, a con-test that begins a ruggedthree-game stretch – all onthe road – for the Northmen.Next week, they go toTraverse City West for a Big North game, then it’s a visitto longtime rival Cheboyganfor a non-leaguer.“Three real physical gamesand then we come home to(T.C.) Central,” VanOrmansaid. “We can’t look at thosegames down the road. We’ve just got to stay focused onone game at a time. When you start looking down theroad, you’re in trouble.”
- Reported by Buckland Media
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THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2013
 
 Athlete of the Week
(989) 705-8284
www.MaSrGalrd.cm
236 West Main, Gaylord
Real Estate OneGaylord
 would like tocongratulate the Athlete of the Week
FOR WEEK OF SEPT. 1-7
NICK MAY
JOHANNESBURG-LEWISTON
The strong-striding, tackle-breaking sopho-more halfback of the Cardinalsslashed andsmashed his way to a team-high140 yards on 18carries with an 8- yard TD and aconversion run asJ-L defeated hostInland Lakes44-30.
Northmen dominate Hastings inimproving to 2-0
S
SECTION
B
CALL -
(989) 732-8160 •
FAX
(888) 854-7441
EMAIL
- MIKE@WEEKLYCHOICE.COM
 
S
PORTS
Petoskey fullback Connor Reed (6) runs to daylight as Zach McMahon of Hastings gives chase Friday in the Northmen's 41-14 victory.
Petoskey, Cadillac to meet inearly season showdown
P
hoto courtesy
D
an
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eDingham
Petoskey senior running back Chase Ledingham (4) eludes Logan Bleam of Hastings Friday during the Northmen's 41-14 win at Curtis Field. Ledinghamrushed for 164 yards and four touchdowns as Petoskey improved to 2-0.
P
hoto courtesy
D
an
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eDingham
Petoskey quarterback Evan Whitmore (11) blocks for junior running back KurtBoucher Friday during a 41-14 victory over Hastings at Curtis Field.
P
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Week 2:
Marquette 35, Cheboygan 3T.C. St. Francis 21, Gaylord 7Gaylord St. Mary 33, Pellston 21Grayling 49, Houghton Lake 14Johannesburg-Lewiston 44, Inland Lakes 30St. Ignace 26, Mancelona 20, OTMio 34, Tawas Area 19*Rogers City 22, Onaway 7Petoskey 41, Hastings 14
* League
Week 3:
Escanaba (0-2) at Cheboygan (1-1)Standish-Sterling (2-0) at Gaylord (0-2)Central Lake (1-1) at Gaylord St. Mary (1-1)*Charlevoix (1-1) at Grayling (2-0)*Inland Lakes (1-1) at Pickford (2-0)*Mancelona (0-2) at Johannesburg-Lewiston (1-1)*Mio (1-1, 1-0) at Atlanta (0-2, 0-1)*Onaway (0-2) at Forest Area (1-1)*Pellston (1-1) byePetoskey (2-0) at Cadillac (2-0)*
* League
 
