By Mark Blentlinger
The Schoolcraft Eagle varsity football team opened the new season on the road against the Bucks of Buchanan. They took the field without second year head coach Nathan Ferency, out on a one-game suspension. The rest of the Eagle coaching staff stepped up and led the team to the first win of the 2019 season with a 54-27 victory.
The team lost a lot of experience and size in the trenches from last year but the skilled positions are filled with plenty of talent. Senior running back Kobe Clark is making defenders look silly this year with his moves and knowledge of his position on the field. Junior Alex Thole is taking the snaps again this season and has plenty of players to hand the ball off or pass to.
The first quarter didn’t start out as the team hoped it would. It needed to punt after the first three plays on offense with a 38-yard kick from Thole. After the Bucks were able to pull off a fake punt on 4th and 1, the Eagle defense tightened up on a 3rd and 19. Clark was able to break up a pass, forcing the Bucks to punt. The Eagles were able to put some nice plays together to march down the field, ending it on a 10-yard pass from Alex Thole. It found senior Parker Lawrence in the end zone for the Eagles’ first score.
With 30 seconds left in the first quarter, Clark hit paydirt on a 10-yard scramble. The Eagles ended the first quarter up 14-0. The Bucks didn’t let the scoreless trend continue in the 2nd quarter, scoring on a 56-yard pass. The Eagles answered rather quickly with a long 63-yard pass from Thole to Lawrence, having an offensive series that went 75 yards in 23 seconds with 3 plays. The rest of the half saw the teams exchanging scores. They went into half-time with the Eagles ahead, 33-14.
The offense of the Eagles seemed to be firing on all cylinders in the second half. Thole found an open receiver in 6-foot-6 Harmon Devries, 37 yards down the field. The quick series resulted in the Eagles going 40 yards in 2 plays in 38 seconds, leading 40-21.
The Eagles would rack up a total of 528 yards vs the Bucks’ 367. Thole completed 73 percent of his passes, 0 interceptions and 4 touchdowns. Clark had 12 carries for 172 yards and 4 TD’s. Jimmy Downs had 4 receptions for 130 yards and 2 touchdowns. On the defensive side, senior Dawson Shearer led the team with 8 tackles. Trevor DeGroote had 5 tackles and 1 sack. Finishing up on defense was another senior Aiden Hursey, with 3 1/2 tackles, with 2 for loss.
The Eagles’ next opponent will be the Parchment Panthers at Roy Davis Field at 7 p.m Sept. 6.