Reed City rolls past Big Rapids
By Maxwell Harden
Herald Review Sports Writer
BIG RAPIDS — The Reed City football team reeled off 40 consecutive points on its way to a 48-14 win over rival Big Rapids on Friday at Top Taggart Field.
The win is Reed City’s eight-consecutive over Big Rapids and also means the Coyotes have qualified for postseason play for the eighth straight season. It also guarantees Reed City of at least a tie for its seventh straight Central State Activities Association Gold Division title.
“I thought Big Rapids was a different creature tonight,” Reed City coach Monty Price said. “They played pretty well and had a very good defensive plan and limited us on some of the things that we wanted to do. Hats off to coach Selzer and the kids of Big Rapids, they played very well.
“A win’s a win, but we have to go back to work and have a bit of a different focus moving forward. We’re happy, we beat a good team on the road, and I’m proud of our kids.”
The Cardinals struck first using an onside kick on the game’s opening kickoff to recover the ball. Moments later, quarterback Aaron Repke found an opening up the middle of the defense and scrambled for a 23-yard touchdown run to give the Cardinals a 6-0 lead at the 8:23 mark in the first quarter.
“It was our normal stuff,” head coach Mike Selzer said. “It was jet sweep and it was inside dive off of it. Aaron made a good read on a veer so it was just our basic stuff. I thought we had the momentum; we picked up on film that they over-adjusted to that kick set, so we gave it a shot and came out on top.”
The Coyotes swiftly took the momentum back by marching down the field on offense and finishing off the drive with a Brandon Major touchdown and the two-point conversion to take an 8-6 lead into the second quarter.
They never looked back.
Reed City turned to star back Philip Jones, who scored on touchdown runs of 13 and 15 yards in the second quarter to give the Coyotes a 24-6 halftime lead.
“We played a good first quarter but got behind the sticks on our next two possessions,” Selzer said. “Not scoring before the half to make it a one-score game hurt us.”
Jones would pick up where he left off in the second half, finding the end zone on a touchdown run in the third quarter and a 44-yard touchdown pass from Jackson Price to go up 40-6 in the third quarter.
The Cardinals continued to battle. Quarterback Jayden Mason connected with Jakob Martinson on a 21-yard touchdown pass and converted the two-point conversion to make it a 40-14 game.
The Coyotes would find the end zone one more time as Jones scored on a 25-yard run for his fifth total touchdown of the game to go up 48-14.
Big Rapids made several plays that ended up being wiped out due to penalties. The Cardinals left a lot of yards on the field, committing 17 penalties for 128 yards.
Jones finished with 152 total yards of offense and five touchdowns and Jackson Price converted 1-of-3 passes for 44 yards and had five carries for 60 yards. Jeffery Phenix led the defense with seven tackles and one sack. Brandon Major and Charles Elliott each had interceptions on defense and Mason Bush had a fumble recovery.
Repke led the Cardinals on the ground with 61 yards on 10 carries and a score. He completed 3-of-18 passes for 26 yards and an interception. Mason completed 6-of-9 passes for 83 yards and a touchdown. Elliot Blair had 16 total tackles on defense and Adam Bollman added nine.
Reed City finished with 261 yards of total offense compared to Big Rapids’ 252.
Reed City (6-1, 6-0) faces Central Montcalm next Friday.