By Mike DunnPELLSTON – There wascelebrating Friday among theSt. Mary football faithful likethere hadn’t been in morethan two years. TheSnowbirds of first-year coachKevin O’Connell rallied froman early 14-0 deficit to over-take rugged host Pellston andfinally win 33-21.Senior quarterback Nick Harrington, the HumanHurricane, continued hisassault on the enemy endzone. A week after rushing for363 yards and scoring fourtimes in a heartbreaking lossat Hillman, Harringtonscored all five touchdownsfor the Snowbirds in theirfirst victory since Aug. 26,2011.Harrington tallied on runsof 12, 5, 4 and 1 yard and healso had a pick six from hissafety post on defense,returning the purloinedpigskin 25 yards. The shifty senior surged, stomped andstampeded to 112 yards in 15carries in all against theaggressive, physical Hornetdefense.Harrington had plenty of help from his backfieldmates in this one. Eventhough it was the senior whohappened to be scoring thetouchdowns, it was the hard-driving runs of fullback CamJuneac and the speedy burstsof halfback Anders Marquardthat helped set upHarrington’s forays to pay-dirt.Juneac jolted and boltedhis way to 108 yards in 17attempts, powering betweenthe tackles and forging aheadfor positive real estate ontraps between the tackles.Marquard amassed 91 yardsin 11 tries, spreading theHornet defense with hisspeed around the edge.In all, St. Mary produced312 rushing yards in 44 car-ries. When Harrington wentto the air, he hit on 2-of-6aerials for 36 yards, including a missile to rangy 6-foot-4senior Charles Strehl for 35 yards to set up a TD.“We were far more bal-anced in this game,” said the jubilant O’Connell, who hadserved as defensive coordi-nator for both Grayling andGaylord in the previous nine years before accepting thehead job at St. Mary. “Weblocked really well up frontand we ran hard. Nick got his yards but he had lots of help.It was the running of Camand Anders that made it real-ly hard for the defense to key on any one player.”O’Connell again com-mended the strong play of the front line featuring Geoff  Wind, Cole Loffer, BrendanNowicki, Willie Canfield andKyle Koski. O’Connell wasalso pleased with the down-field stalk blocking of Strehlonce again.The biggest improvementin St. Mary from the openerto week two was in thedefense. After the Hornetsscored twice in the first quar-ter, they scored only onemore time and didn’t reachthe end zone in the secondhalf.“We played good defenseand offensively we movedthe ball in the first half,” saidPellston coach Ben Schley. “Ithought we played solid,moved the ball well, andmade some plays. Then wehad some injuries in the sec-ond half. We had four startersout and we just couldn’tmove the ball. St. Mary had agood scheme and it wastough for us to move theball.”Pellston led 21-13 at half-time. Senior wingback KurtisSpencer, who motored to ateam-high 81 yards rushing for the Hornets, scored to capthe Hornets’ first two posses-sions of the game and givethem the 14-point advan-tage. After St. Mary trimmedthe lead to 14-13, senior QB Austin Wright found reliableTim Somers for a TD in thesecond quarter.In the third and fourthquarters, St. Mary scored 20unanswered points to pullaway for the win.“It feels great but we stillhave a long way to go,”O’Connell said. “It’s nice toget the first win but now weopen league play at homeagainst Central Lake andthey’re a very good team. Thegoal now is to win back-to-back games.”Pellston is idle this week,then goes to Rudyard onFriday, Sept. 20, for its Ski Valley Conference NorthDivision opener.“Honestly, early on, I waskind of hoping we’d have a week three game, but it’sprobably good for us,” Schley said. “We need to polishsome things up on offense.Three of the starters will beback next week, and thefourth is questionable.The week off “lets youreflect and you see somethings you need to do differ-ently, and having two weeksto adjust, that’s kind of nice.”Justin Woolover generated32 yards rushing for theHornets. Wright hit on 5-of-16 aerials for 52 yards.Defensively for theHornets, linebacker ConnorKilpatrick recorded 10 tack-les and the “Zack Attack” of Zack Keller accounted foreight takedowns. The hungry Hornet defense generatedthree turnovers as ThomasReadmond, Randall Abney,Somers and JeremiahCrawford recovered fumbles.For St. Mary defensively,Harrington had a team-highnine stops with his pick six.Senior defensive end OrionBeningo disrupted theHornet backfield rhythmtime after time with hispower bursts, making six stops with two sacks.Marquard, Juneac and Loffereach had seven tackles andJuneac also had a fumblerecovery. Adam Nowicki made sevenstops and blocked a Hornetpunt. Brendan Nowicki and Willie Canfield each had six tackles and the fearless“Minute Missile” AlphonseBuclay brought it big timefrom his cornerback post,making five stops.The big challenge for St.Mary at home this Friday isfinding a way to containexplosive Central Lake half-backs Will Brockman andGeorge Thayer.“Central Lake runs a very disciplined wing-T,”O’Connell reported. “They fake very well, block very welland have a solid group of running backs as well as theirQB (Sam Potter). Defensively  we have to be very disci-plined in our keys. We can’tafford to be caught out of position.” When St. Mary has the ball,O’Connell expects theTrojans to “play safe on thepass and look to stop therun.”“We need to continue toblock well and pick upblitzes, carry out fakes, runthe ball hard,” O’Connellsaid.
Harrington scores all five TDs as St. Mary wins forfirst time in more than two years
Connor Kilpatrick, left, is congratulated by a team-mate after making another good play Friday againstSt. Mary.
Photo by
D
ave
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aragrey
Snowbirds rally to overtake Pellston
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Football
St. Mary senior QB Nick Harrington weaves and windshis way to some of rushing yardage against Pellston.
Photo by
J
im
r
utkowski
 
