The 2022 high school football season opened up this weekend and several Mid-Michigan teams looked to be already in mid-season form as they turned in some impressive efforts
Following is a roundup of some of the top efforts by area teams from week one of the new season.
GROUND GAME KEYS DEWITT WIN IN BIG HOUSE
The ground game took center stage for DeWitt as the Panthers opened the new season with a 21-14 win against Haslett in the opening game of the season Thursday afternoon at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor.
The DeWitt rushing game produced 225 yards on the ground led by Blake Haller who rushed for 103 yards and sophomore Abram Larner who added 69 yards rushing. Haller and Larner also provided rushing touchdowns in the win.
The DeWitt defense provided the third touchdown of the game as Johnathan Warner returned a Haslett fumble 32 yards for a touchdown. The DeWitt defense also did a solid job in keeping the Haslett offense in check as the Panther defense limited Haslett to 48 net yards.
Sophomore quarterback Aspen Keyes was efficient in his varsity debut as he completed 12-of-18 passes for 99 yards.
Special teams was key for Haslett as both Viking touchdowns came on kick returns. Nakai Amachtee returned the opening kickoff of the game 95 yards for a touchdown and later returned a punt 75 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter that tied the game at 14-14.
DeWitt looks to improve to 2-0 this Thursday when it hosts undefeated Portland on the new turf at Memorial Stadium in DeWitt.
MT. PLEASANT OPENS WITH BIG WIN
The Mt. Pleasant Oilers opened the season with an impressive performance with a 42-7 win against Kalamazoo Central.
Senior Scooter Polk displayed big-play form as he returned a kickoff 89 yards for a touchdown and added a 23-yard touchdown run. Returning all-state running back Max Humphrey carried the ball 15 times for 81 yards and scored a pair of touchdowns. Junior quarterback Logan Borodychuk completed 12-of-18 passes for 135 yards.
The Oiler defense came up big as it limited Kalamazoo to 152 yards of total offense.
ITHACA OFFENSE SHINES IN OPENER
It was a big evening in Ithaca as the Yellowjackets broke in their new football field with a 60-39 win against Homer.
Ithaca senior quarterback Bronson Bupp put on a dazzling display as he completed 11-of-16 passes for 175 yards and touchdown passes to Ethan Hull and Ryley White. Bupp also rushed for 152 yards and scored three rushing touchdowns. Noah Risner and Charlie Martyn added rushing touchdowns for the Yellowjackets.
LANSING WAVERLY STUNS LANSING CATHOLIC
Lansing Waverly delivered one of the big stunners of the opening week as they defeated defending Division 6 state champion Lansing Catholic 18-7.
Waverly quarterback Ronnie Spencer led the offense as he completed nine-of-12 passes for 143 yards and a touchdown while also rushing for a touchdown. Running back Jahi Wood added 87 yards rushing and a touchdown while receiver Mar’Tavion Robinson caught three passes for 103 yards and a touchdown.
BIG PLAYS LEAD SHEPHERD PAST ALMA
Big plays on defense and in the special teams proved key for Shepherd as the Bluejays defeated Alma 28-14 and spoiled a huge game by Alma quarterback Sam Rosales.
Defense and special teams accounted for three of Shepherd’s touchdowns. Mitchell Walters returned an interception 95 yards for a touchdown and also recovered a mishandled Alma punt in the endzone for a touchdown. Ashton Luckhardt returned a kickoff 70 yard for a Shepherd touchdown while Isaiah Reihl added a three-yard touchdown run.
Those big plays countered a big passing night by Rosales. Rosales completed 26-of-48 passes for 338 yards. Cade Sutherlund hauled in 10 passes for 135 yards while Sam Couch caught five passes for 87 yards as Alma totaled 355 yards to 135 total yards by Shepherd.
BEAL CITY RALLIES FOR WIN
Beal City scored 16 fourth-quarter points to overtake Ravenna for a 22-21 win.
With 20 seconds remaining in the game, Aggie quarterback Jack Fussman hit Carter Fussman with a 14-yard touchdown pass to bring the Aggies to within one. Beal City then tacked on the two-point conversion for the win as Fussman passed to Cayden Smith for the winning points.
Fussman finished the game with 98 passing yards and 61 rushing yards to lead the offense.
GRAND LEDGE OFFENSE ERUPTS IN OPENER
The Grand Ledge offense was in high gear as the Comets opened the season with a 34-7 win against Coldwater in the season opener.
Mason Stocker and Shawn Foster combined to pass for 153 yards and two touchdown passes while also rushing for 111 yards and two rushing touchdowns. Noah McCartney added 50 yards rushing and one touchdown. Teddy Williams led the pass catchers with two receptions for 50 yards and a touchdown while Andrew Konieczny caught a 55-yard touchdown pass.
Williams led the defense with four sole tackles, two assists, one sack and one tackle for a loss while Aiden Chamblee added seven solo tackles and one tackle for loss.
MIDLAND TOP CADILLAC IN OPENER
Midland opened the season with a 27-21 win against Cadillac.
Quarterback Jason Davenport paced the air game by completing six passes for 96 yards and two touchdowns. Midland running back Jalen Brown carried the ball 20 times for 134 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Gabe Malace caught a 47-yard touchdown pass while Hudson Gerstacker caught a 17-yard scoring strike.
PORTLAND ST. PATRICK ROLLS IN OPENER
Portland St. Patrick displayed one of the most producitive offenses in 8-man football in a 50-0 win against Vestaburg.
St. Patrick quarterback Bradyn Simon led the offense as he completed 12-of-15 passes for 152 yards and three touchdowns and also ran for a score. Payton Russman rushed for 71 yards and a score while catching three passes for 51 yards and a touchdown.
Simon was a leader on defense with seven tackles, three assists and two tackles for loss while Riley Messer had four tackles, one assist and two tackles for loss.
BRECKENRIDGE WINS 8-MAN DEBUT
Breckenridge opened the new season playing 8-man football for the first time in school history and came away with a 40-36 win against Fulton-Middleton.
Quarterback Jaxon Laubscher led the offense as he passed for 200 yards and rushed for 86 yards. Ryan Wolfgang caught eight passes including a 76-yard touchdown pass. Collin Sitts scored the game-winning touchdown late in the third quarter and added the two-point conversion for the Huskies. Sitts was also a defensive standout with 12 tackles and three tackles for loss.