Reed City's 'drive for five' hits success with win over Chippewa Hills

REED CITY — Reed City’s football team has had a stranglehold on the Central State Activities Association for the past four years.

The Coyotes tightened their grip on Friday, defeating visiting Chippewa Hills 26-7 to claim their fifth-straight league title.

“It was a great team effort,” Reed City coach Monty Price said. “All of our kids played a big part. I’m very proud of this group. ‘Drive for Five’ has been our motto, and we achieved that goal. We’re going to celebrate it (Friday) then get back to work Sunday.”

The Warriors were expected to be the Coyotes’ toughest challenge yet as both teams entered Friday 5-0 in the CSAA Gold Division. But Reed City struck early and its defense took over from there.

The Coyotes took over on the Warriors’ 34 after Chippewa Hills fumbled the opening kickoff. Five plays later, junior Logan Straub rushed into the end zone from 5 yards out for a 6-0 lead.

“It was huge,” Price said of the fumble. “We got the momentum on our side.”

Reed City’s defense forced a three-and-out on the ensuing drive and the offense went right back to work. On third-and-4 from the Warriors’ 47, senior Collin Hatfield surged through a hole up the middle for a touchdown and a 12-0 lead.

Reed City senior running back Andre Jones, who was out last week with an injury, had a big game in his return. He rushed for 125 yards and had a 2-yard touchdown run late in the first half for an 18-0 lead.

 “I felt great,” Jones said. “My team gave me confidence.”

Chippewa Hills junior quarterback DJ Lowery connected with senior John Wixson for a 25-yard score at the 10:15 mark of the fourth quarter to cut the deficit to 18-7. However, Reed City answered with an 8-minute, 74-yard touchdown drive of its own to nullify any comeback attempt.

“Prior to that in the second half, we were going backwards with penalties,” Price said. “Chip Hills was stepping up defensively, and we needed that. That was crucial moment in the game.”

Lowery was 10 of 25 passing for 147 yards.

Straub had 136 rushing yards, while Hatfield ran for 117 yards.

Chippewa Hills rushed for just 57 yards.

“They were a more physical, tougher team than us,” Warriors’ coach Larry Jose said. “What we needed to rely on to win the game was to be more athletic and execute on the edge and downfield. We just did things out of character for things we’ve done six weeks in a row.”

Chippewa Hills (6-2) plays at Cheboygan on Friday, while Reed City (8-0) hosts McBain.