Reed City wins district championship over Muskegon Catholic Central

REED CITY—It was a rainy muddy, night in Reed City, but a perfect night for the Coyotes to go on the prowl.

Pouring rain and an injury to Seth Jackson was not enough to dampen the success of the Reed City Coyotes against Muskegon Catholic Central, with the Coyotes winning the district championship 36-7. The Coyotes went on to score 30 straight points after going down 7-6 early in the third quarter.

"They just kept leaning on them, man, they just didn't stop," Coyote skipper Scott Shankel said. "They didn't give up. They kept hammering down. It was tough skating early on, but we told them at halftime: 'We're wearing them out guys, they're wearing out. Like just keep keep going.' And that's exactly what happens."

The Coyotes were led by a monster performance by running back Bryson Hughes, who rushed for 283 yards and two touchdowns off of 28 carries, including the opening touchdown from 22 yards out, and the game ending 71-yard touchdown that saw Hughes break multiple tackles on his way to the endzone.

"We knew we were breaking them, we just had to keep running the ball and punching them in the mouth," Hughes said. "We just had to keep doing what we're doing and run the ball."

The team had to bounce back from a tough injury to Jackson, who suffered a non-contact knee injury attempting to return the first punt of the game. The Coyotes didn't blink offensively, relying heavily on their run game until quarterback Xavier Allen hit tight end Max Hammond for a 30-yard score on fourth down. It was Allen's only completion on the night.

"The last couple of years, we've had the next man up mentality and all with COVID, with kids getting quarantined and this and that, we've had to have that mentality, and these kids have carried it through," Shankel said. "They know, when the next guy when someone goes down, we have got to step up for them."

The Coyotes rushed for 410 yards. Noah Morgan had 66 yards and two touchdowns off of eight carries, John Ondrus had 55 yards off of 13 attempts. Xavier Allen had six yards off of four attempts.

"It was just all execution. We've been practicing all week, down for down, play for play," offensive lineman Kaiden Burgess said. "We've been mastering everything, everything down to a tee. So we just try our best to get off the ball, hit, execute and get pushed."

Defensively, the Coyotes held Muskegon Catholic Central to 144 yards of total offense, with 82 yards rushing and 62 yards passing. John Ondrus had four tackles, Zach Erickson had an interception, and Caleb Hetrick had four tackles and two assisted tackles on the evening.

"Our defense this year has been phenomenal," Ondrus said. "I can guarantee a few of our ones was solely because of everything."

Reed City will host Millington next week in Reed City for a regional title. Millington beat Standish-Sterling on Friday 14-12.