By Sean Budlong
Six different Schoolcraft players scored as the Eagles opened the 2016 campaign with a 48-7 victory over the Coloma Comets. Caleb Anspaugh, Payton Hoskins, Ricky Clark, Aaron Lenning, and Jack Hunt all rushed for touchdowns, and Nolan Anspaugh caught a touchdown pass from Clark.
“We were focused and ready to start the season,” senior Collin Tone said. “We honored Larry Harris tonight and we came out with fire.” Harris, who died earlier this year, was a faithful fan.
Midway through the first quarter, it looked like the game was going to be tight. Schoolcraft’s offensive line struggled to contain Coloma’s defensive line, and when they generated big plays they were negated by penalties. After five minutes of frustration, Caleb Anspaugh scored from 20 yards out behind blocks by Tone and Scott Macfarlane.
On the very first play from scrimmage for Coloma, Caleb McDaniel took the handoff and raced for a 74-yard touchdown. “Our nerves got to us on the first series on offense and defense,” Macfarlane said. “But that touchdown was a wake-up call and we got down to business.”
That was an understatement. Coloma didn’t generate much more offense the rest of the game. Tone, Macfarlane, Hoskins, Spencer Fox, and Marc Shaink didn’t allow the Comets to find any holes between the tackles. When Coloma tried to go outside, Jakob Huysken and Riley Piper were beasts on the edge. Clark had a second quarter interception and Tone forced a fumble that was recovered by Caleb Anspaugh.
Hoskins relays the plays to his defense from the coaches. “My real job is to keep the team fired up,” he said. Starting both ways and playing physical positions like running back and linebacker is taxing, but the team is prepared for the stress. “Our off-season lifting and our preparation in practice is the key to our stamina,” he explained. “Our coaches expect us to be able to play both ways the whole game, even if they don’t need us to.”
The Eagle offense took advantage of the great field position given to them by their defense to take control of the game. Hoskins, Lenning, Fox, and Clark pounded the ball through the holes created by Tone, Macfarlane, Shaink, River Fox, and Mark Phelps. While Clark only had one touchdown pass, he would have had far more passing yardage without penalties bringing spectacular plays back.
A halftime lead of 35-7 was extended on the first Eagle offensive play of the second half when Lenning went 55 yards behind Tone and Spencer White. Less than 5 minutes later, Jack Hunt scored the final touchdown on a 41-yard run.