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Thursday, September 19th10am – 8pm
50
¢


DonationsAccepted100% ofthe proceeds benefitGaylord Youth Football.
Ice CreamCones
 
50
¢
HotDogs
GAYLORD – The annualPunt, Pass & Kick competi-tion in Gaylord will be heldon Monday, Sept. 30, from 5to 6:30 p.m. at the GaylordHigh School football field.The event is free and isdivided into male and femaleage divisions: 6-7, 8-9, 10-11,12-13 and 14-15. Winners from each agegroup will advance to sec-tional competition. (All win-ners from each group mustprovide a copy of birth cer-tificate.) Every participantneeds a registration formcompleted and signed by aparent.Participants can register atthe field on the day of theevent or in advance at www.nflppk.com.No cleats are permitted.Everyone must wear sneak-ers. All competition rules canalso be found online at www.nflppk.com.For information, call KenBlust at 732-5801, Ext 244 orsend at e-mail tokblust@gaylordstmary.org.
Gaylordholds Punt,Pass & Kick
 Annual competition setfor Sept. 30 at GaylordHigh School football field
 
By Mike DunnST. IGNACE – This wasan old-fashioned, hard-hitting defensive battlebetween two quality JV squads.Each team scored oncebut St. Ignace was able tomake the two-point con-version and that turnedout to be the difference asthe young Saints prevailedover Mancelona 8-6 onThursday, Sept. 5, in St.Ignace.Mancelona’s lone TDcame in the third quarterafter a blocked punt by the Gavinator, linebackerGavin Gilmet, gave theIronmen the ball at theSaints’ 6-yard line.Signal caller DylanDerrer delivered a strike toChris Nielson for a 5-yardTD but the extra-point try failed and Mancelona led6-0 at the 3:53 mark.St. Ignace marched 80 yards in the final minutesof the fourth quarter toscore its TD. Luke Winstead very nearlthwarted the drive with aninterception. The Saintshad a big run to bring theball to the Ironmen 25- yard line and finallscored on an 8-yard run with 3:01 to play. The con-version was good, giving the Saints an 8-6 advan-tage.The flying feet of “Neon”Nielson carried the ballback to midfield on thekickoff return and a cou-ple of completionsbrought the ball down tothe Saints’ 35-yard linebefore time finally ran outon the great Mancelonaeffort.The rugged Saints did agreat job of not allowing the explosive backfield of the Ironmen to break loose for long touch-downs. C.J. Short showedup big from his fullback slot, banging and busting his way to 70 yards on 15carries. Tyler “Ty-FuFultsforged his way to 55 yardson 14 tries and NeonNielson powered andpushed to 45 yards in 11tries.Derrer hit on 3-of-6aerials for 15 yards,including the TD strike toNielson.On the other side, it wasFults flying to the ball tolead the Iron Curtaindefense with six tackles.Nielson had five take-downs with an intercep-tion. Short and Shane Young each had five stopsand relentless TristanRichardson made fourtackles.
By Mike DunnMANCELONA – There were a number of positivesthat longtime Mancelonahead coach Dan “Boo” Derrercould take from Friday’sstunning 26-20 overtime lossto St. Ignace. But mistakes atcrucial times haunted thecoach of the Ironmen afterhis team slipped to 0-2 withthe loss in front of the homecrowd.“It was frustrating becauseI really thought we shouldhave won,” Derrer said. “Wegave up a kickoff return for atouchdown and we gave uptwo pass plays on third-and-long because of communica-tion breakdowns in the sec-ondary.”The most frustrating aspect to the loss, though, was the 6-yard touchdownrun by junior QB Chase Wilcox on a bootleg aroundend on the final play of regu-lation that appeared to giveMancelona the win. Thetouchdown was nullified,however, by a holding penal-ty. That penalty turned out tobe a killer.