Coyotes roll over Central Montcalm, set for title game against Chippewa Hills

REED CITY — It was enjoyable for the Reed City Coyotes to have their first home football game in several weeks Friday night.

But it was even more enjoyable for the Coyotes to stay undefeated at 7-0 overall and 5-0 in the Central State Activities Association Gold Division with a 48-0 homecoming victory over Central Montcalm (2-3, 2-5).

It sets up a home showdown this Friday against Chippewa Hills for the league title.

“It’s a great win with the homecoming atmosphere,” Reed City coach Monty Price said. “The community came out and supported us with great attendance. I was pleased with our play.”

The Coyotes built a 48-0 halftime lead with 24 points in each of the first two quarters. They scored on all six of their possessions and converted on all six two-point conversion attempts.

“Our offensive line really accepted the challenge,” Price said. “We’ve been hounding them all week. We didn’t feel we executed very well, in fact we felt we executed poorly last week (against Big Rapids). We challenged them to come out and establish the line of scrimmage and I thought they did that very well.”

Logan Straub scored the Coyotes first three touchdowns on runs of 1, 3 and 12 yards. A fumble at Central’s 21-yard line set up the second touchdown.

Quarterback Leland Yonkin passed and ran for two of the conversions and Brad Marek picked up the other one. The three scores in the second quarter came on a 42-yard pass from Yonkin to Gabe Miller, an 8-yard scamper by Derrick Rasor and 1-yard plunge by Marek. “Yonkin passed and ran for two of the two-point conversions in the second quarter. Miller also had a pass interception to set up a touchdown.

“It was kind of a heads-up play on defense,” he said. “It felt pretty good. I knew where the tight end was going to come and waited for him to come to my area.”

It was Reed City’s fifth straight win over Central Montcalm.

Reed City had a 246-15 first-half advantage in total yards.

“Our offensive line came focused and was ready to go,” linebacker and offensive lineman Taylor Pelton said. “Our defense played a great game. (Central Montcalm) only had one first down. The D line did an amazing job. It makes it easier for us backers to get tackles.”

Price was pleased with the 6-for-6 success rate on two-point tries.

“Every point is vital,” Price said. “We always feel that if you get 50 percent of them, it’s just as good as kicking a PAT. It’s nice to get those points.”

It was running clock the entire second half. Both teams had one possession in a scoreless third quarter. Reed City drove to the Central Montcalm 1-yard line midway in the fourth but the Hornets recovered a fumble.

“Any time your defense can shut out the opponent, and we held them to 30 yards on 26 plays, it’s a great team effort,” Price said. “It’s a great win for our seniors on their last homecoming.”

Yonkin had one pass completion for 42 yards. The running game collected 270 yards, led by Collin Hatfield with 129 yards and Straub with 91.  

The Coyotes were able to win it without one of their top running backs, Andre Jones, who was not dressed for the game.

“He did not play and that’s the only comment I’ll have,” Price said. “We need everybody, but we had a couple of kids that stepped into his role and did a very good job. Our offensive line put those backs on their backs. We had a lot of kids step up. We’ll move forward in the next week.”

The Coyotes, driving for their fifth straight CSAA championship, can pull it off with a victory at home against Chippewa Hills in the conference finale. Both teams are 5-0 in the league.

“It’s back to the drawing board,” Price said. “(Chippewa Hills) coach (Larry) Jose is a good friend of mine. They’ve got a great program. We have a great deal of respect for them. We’re going to have our work cut out for us. They look to be very talented this year.”