Coyotes ready for semifinal test
REED CITY — It will be a new venture on Saturday for the Reed City Coyotes when they travel to Greenville High School to take on Saginaw Swan Valley in a Division 5 state semifinal game.
The Coyotes have never been to a state semifinal and earned the trip with a 46-34 regional win over Menominee on Saturday. But a win on Saturday would present the Coyotes with another new venture: a trip to the state title game on Nov. 25 at Ford Field.
Saturday's game, pitting a pair of 11-1 teams, kicks off at 1 p.m.
Swan Valley beat Muskegon Oakridge 48-14 in Saturday's regional finals.
Swan Valley gained 535 yards of total offense against Oakridge. Quarterback Alex Fries was 15-of-24 in passing for 300 yards and three touchdowns.
“They're a very well balanced football team,” Reed City coach Monty Price said. “They have a lot of good size, a lot of good athletes. They seem to be very physical and play an aggressive brand of football.”
Swan Valley did the damage against Oakridge without two of its top players who were out with injuries for the second straight game: top rusher Emmett Boehler and No. 1 receiver Terryon Liddell.
“We'll just keep focusing on us and try to get better every day,” Price said. “We'll try to stay healthy and just fine tune the things we do offensively and defensively and on special teams. Obviously, we'll prepare a game plan for what Saginaw is doing. We'll worry about what we do.”
The Coyotes have weapons of their own, led by the state's touchdown rushing leader, Phillip Jones who rushed for almost 200 yards against Menominee.
The Reed City defense was led by Stephen Shewan with two fumble recoveries.
“The kids re excited, the coaching staff is excited and it's great to be where we at,' Price said. “We do recognize we put ourselves in this position. We've earned it. We've been preparing for this all year.”