By Sean Budlong
The 2017 Schoolcraft Eagles football team has relied on its deep roster to charge out to a 4-1 record. Eleven players have scored touchdowns for the Eagles through the first five games, and 25 players have recorded a tackle. Chandler Guiter has done neither, but his kicking has been a difference-maker in multiple games.
Schoolcraft is led by an outstanding group of offensive backs. Kobe Clark, Jack Hunt, and Trent Lomason have all rushed for more than 175 yards on the season. Starting quarterback Dylan Straley has rushed for 278 yards in just three and a half games. He was knocked out of the Berrien Springs game and missed the Galesburg game due to that injury. Clark leads the team with eight rushing touchdowns, while Hunt has accumulated 398 total rushing yards. These backs are joined by four other Eagles with rushing touchdowns – Brady Flynn, Mark Melching, Reilly Puhalski and Josh Wujkowski.
Unlike the most recent seasons, the Eagles have pulled away in three of their victories during the second half. Schoolcraft has scored 65 out of 163 points in the second half. Head Coach Terry Haas’ ability to use any one of eight or more backs throughout the game has allowed the Eagles to wear down opponents over the course of the final two quarters.
Special teams have also played a major role in this season’s success. Guiter began kicking extra points during the Saugatuck contest. It was Guiter’s 25-yard field goal with 1:11 left in that game that gave the Eagles the 24-21 victory.
The Eagles have given up only 62 points all season – 27 of them in the only loss to Berrien Springs, while shutting out both Fennville and Galesburg-Augusta. The Eagles’ depth works on both sides of the ball. Thirteen players have double-digit tackles, led by Huysken, Collin Blalock, River Fox, Melching, Piper, Marc Shaink, and Hunt. Shaink, Fox, and Travis Mikel have dominated on both the offensive and defensive lines. Blalock and Fox have combined in a run-stuffing, pass-rushing duo that has proven almost impossible to block.