Reed City runs over Clare, 49-7, to reach third straight district final

REED CITY — Reed City coach Monty Price and his coaching staff dialed up the expectations and intensity this week in preparation for its Division 5 district opener against Clare on Friday. It’s safe to say those expectations were met following a 49-7 win over the Pioneers that will send the Coyotes (10-0) to their third consecutive district final. Reed City was a machine in the first half, making stops and churning out drives to build a 36-0 lead at halftime behind a run game sparked by Andre Jones. The sophomore ran for 141 yards on eight carries with two touchdowns, while adding a 35-yard touchdown catch in the win. “We revved it up this week and kind of raised our expectations for our execution and our effort overall,” Reed City coach Monty Price said. “We wanted more from these kids, and in typical fashion, they produced. It was just a solid effort, the kids played hard and dominated the game.” Reed City didn’t take long to get on the board on its first possession when Jones took off for a 50-yard touchdown run he bounced to the outside to make it 6-0 with 6:57 left in the first. Clare would drive the ball down to the Reed City 17, but was stopped on fourth down turning it over to the Coyotes. Reed City quarterback Chad Samuels delivered a 38-yard completion to tight end Kyle Wright down to the Clare 5. From there Collin Hatfield scored on a 1-yard run to make it 14-0 after Jones ran in the conversion. The Coyotes continued to pour it on in the second quarter when Jon Green took a handoff straight up the gut and sprinted 36 yards for the score to make it 22-0. By then it was apparent the Coyotes were ready for their first postseason challenge. “I thought we played with extreme focus and discipline and the numbers speak for themselves,” Price said. “We held them to 83 yards rushing and 104 passing with 75 (yards) coming on that last play. I think it was complete domination and hats off to these kids, they’re the best.” After stopping another Clare drive that went into Reed City territory, the Coyotes permanently stole the momentum of the game on a fourth-and-two from the Clare 39. Lining up in a punt formation, the Coyotes snapped the ball directly to PJ Jones, who raced the distance for the score to make it 28-0 with 2:16 left in the half. The play was one that came after a long time in the making, Price said. “That play has been one that we’ve been working on since Aug. 12,” he said. “We haven’t used it all year and we really focused on it this week. We knew that when we went to our punt formation that they were going to line up in a 61 front and have two deep. We knew we’d have the numbers game and PJ got the opportunity and took it to the house. It was a big, big momentum changer for us.” After making a quick stop, the Coyotes got the ball back and hammered one more nail in the coffin on a 35-yard touchdown pass from Samuels to Andre Jones on a wheel route to make it 36-0 going into the half. Jones started the second half where he left off, breaking multiple tackles on his way to a 55-yard touchdown. Jones said the Coyotes’ success was all about effort. “Our whole team had effort and that’s what it’s about,” he said. “We came out confident, but not too confident, because we know Clare has a great football program. We just did what we had to do.” Reed City would score once more for good measure on a 47-yard touchdown run by Devin Ward to make it 49-0. Clare would score its only touchdown with 5:52 on the Coyotes’ lone breakdown of the game — a 75-yard touchdown pass from Emonte Waff to Charlie Bugbee. The Coyotes also got 86 yards from Green on 11 carries, while Collin Hatfield had 42 yards on five carries and a touchdown. Samuels was 2-for-4 through the air for 71 yards and a score. The defense was led by Taylor Pelton with 13 tackles while Eric Grannis had seven and Patrick Jobes had six. The Coyotes now look to claiming a district title next weekend against Muskegon Oakridge (9-1), which defeated Newaygo, 35-14. Samuels said the Coyotes have been in this position before and are hungry to take the next step. “It would mean so much to us,” he said. “We’ve been there the last two years and we couldn’t get it done. Our focus is now on Week 2 and that game. We’re going to find our opponent, get film and memorize it like the back of our hand.”   REED CITY 49, CLARE 7 RC 6 30 7 6 — 49 CL 0 0 0 7 — 7 Scoring summary First quarter RC — Andre Jones 50 run (run failed), 6:57 Second quarter RC — Collin Hatfield 1 run (Jones run), 11:56 RC — Jon Green 36 run (Jones run), 9:28 RC — PJ Jones 39 run (run failed), 2:16 RC — Chad Samuels 35 pass to Andre Jones (Jones run) Third quarter RC — Jones 55 run (Dean Eichenberg kick), 7:59 Fourth quarter RC — Devin Ward 47 run (kick failed), 7:36 CL — Emonte Waff 75 pass to Charlie Bugbee (Camden Dice kick), 5:52 Individual statistics Rushing: Reed City (Andre Jones 8-141, Green 11-86, Hatfield 5-42, Ward 2-57, PJ Jones 1-39) Passing: Reed City (Samuels 2-4-71-1-0) Receiving: Reed City (Kyle Wright 1-36, Andre Jones 1-35).