By Mark Blentlinger
A 7-2 record for the regular season earned the Golden Eagles another year heading to the post season. Schoolcraft had exciting, successful 2023 regular season play. The team suffered its first loss against the Falcons from Constantine in the 4th game of the season.
The Crusaders of Muskegon Catholic Central visited the Eagles at Vicksburg High School, hoping to hand Schoolcraft its second loss of the season. During the first quarter, the tough defense of the Eagles forced the Crusaders to punt the ball on their first set of downs. It did not take long for Isaac Noora to run 53 yards down the field, and after a good extra point, the Eagles were up, 7-0. The Crusaders hit paydirt from the 4-yard line, but a blocked extra point kept the Eagles up by 1. A 56-yard pass from senior Ryan Ling to Jayden Reiber resulted in a 14-6 Eagles lead. After another 3 and out for Muskegon, the Eagles resumed possession and the crowd rose to its feet as Noora ran the 12 yards to put the Eagles up 20-6. At the half, the Eagles led 28-6, and after a quiet second half, the Eagles were victorious 28-6.
The Eagles next took on the Delton Panthers in its temporary home location at Vicksburg. The Panthers didn’t have answers for the strong Eagle offense. Noora scored five times in the first half, reaching more than 1,000 yards for the season. Kaleb Goldschmeding also set records that night. When he entered the game as a quarterback for two plays, he became the first football player at Schoolcraft to play every position on the field. At the half, the Eagles held a comfortable 42-0 lead. During the second half, Even Feller hit the end zone from 4 yards out, and a 2-point conversion put the Eagles up 50-6.
On a rainy night the Eagles headed to Lawton to face off against the Blue Devils where the Eagles lost a tough back-and-forth game. Lawton scored first from 6 yards out. Noora took the handoff from teammate Ling and worked his way through the defense, going 50 yards for the Eagle touchdown. Schoolcraft missed the extra point. The Blue Devils held onto the 7-6 lead until the 3rd quarter. Lawton’s Blake Holder went 59 yards for a touchdown, and a good extra point put the score at 14-6. Noora answered by breaking downfield and catching a pass for the score. Noora made good on a 2-point conversion, knotting the score at 14 going into the final 12 minutes of play.
Lawton’s Caleb Mallory then scored from 3 yards out, making the score 21-14. Eagles fans roared when Noora went 56 yards into the endzone. A 2-point conversion put the Eagles up 22-21. Unfortunately, the home team had a little time and worked their way downfield where Mallory scored. After a successful Lawton 2-point conversion, Lawton restored the lead, 29-22. When time ran out, the Eagles had lost their second game.
For the last game of regular season play, Coach Ferency took his Eagles into Trailblazer Stadium in Saugatuck where the Trailblazers were celebrating their homecoming that night. The Eagles destroyed their hopes for a homecoming win as Schoolcraft was operating on all cylinders that night, walking out the victors 41-21. The Eagles were to have another shot at the Lawton Blue Devils on October 27 when they face the team for the district semifinal.