By Mark Blentlinger
Mother Nature decided to add a twist to the regional championship game between Schoolcraft and Montague high schools, dumping 5-6 inches of snow on Roy Davis field overnight. Starting around 6 a.m. the Schoolcraft field crew, along with dozens of volunteers helped to clear the field.
By game time, the field was clear of snow and ice, but not mud. There was plenty of that waiting for the players of both teams. The Eagles, wore their purple and gold uniforms, Montague wore all white, but neither for long. Unfortunately, the mud made it hard for the Eagles to get any footing on their first opportunity on offense, giving them a 4th down and the need to punt.
Montague running back Bryce Stark would take the 3rd play of the Wildcats’ first offensive series 34 yards to the Eagle end zone. The kick from David Rumsey was good with 7:23 left in the first quarter. The ensuing kick, unfortunately, was fumbled by the Eagles on their own 27-yard line and recovered by the Wildcats. It resulted in a field goal, taking the score up to 10-0. The Eagles were never really able to get anything together early in the game. The Wildcats were able to add another score, taking the lead 16-0 into halftime.
The 3rd quarter began with a Wildcats possession. They worked their way down the field, ending up once again with a touchdown. The extra point was good, and the score was 23-0. The Eagles were able to put some good plays together, but the defense of Montague held. Another score by the Wildcats would widen the score to 30-0. The fight was not yet out of the Eagles. Sitting at a 4th and 8, Alex Thole, threw a pass to fellow Eagle Parker Lawrence, that went 41 yards for the Eagles’ first score of the game. The attempt for a 2 point conversion failed. The Eagles knew time was running short and were not going to give up so easily. Another long pass from Alex Thole, this time to Kobe Clark, took the ball 54 yards to pay dirt. Clark then took the 2-point conversion into the end zone, to make the final score 30-14. The Montague Wildcats took the Regional Championship and the chance to play on.
Coach Nathan Ferency told his team how proud of them he was and thanked the seniors for their hard work and the leadership they had offered. He said, “It has been an honor” and told them what fun it was to take over such a program like Schoolcraft and have had such a successful first season. He told the underclassmen, “The off-season starts tomorrow. It’s time to work hard and prepare for next season.”