Reed City quarterback eager to take on Swan Valley
REED CITY — Many different quarterbacks the past several years have led Reed City to the playoffs, and junior Jackson Price wanted on Saturday to help the Coyotes reach a special level for the very first time:
The Division 5 state semifinals on Nov. 18.
Reed City won 46-34 and will play at Greenville at 1 p.m. on Saturday against Swan Valley in the Division 5 semis.
The Coyotes kick off 6 p.m. on Saturday against Upper Peninsula power Menominee in a Division 5 regional title game.
Price is in his first full year as No. 1 quarterback and is again playing defensive back. He started both ways this season and earned all-CSAA Gold Division honors.
He helped the Coyotes avenge last season’s 40-14 regional loss to the 8-3 Maroons. Reed City is 11-1 and so far this season has won its seventh straight Central State Activities Association title, its third overall district title and its first regional crown.
“We’ve had a very successful season so far,” Price said. “We started out a little slow, but we’ve picked it up and things are going very well.”
A win over Grant might have turned the corner for the Coyotes.
“I thought we played (well) and that’s when I knew things were looking good for us,” Price said.
The Coyotes realized Menominee wouldn’t be easy.
“I think, watching film, we’re capable of beating them,” Price said prior to the game. “We have to execute and play our best game and do everything right. They’re very physical (on defense). They all get to the ball well. It’s going to be tough.”
Running back Phillip Jones, who leads the state in rushing touchdowns, rushed for 302 yards in a single game and it’s likely the Maroons would focus on shutting him down. But he gained slightly less than 200 yards and returned a kickoff 85 yards for six points.
“Phillip’s very good, but it’s not just him,” Price said. “I’m confident everyone can do their job and step up.”
Price, son of coach Monty Price, has watched a lot of Reed City playoff games in the past. But he admits being a player makes it even more special.
“I’ve been looking forward to this my whole life,” he said. “It’s great. I know my teammates love that they’re playing.”
Menominee defeated Kingsford 24-21 in the district final. But Reed City had a higher computer ranking and earned the home bid. Kingsford would have hosted Reed City last weekend had it defeated the Maroons.
“I remember when I was a ball boy a few years ago and we had to go all the way to Menominee,” Price said. “We didn’t really like it that much. I was a huge advantage for us for them having to drive all the way to Reed City.”