District champions! Reed City defeats Chippewa Hills

REED CITY — It was another dramatic Chippewa Hills-Reed City football game.

But for the eighth-straight time, the Coyotes prevailed over the Warriors with a 34-28 victory in the Division 5 district championship game on Friday.

Derrick Rasor threw a 29-yard touchdown pass to Trent Sturgell on fourth down for the winning points with three minutes to play.

Reed City (11-0) will face Menominee (10-1) at home, 5 p.m., on Saturday in the regional title game.

After Sturgell’s dramatic catch, the Warriors drove down the field and scored on what appeared to be a tying touchdown pass from Cade Schafer to DJ Lowery.

Since the Coyotes had missed the extra point and had only a six-point lead, the Warriors may have been in the position to win. But an illegal procedure penalty nullified the score and the Warriors moments later failed to complete a fourth-down pass, allowing Reed City to run out the clock.

“We came down and executed at the last minute,” Coyote running back Phillip Jones said. “It feels great.”

“We had some very untimely penalties that were a huge factor in the game,” Chippewa Hills coach Larry Jose said. “It was the most physical game I’ve ever been involved in both sides of the ball. We knew it would be like that coming in.”

Three David Spedowski rushing touchdowns lifted the Warriors to a 21-14 halftime lead. The Warriors scored from 4 yards out on Chippewa Hills’ first drive of the game. Reed City came back with a 2-yard scoring run by Zach Wirgau, in the first quarter for a 7-7 tie, followed by Rasor’s 4-yard quarterback keeper on the first play of the second for a 14-7 lead. Schafer passed 21 yards to Kurt Ray to set up a 1-yard run by Spedowski later in the second quarter for a 14-14 tie. A Reed City punt pinned the Warriors at their own 1-yard line late in the first half.

But the Warriors drove 99 yards to paydirt.

Spedowski got a key first-down run to the 12 on third down to keep the drive going. The Warriors drove down the field, scoring on Spedowski’s 15-yard scamper for the 21-14 intermission lead.

“Our coaches picked our heads up and we did what we had to do coming out at halftime,” Jones said.

Rasor’s 3-yard run late in the third quarter tied the game 21-21. Reed City continued to run the ball well and scored early in the fourth on Lowery’s 1-yard run for a 28-21 lead. The Coyote retaliated with a scoring drive and Straub’s 4-yard run tied the game.

Reed City got the ball back at the Warrior 29 after a 6-yard Chippewa Hills punt to set up the go-ahead touchdown.

Spedowski gained 271 yards on 35 carries while Devon Mulder added 70 yards and Schafer passed for 69. Kurt Ray had 11 tackles, and Seth McKenzie 10.

“We just couldn’t stop them,” Reed City coach, Monty Price said. “Spedowski was tough. Their front seven was making holes, hats off to them.”

For Reed City, Jones ran for 112 yards, Straub for 99 and Rasor for 92.

“We knew we had to be more physical and disciplined than they were,” Jose said. “It was a great game.”

Reed City edged Chippewa Hills 12-8 late in the regular season and would go on to win the Central State Activities Association Gold Division title.

Two years ago, Reed City beat the Warriors twice including in the district finals.

The Coyotes have won a conference and district title in the same season for the first time.