“We started from our own3-yard line with five or six minutes left and took it allthe way down to the 6 (of St.Ignace),” Derrer said. “With 4seconds left, Chase ran abootleg and scored and wethought the game was over.But they called holding.”In the overtime, St. Ignacehad the ball first and on thefirst play ran down to the 1- yard line. On two consecutiveplays, the Iron Curtaindefense held strong, fueledby the fury of tackle KeeganRichardson and others, limit-ing the Saints to zero yardage. On fourth downfrom the 1, however, theSaints were able to fightacross the goal line and takea 26-20 lead.Mancelona was unable toscore in its possession andthe Saints left town with theovertime victory in hand.“We’re 0-and-2 now and we can’t afford to lose atJoburg this week,” Boo said.“It’s a must win game for us.They’re coming off a huge win (at Inland Lakes) andthey’re always physical and well-coached. We have to bemore physical than them andfind a way to win.”On the plus side of theledger for Mancelona in the week-two loss to the Saints was the ability to reach theend zone three times and tomove the ball consistently onthe ground. Strong-striding senior halfback Justin Spiressprung loose for 118 yards in19 carries and scored one of the three Mancelona touch-downs. Wilcox, alternating between quarterback andhalfback, also surpassed thecentury mark, amassing 105 yards on 16 tries. Elusive Eric Wheeler rolled to 67 yards on12 carries and scored twice.Senior Jake Winstead hit 1-of-2 passes for 13 yards and Wilcox hit 1-of-3 passes for 3 yards.“We got better (in week two) but we still have to con-tinue to get better,” Derrersaid. “We rushed the ball a lotbetter (gaining 344 yards with three TDs) and we werebetter defensively but wemade mistakes that cost usand that’s what we have toeliminate. We still have a long  way to go.”Defensively for theIronmen, senior linebackerLuke “Smash Mouth”Smigielski put the stop onSaints ball carriers nine timesand played really well.Linebacker Logan Borst wasalso in stuff mode, making six tackles. Jake Allen and Spireseach made five stops fromthe secondary. Against Johannesburg-Lewiston on Friday, theIronmen must find a way tokeep the explosive backs of the Cardinals from finding daylight and busting out big runs. It’s a tall task.“We have to play really tough and do our jobs,”Derrer said. “Everyone has tomaintain their gap and dotheir job. They run the ballhard and their guards trapreally well. We have to beready.”The Cardinals (1-1) arecoming off a huge 44-30 vic-tory at Inland Lakes. ThisFriday’s game atJohannesburg is the Ski Valley South opener for bothsquads. The Ironmen take a21-game league winning streak into the contest. They are three-time defending league champions.The last time the Ironmenlost a league game was Oct. 9,2009 at home against I-Lakes.The last time the Ironmenstarted a season with twostraight losses was 2005, theseason before Derrer becamehead coach.
September 12, 2013Tell our advertisers you saw their ad in the Weekly Choice Page 3-B
Mistakes cost Boo’s Boysin tough loss to visiting St. Ignace; TD on finalplay of regulation iscalled back 
 
Saints score in final minutes to pull aheadin old-fashioned gridiron slugfest
Mancelona defenders Garrett Derrer, top, and Logan Borst make an Iron Sandwich out of this St.Ignace ball carrier on Friday.
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Mancelona halfback Eric Wheeler propels forward behind the front line of blockers to gain some of his 67 yards rushing.
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Mancelona senior Justin Spires powers his way to more positive yardageduring Friday’s home game with the Saints.
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Ironmen lose OT heartbreaker
Football JV Football
Ironmen narrowly fall to St. Ignace

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