Reed City sneaks by Big Rapids
Second half scores life Coyotes over rival CardinalsBIG RAPIDS — Reed City football coach Monty Price thought if his team could take the second half kickoff and turn it into points, his team would be fine. Price proved to be right, but barely. The Coyotes scored twice in the second half, including the initial drive of the second half, to post a 14-6 victory over Big Rapids in the season opener for both teams. The Cardinals dominated the first half. Of their four first-half drives, they had a touchdown called back and was stopped inside the Reed City five yard line the other three times. Meanwhile, the Coyotes struggled to move the ball, crossing midfield only once. Still, the score was 0-0 at halftime. “They had multiple opportunities to score and our offense didn’t play sound in the first half,” Price said. “But our defense rose to the occasion when we had to and that is a tribute to coach (Scott) Shankel and the boys. Going into halftime 0-0, we were blessed.” Big Rapids was able to move the ball behind the play of running back Nick Baldwin, who carried the ball 28 times for 180 yards, and quarterback Ty Lattimore, who added 62 yards on the ground. But each time the Cardinals got inside the red zone, they struggled. “We knew what we had to do,” Baldwin said. “We just have to finish what we started.” Big Rapids coach Mitch Cumings thought his team missed a couple of chances to put some points on the board. “I think you had some young mistakes at pivotal moments in the game,” he said. “But they are all thing we can polish up for the next game.” That is what made the second-half drive important Price said. If the Coyotes could score, it would take some pressure off his team and it could relax a bit. Reed City took six minutes off the clock and capped the drive on a 16 yard run by Jonathan Green. Ricky Droke added the extra point to give the Coyotes a 7-0 lead. Reed City then added to its lead midway through the fourth quarter as Garrett Benson went around the left end on a 53 yard scamper. The drive was aided by a 25 yard run by quarterback Chad Samuels on third-and-20 the play before. “First of all, it was our offensive line that got a big push and Jordan Straub had a great fake,” Samuels said. “I knew where (the first down marker) was and who was coming up to make the tackle.” Big Rapids answered on the ensuing drive. The Cardinals marched down the field and scored on a five-yard run by Baldwin for the final outcome. “This was two good teams who played a great game and unfortunately both teams can’t win,” Cumings said. Reed City is in action Thursday when it hosts Morley Stanwood, while the Cardinals will travel to Hesperia.
REED CITY 14, BIG RAPIDS 6 Reed City 0 0 7 7 — 14 Big Rapids 0 0 0 6 — 6 Third quarter RC — Jonathan Green 15 run (Ricky Droke kick), 6:01 Fourth quarter RC — Garrett Benson 53 run (Droke kick), 6:25 BR — Nick Baldwin 5 run (kick failed), 4:44 Rushing: Reed City 42-236 (Benson 10-75, Jordan Straub 9-41, Green 6-48, Chad Samuels 6-36, Joshua Saez 5-14, Jordan Rolston 4-15, Eric Bradford 2-5). Big Rapids 48-242 (Baldwin 28-180, Ty Lattimore 20-62). Passing: Reed City 1-2-1-11 (Samuels 1-2-1-11). Big Rapids 2-7-0-21 (Lattimore 2-7-0-21). Receiving: Reed City - Straub 1-11. Big Rapids Mike Howard 1-13, Mack Green 1-8.