Coyotes confident of gaining win number 11

REED CITY — Week 1 was close to flawless. Now Week 2 carries the promise of something the Reed City football program has never done.

On the heels of a 49-7 drubbing of Clare during Friday’s pre-district contest, it became more than apparent the Coyotes were prepared to step their game up for the postseason in improving to 10-0.

Now Reed City will chase down that elusive 11th consecutive win, after dropping district finals in each of the past two seasons to Grand Rapids West Catholic and Newaygo in a 30-29 heartbreaker last season. Reed City has never captured a district title in its program’s history, and possesses perhaps its best shot at a title since … last season.

The focus is on getting the win for the players and the community as a point of pride, Reed City coach Monty Price said.

“It’s about these kids and this community,” he said. “I think it has a lot of meaning and it’s something that we’re chasing. It’s a goal of ours and one that’s escaped us. We want it.”

Andre Jones is part of a collection of sophomores that have produced at a high level for the Coyotes this fall, including fellow running back Collin Hatfield and linebacker Taylor Pelton, who led the defense with 13 tackles.

“All three of our sophomores, Andre included, have been growing up steadily,” Price said. “They’ve been making a natural transition into becoming true varsity players. I think Andre showcased his ability and had a big game for us. He’s a good one.”

On his first varsity season, Jones has been growing into his role as the season has progressed, always looking to go hard and make an impact on every play.

“We have to go 100 percent every play no matter who the opponent is,” he said. “We need that effort every single game.”

Reed City opened up the lead behind a powerful run game that produced 361 yards and 36 first half points.

Much of that success came from proper execution Reed City quarterback Chad Samuels said.

“The coaches really harped on us that we really needed to be focused,” he said. “We had team practice and a film session (Friday) and I could just tell that we were ready to go. We came out so great and then we didn’t come out flat in the second half, which really helped us.”

Samuels and many of his teammates that have experienced losses in the district final in each of the past two seasons are eager to bring that same level of focus to practice this week against Muskegon Oakridge (9-1), who defeated Reed City’s conference foe Newaygo, 35-14, to set up the 7 p.m. final on Friday at Reed City High School.

Week 2 clearly holds plenty at stake for a program in search of its first-ever district title, Samuels said.

“It would mean so much to us,” he said. “We’ve been there the last two years and we couldn’t get it done. Our focus is now on Week 2 and that game.”