Reed City explodes to early lead in rout over Tri County
REED CITY — Reed City’s bid for a fifth straight Central State Activities Association football title got off to a winning start with a 60-17 verdict over Tri County in Gold Division action Thursday night.
Andre Jones rushed for 244 yards, ran for three touchdowns and returned an interception for six points while Logan Straub ran up 98 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Coyote assault.
Reed City (2-0), 58-18 winners over Baldwin in the opener, defeated a Tri County team that lost 28-21 to Lakeview in its first game. Reed City had 405 total yards.
“I think we played really good and had three really good quarters,” Reed City center and defensive tackle Dylan Chrispell said. “The second quarter was a little rough. We need to get that better. And the penalties were bad.”
The Coyotes exploded to a 36-0 first quarter lead and enjoyed a 44-14 halftime cushion.
“We shouldn’t let up so easy,” Chrispell said. “We need to clean (the penalties) up.”
While the Vikings were called for three penalties and 35 yards, the Coyotes had 11 penalties for 135 yards.
“Too many penalties,” Reed City coach Monty Price said. “We have to sharpen it up and get more disciplined. I love that the kids are playing hard. But we have to play with control as well. Other than that, we’ll take it.”
Jones scored from 76 yards on the second play from scrimmage. Taylor Pelton’s pass interception set up a 21-yard scoring run by Straub moments later. Jones ran for the two points and a 14-0 lead.
Reed City would add three more first-quarter touchdowns on Collin Hatfield’s 2-yard run and Jones’ 40-yard scamper and 59-yard interception return.
Straub had a 67-yard touchdown in the second quarter, which featured two touchdowns by the Vikings. Quarterback Colton Harris passed 17 yards to Dylan Matulis and had an 8-yard quarterback keeper for the Vikings’ two touchdowns. Matulis also kicked two extra points.
Straub, Derrick Rasor and Jones (twice) had two-point runs in the first half.
“Coach (Phil) Butler does a great job with his kids and they play hard,” Price said. “Our kids got a little complacent in the second quarter. Complacency led to a lack of discipline and we had a lot of things go wrong. But we came out in the second half and reestablished what we’re doing and overcame a little bit of adversity.”
Reed City gained 308 rushing yards in the first half.
In the second half, Reed City had touchdown runs of 46 yards from Jones and 7 yards from Gabe Miller. Leland Yonkin and Miller both had two-point conversion runs.
“I like that we’re competing hard and I like that we’re starting to settle in offensively as well as defensively,” Price said. “But we have a lot of work to do. We have to brush up on our tackling and play with a little bit more poise and discipline.”
For the game, Tri County had 78 yards passing and 38 yards rushing from quarterback Colton Harris.
The Coyotes are at Newaygo in a key CSAA showdown next week.
“I expect every team we play to be good,” Price said. “We like to think we get every team’s best when we play them and that won’t be any different with Newaygo. We have to travel over there which is always a tough place to play.”