…But miss state championship

Four teams remained in the Division 7 hunt for the state football championship Jan. 16. One was Schoolcraft’s: The Eagles faced off against the Hornets of New Lothrop at Fenton High School.

The Eagles struck first, with senior Jimmy Downs taking the ball 87 yards down the sideline, the only score in the first quarter. But the Hornets went on a scoring streak and added three touchdowns combined with three two-point conversions. At halftime the Hornets led, 24-7.

With two more scores from the Hornets and a 36-7 lead, senior Jake Olvitt stepped in front of a pass, bringing some life back to the Eagles and making the score 36-13. In the fourth, Alex Thole found Harmon DeVries from five yards out. Jett Gott added the two-point conversion, bringing it yet closer at 36-21. That’s where the scored remained, sending the Hornets on to the Division 7 State Championship.

The Eagles ended the season at 9-2, scoring 441 points and allowing 170. The team secured its third straight district title and first regional title since the 2001 state championship team. The New Lothrop Hornets had not come that close to losing a game all season, scoring 485 points and only allowing 92. The Eagles will graduate 20 seniors this year.

Statistically, the game ended with the Eagles running 72 offensive plays to the Hornets’ 64. The Eagles netted 430 yards of total offense while the Hornets netted 456. Senior Alex Thole went 22/39 for 300 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. Jimmy Downs carried the ball 6 times for 99 yards while sophomore Tagg Gott had nine carries for 37 yards. Jett Gott led the Eagle receiving corps with seven catches for 135 yards, Jimmy Downs had five for 67 and Harmon DeVries added three for 48 with one touchdown. Defensively, Brandon Newland led the Eagles with five tackles and Bryce VanderWeire had four with six assists and one tackle for loss.

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