Reed City takes down Lakeview to remain undefeated

REED CITY — While there are plenty of crucial moments in a game, sometimes one moment stands out more than the others. There were plenty of crucial moments in Reed City's 32-21 victory over Lakeview on Friday to push the Coyotes' record to an unblemished 5-0, but it was a scoring drive by the Coyotes right before the half that might have been the most important moment of the night. Reed City had just received the ball on their own 24 with 2:30 left to go before halftime and was leading 13-7. The Coyotes proceeded to drive the ball all the way down inside the Lakeview 10 to set up a crucial fourth and five on the Lakeview 7 with 40 seconds to play in the half. After failing to connect with receiver Josh Saez on third down, Reed City quarterback Chad Samuels looked Saez's way again on fourth down and connected with Saez on a seven-yard touchdown score to give Reed City a 20-7 lead and a huge momentum boost heading into the half. "It was a very important drive because we needed a big one going into halftime and we knew we were going to have the ball after halftime," Samuels said. "I just threw it up to Josh and I know he'll catch it every time I throw it up there." While the Coyotes' pass offense got the touchdown, Reed City coach Monty Price said his offensive line and running backs deserve plenty of credit for the scoring drive. "I think that drive was a game changer," Price said. "Both teams were moving the ball and having success. To come up with that drive and punch it in before the half was huge. Kudos to our offensive line for putting us on their back and helping us take that lead going into the half." The final drive of the half capped off an entertaining first half from both teams that saw plenty of big plays. Reed City opened the game with a Samuels connecting with Saez on a 28-yard touchdown pass with 7:07 left in the first quarter to take the early 6-0 lead. Saez said the offseason work he and Samuels put in has led to plays like the 28-yard score. "Our relationship got huge during 7-on-7 season during the summer," Saez said. "We really got connected and now we're flowing." "We practiced so many times during the summer," Samuels added. "We ran routes over routes over routes. But the offensive line blocked amazing (Friday) and we have to give the credit to them because we couldn't do anything without them." After the score, the Wildcats responded with a 1-yard touchdown plunge from quarterback Nate Shurlow to take a 7-6 lead with a minute to go in the first quarter. The lead didn't last long as Reed City's Jon Green ripped off a 19-yard touchdown run with 3:58 left in the second quarter to push the lead to 13-7 before the late score before the half for the Coyotes. Lakeview tightened to gap to 20-13 with a 46-yard touchdown run by Garrett Cavendish with 7:24 left in the third quarter. In the fourth quarter, after a fumble by Reed City on the Lakeview 40, the Coyotes' Kyle Wright came right back on the next play with a fumble recovery of his own and returned it 27 yards to the Lakeview 13. That fumble recovery set up a 13-yard touchdown scamper by Andre Jones to push the Reed City advantage to 26-13 with 10:51 left to play. Lakeview responded with a drive all the way to the Reed City 9 to set up a fourth down and five with 6:53 to play but Shurlow had his pass attempt swatted away by Reed City's Taylor Pelton to force the turnover. Reed City took advantage of the turnover and drove down the field to kill some clock and come away with a two-yard touchdown scamper from Collin Hatfield to push the lead to 32-13 with 2:56 left in regulation. The Wildcats drove down the field to get a 19-yard touchdown run from Cavendish with 40 seconds to play but it was too little, too late as the Coyotes got the ball on the onside kick attempt and killed the clock to come away with the victory. Samuels led the Coyotes through the air by going 4-of-7 passing for 51 yards and two touchdowns, with both going to Saez, who had three catches for 40 yards and the two scores. Green rushed for 201 yards and a score on 18 carries while Jones ran for 70 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries and Hatfield had 50 yards and a score on 12 carries. The Coyotes rushed for 325 yards on the night. Pelton and Eric Grannis both had 10 tackles each while Austin Hansen and Paris Jones both had eight tackles. Price said he was especially pleased with the way his defense bottled up Shurlow to limit the dual-threat quarterback to 40 yards on the ground and 32 yards through the air. "(Shurlow) is one of the best athletes in the league," Price said. "Other than that pass when he broke contain, we held him in check and he was pretty much a nonfactor. The defense was disciplined and executed their assignment most of the time. It's tough to do against an option team but they focused and made it happen and they played a great game." Reed City (5-0, 5-0) will hit the road to face off against CSAA foe Chippewa Hills (3-2, 3-2) on Friday. "Coach Jose is a great friend of mine and a heck of a ball coach and they'll be ready," Price said. "It's going to be a battle and it's going to be a great game. We know they're going to be ready to play. It'll certainly be a game nobody is going to want to miss." REED CITY 32, LAKEVIEW 21 RC 6 14 0 12 -- 32 LV 7 0 6 8 -- 21 Scoring Summary First Quarter RC — Chad Samuels 32 pass to Josh Saez (kick failed), 7:06 LV — Shurlow 1 run (Caleb Ruvalcaba kick), 1:00 Second Quarter RC — Jon Green 19 run (Dean Eichenberg kick), 3:58 RC — Samuels 7 pass to Saez (Eichenberg kick), 34.3 Third Quarter LV — Cavendish 46 run (kick failed), 7:24 Fourth Quarter RC — Andre Jones 13 run (kick failed), 10:51 RC — Colin Hatfield 2 run (kick failed), 2:56 LV - Cavendish 19 run, 0.40 Individual Statistics Rushing: Reed City 47-325 (Hatfield 12-50, A. Jones 13-70, Green 18-210) Lakeview 37-231 (Cavendish 23-159, Shurlow 7-40, Zuluaga-Torres 7-32). Passing: Reed City 4-51 (Samuels 4-7-51-2-0) Lakeview 4-32 (Shurlow 4-11-32-0-0) Receiving: Reed City - Saez 3-40, Wright 1-11. Lakeview - Zuluaga-Torres 2-27