Reed City gains revenge over Newaygo

REED CITY — In Week 3 of the high school football season, Newaygo snapped Reed City’s 31-game regular-season winning streak in a 14-6 decision on the Coyotes’ home field and in 2011 the Lions knocked the Coyotes out of the playoffs. But on Friday night the Coyotes exacted their revenge, 32-13, as they hosted the Lions in Division 5 district action. 

With low temperatures and high winds at kickoff, the Lions received and had a few solid gains, but the Coyote defense was relentless, forcing two fumbles on the opening drive with T.J. Patterson jumping on the second one to give the Coyotes the ball at midfield to start their first drive of the night.

The Coyotes came out firing with Nolan Patterson sending a deep pass to the end zone, but it was just out of Patrick Jobes’ reach as Reed City went to the passing game early. 

“That was part of the game plan,” Reed City coach Monty Price said. “The first time we played them it was miserable ... a downpour of rain and wind, and we couldn’t throw the ball and we couldn’t grip it and I think that took a dimension out of our offensive attack. 

“We’ve been progressively getting better with Nolan throwing the ball and his accuracy and our receivers catching the ball and we knew that that had to be a component to our gameplan because we knew they were going to stack the box,” he continued. “We knew that so we wanted to come out and let them know that we’ve got that component of our game and try to loosen them up a little bit ... We’ve got to be able to throw.”

A few more incomplete passes led to a turnover on downs, which proved beneficial for the Lions as Jack Boyd rushed for a score on a fourth-and-1 to give his team a 7-0 lead after the extra point kick with 1:17 left in the opening quarter. 

The Coyotes went to the running game on the ensuing possession, with Jon Green breaking free for a long trek all the way to the Newaygo 3-yard line. Andre Jones finished the drive on a 3-yard score on the next play, but the 2-point try failed, making it 7-6 in favor of the Lions heading into the second quarter. 

The Reed City defense held strong to start the second quarter as the Coyotes forced a Newaygo punt. Jones ripped off a 68-yard score on the next play, but a flag brought it all the way back as the game devolved to a hard-nosed, smash mouth contest. 

The Coyote drive stalled but Green racked up 14 yards on a fourth-and-10, which set up a 5-yard touchdown run for Collin Hatfield to give the Coyotes a 12-7 lead with 3:21 left before the half after another failed 2-point conversion. 

T.J. Patterson recovered his second fumble of the night on Newaygo’s next drive, giving the Coyotes just enough time to score again as Green found daylight on a trap from 24 yards out, giving the home team an 18-7 advantage going into halftime. 

The Coyote offense kept rolling to start the second half as Hatfield broke free for a 58-yard scoring run on their first drive, giving Reed City a 24-7 advantage. 

However, the Lions were quick to answer as Jack Boyd found Matt Milbourne for a 25-yard touchdown, cutting the score to 24-13. 

Momentum started to build for the Lions as Nolan Patterson came up limping on the ensuing drive after completing a pass to Jobes, forcing Jobes to take over at quarterback. 

Jobes handed off to Hatfield for the running back’s second score of the night, this time from 5 yards out, and Jones added the 2-point conversion to give the Coyotes a 32-13 lead going into the fourth, a score that stood for rest of the contest as the Coyotes picked up a win against the team that snapped their streak and knocked them out of the playoffs in 2011. 

“It feels nice,” T.J. Patterson said. “We’ve been waiting for this game for a very long time. We did amazing. We had a great night and everybody played good.”

The Coyotes came up just shy of 400 yards rushing on the night as Hatfield went for 114 and two scores while Jones added 57 yards and a score and Green logged 174 yards on 17 totes. 

Taylor Pelton and Logan Straub each tallied 10 stops apiece defensively and T.J. Patterson added seven solo stops with two fumble recoveries in the win. 

The Coyotes will head to Chippewa Hills Friday to take on the Warriors with the district championship on the line.