Undefeated Reed City set to take on dangerous Lakeview Friday night

Reed City's Eric Grannis (9) and Paris Jones (1) focus on the runningback in recent action. (File photo)
Reed City’s Eric Grannis (9) and Paris Jones (1) focus on the runningback in recent action. (File photo)

NEWAYGO — It hasn’t been easy for Reed City’s football team to stay undefeated.

It won’t be easy this week in a Friday night home game when the 4-0 Coyotes take on the 3-1 Lakeview Wildcats.

“They look pretty good,” said Reed City coach Monty Price. “They’ve got a new coach. They’ve got different kids on the field that didn’t play last year. It looks to me like they’re very confident with the new schemes and new coaching staff. They’re pretty darn tough.”

Lakeview went from a Wing T to option-oriented offense, Price noted.

“That makes you play very disciplined,” Price said. “Holton runs an option offense that’s a little bit different. They’re more of a spread option. Lakeview is more of a tight end, split back veer. But they’re similar. You still have to apply the same principles and be disciplined.”

Before Reed City’s football game with Newaygo last Friday, Price wasn’t sure how his team would measure up.

After Friday’s game, they measure up quite good.

Reed City scored with 2:26 remaining in the contest for the final score to post a 22-14 victory on the Lions’ home field. The Coyotes remain undefeated in the Central State Activities Association with a 4-0 record, while Newaygo falls to 3-1.

“I can’t even tell you how important this win was for our team and our program,” Price said.

After a scoreless first quarter, Reed City scored twice in the second quarter, including just before halftime on a 79-yard pass from Chad Samuels to Jonathon Green to even the score at 14-14. Andre Jones opened the scoring for the Coyotes with a 63-yard scamper. Jones rushed for 184 yards on 10 carries in the game.

The score remained tied until late in the game.

Reed City took control of the ball deep in its own territory with three minutes remaining. But Jones busted loose for a 54-yard run followed by a 27-yard scoring run by Colin Hatfield for the winning score with 2:26 remaining.

Hatfield rushed for 36 yards in the game as the Coyotes amassed 218 on the ground.

Newaygo had one last drive in it.

The Lions drove inside the Reed City 30 yard line, but face a fourth-and-9 with under 50 seconds remaining. The drive was stopped, however, on an interception by Samuels, who finished with seven tackles, a fumble recovery and an interception.

Samuels also was 7-of-12 throwing the ball for 204 yards. Jones gained 184 rushing yards on 10 carries. Hatfield had 36 yards on four tries.

“We wanted this one bad,” Price said. “They are a heck of a football team. They are physical and athletic and I wasn’t sure how we stood. I’m happy where we stack up.”

The defensive effort was led by Taylor Pelton with 14 tackles, while Eric Grannis finished with 10 tackles and a sack.

“It was a tough game but the boys persevered and found a way to win at the end,” said Price. “We’re very happy to get out of there with a victory. I expected (Newaygo) to be a very good football team, very physical and aggressive. They were every bit as such. We’re very similar on both sides of the ball. It was one heckuva football game. I don’t know if there was a spectator there who would leave and wasn’t satisfied from watching a darn good game.”

Herald Review staff member Bob Allan contributed to this report.