By Sean Budlong
Schoolcraft’s football team has won 19 out of the last 21 games played. Unfortunately, both losses ended a season in overtime.
After gaining revenge for last season’s OT playoff loss to Constantine, the Eagles faced 9-1 Jackson Lumen Christi in the Division Six District Finals. This team went on to win the state finals for division six. Ricky Clark and Nolan Anspaugh accounted for four touchdowns and over 300 total yards, but the Titans won on an overtime field goal, 37-34.
There were five lead changes during the game. The Titans took a 7-0 lead, which Kobe Clark cut to one point with a 41-yard run. The extra point attempt was missed and the Eagles were down 7-6. Late in the first quarter, Clark and Anspaugh hooked up on a 47-yard touchdown, but the two-point conversion was no good. The first quarter ended with Schoolcraft leading 12-7.
The second quarter was all Lumen Christi, as the Titans scored on two long drives. Down 20-12 with less than one minute remaining in the half, Clark found Anspaugh alone in the middle of the field. Collin Tone, Scott Macfarlane, Marc Shaink, River Fox, and Mark Phelps gave Clark all the time he needed, and Anspaugh gave the Eagles a first down at the four-yard line with 4.1 seconds left. Clark scored on a run with no time remaining, and connected with Anspaugh for the two-point conversion. The game was tied 20-20 at half.
The defenses stepped up in the third quarter. Ethan Sharp, Spencer Fox, Aaron Lenning, Jakob Huysken, and Phelps held the Titans to a single score. With five minutes left in the game, and the Eagles down 26-20, Shaink, Tone and Lenning combined to stop Lumen Christi on fourth down at the Schoolcraft eight- yard line. After two short runs, Clark stepped back to pass but was flushed from the pocket. Scrambling, Clark followed outstanding blocks by Macfarlane and Ben Crofoot 94 yards for a touchdown. An extra point by Kameron Snyder gave the Eagles a 27-26 lead.
Lumen Christi came right back with a 68-yard touchdown pass. With 3:14 left on the clock, Clark found Anspaugh crossing the middle of the field. Blake Bales and Crofoot made devastating blocks to free Anspaugh for a 77-yard touchdown. Thomas Meadows and Phelps made key stops to make sure the Titans didn’t see the end zone for the rest of regulation.
In overtime, Schoolcraft attempted three passes, but the third was intercepted. Three runs for 7 yards set up the game-winning field goal for Lumen Christi.
“This game was all about heart,” Phelps said. “We knew this was going to be a tough game. We played a great game, but came up a little short. We just have to practice that much harder to get ready for next season.”