Reed City seeks revenge against Menominee

Reed City coach Monty Price has his team ready for Menominee.
Reed City coach Monty Price has his team ready for Menominee.

REED CITY — This is the match-up Reed City coaches, players and fans wanted in the Division 5 regional football final for many reasons.

Reed City (10-1) is home at 6 p.m. on Saturday against perennial Upper Peninsula power Menominee (8-3), which defeated the host Coyotes last season 40-14.

“They’re Menominee and obviously one of the most successful programs in all of Michigan,” Reed City coach Monty Price said. “They have great tradition. We have a lot of respect for them. They’re a very good ballclub.”

The Maroons still utilize the single wing offense, which does not use a quarterback.

“We’re going to have to play very physical and play very disciplined and execute at a very high level, possess the football and not have any turnovers.” Price said.

Menominee beat Kingsford 24-21 in the district final.

Kingsford had beaten host Menominee 42-21 earlier in the season so it appeared Kingsford might wind up hosting Reed City. The Coyotes have less computer ranking points than Kingsford but more than Menominee.

The Maroons victory gave Reed City the home site rather than a long trip to the central Upper Peninsula against Kingsford.

That was a big motivator for wanting Menominee to be the opponent. There’s also the Coyotes desire to avenge last season’s loss.

Reed City is coming off a 34-7 district championship win over Clare.

“I’d like to think we’re competing at a very high level,” Price said. “Obviously, we’ll have to continue to do that and take that to another level in the regional.”

Home field advantage didn’t do the trick for the Coyotes last season, but Price still is happy to be a home.

“You don’t have to worry about all the (factors) that occur with traveling seven or eight hours,” Price said. “The kids will feel more comfortable and can sleep in their own beds.”

Senior linebacker Jeffery Phenix didn’t have a chance to play much last season because of an injury but he’s been healthy this year and a key factor for Reed City.

He said he’s played at various positions, but middle linebacker has been his most effective spot.

Reed City lost 48-14 to Montague to open the season, but have won 10 straight.

“I think the score of the Montague game would be different if we played them now,” Phenix said. “We can always get better.”

Reed City is in familiar territory as the Coyotes play in their third regional title game.

“We’re pretty confident,” Phenix said. “We have to do what we can do.”