ADRIAN — For a quarter and a half, the battle of unbeatens between Lenawee Christian and Britton Deerfield lived up to the hype.
The Patriots threw the first punch and went up 14-0, but the Cougars answered and went up 21-14 with 5:39 left in the second.
The game took a devastating turn as BD quarterback, defensive back, kick returner, Nico Johnson, suffered an injury and left the game while LCS ran away with the 41-20 win.
"That older group understands how to be a state champion," said Cougars' head coach Bill Wilharms.
The Patriots (8-1) came out firing, literally, as Johnson connected with Mason Mueller on the first play of the game for 65-yard touchdown pass.
After Mueller made an incredible catch and a roughing the passer call setup BD deep in the LCS (9-0) redzone, the Cougars defense stepped up and forced a turnover on downs.
Two plays later, Nick Wayne sacked Ashur Bryja, forced a fumble and recovered it. Johnson found Mueller again, this time from 19-yards out, to make it 14-0 with 5:33 left in the first quarter.
"I knew from our battles when I was at Madison that (BD head coach) Erik (Johnson) likes to go deep," Wilharms said. "He has some tricks up his sleeve. It was two great teams on a great Friday night, small town football, and we came out on top tonight."
From there, the Cougars took over with as long run by Clay Ayers setup a 5-yard touchdown pass from Bryja to Elliott Addleman to make it 14-7. Ayers found the endzone on the next drive to make the game 14-14 with 1:21 to go in the first.
Another LCS drive ended in a touchdown, this time Bryja scoring from 15 yards out as a giant hole opened up in the middle of the field.
Following the injury to Nico Johnson, Tristan Johnson took over under center and drove BD down the field, but it ended with a turnover on downs. With 19 seconds left in the half, Bryja punched in touchdown from a yard out to make it a 27-14 game at the half.
LCS got the ball in the second half and milked 5:18 off the clock with the drive ending with a 1-yard touchdown pass from Bryja to Addleman to make it 34-14.
BD showed some life, with a nice long drive of its own ending with Johnson scoring from four-yards out to make it 34-20 with 8:43 to go in the fourth. Bryja capped the scoring with another 1-yard touchdown dive with 3:58 to go.
"Tristan did a great job stepping in there," coach Johnson said. "We will reassess, but we just lost to a better team tonight. They were more physical than us, faster than us. They were better than us tonight."
Ayers ended the game with 149 yards on 22 carries while Bryja was 12-of-17 passing for 164 yards and two touchdowns while Collin Davis caught five passes for 83 yards.
Nico Johnson was 3-of-10 passing for 122 yards and two touchdowns while Mueller hauled in four catches for 127 yards and two touchdowns. Johnson also ran for 49 yards.
Tristan Johnson rushed for 48 yards and a touchdown.
Sand Creek 40, Madison 0: At Madison Twp., the Aggies capped their regular season off with a shutout victory over their Tri-County Conference rivals, led by former coach Scott Gallagher, on Friday night.
“We stepped up and met a big challenge last week (against Beal City) and came up a few plays short," said Sand Creek head coach Marc Spicer. "We just wanted to make sure, because we wanted to take care of this one. It meant a lot to us with Coach Gallagher being on the other side. We wanted our kids to play hard and take care of business.”
The Aggies, who improve to 6-3 overall and 4-1 in the TCC with the victory, was led by quarterback George Hillard, who completed five of his six pass attempts for 164 yards and three touchdowns, all of which were to Tylan Waltz, who finished with 113 yards and the three scores on three receptions.
“It’s just nice to have more than one dimension of your offense,” Hillard said. “You can pass the ball when you want and run the ball when you want.”
John Alexander was the top runner for the Aggies as he finished with a game-high 75 yards on 20 carries and a four-yard touchdown run in the first quarter in addition to four two-point conversion runs. Jack Pifer had 54 yards on seven carries, including an 11-yard touchdown run with over a minute off the clock in the second quarter, the first of three scores in a 24-point frame for Sand Creek.
For Madison, which wraps its first season under Gallagher’s leadership at 5-4 (2-4 TCC) to complete back-to-back winning seasons in its history. Dante Cerasuolo led the way with 60 yards on 12 carries while Isiah Casarez-Ruiz added 46 yards on 13 carries.
“Hats off to Sand Creek, part of the reason we couldn’t get anything going offensively was the way that the played defensively,” Gallagher said. “They’re a tough, hard-nosed group over there and were everything we thought they were going to be.”
Sand Creek got the ball to open the game and moved it down the field before Alexander scored to make it 8-0 and after Madison’s opening drive stalled at the Sand Creek 34, the Aggies went back to work, needing nine plays to double the lead on Pifer’s 11-yard score up the middle.
The Trojans went three-and-out and punted away, with SC getting to the Madison 26-yard line before Hillard rolled to his right and fired a pass to Waltz, who made a leaping catch, juggling the ball before pulling it in inside the pylon to make it 24-0. When Madison was stopped on another fourth down, Hillard scrambled for 22 yards and then hit Waltz again, this time from 36 yards out, with 25 seconds left in the half.
Blissfield 43, Onsted 20: At Blissfield, the Royals closed the regular season on a high-note, ending a five-game skid by beating their Lenawee County Athletic Association rival.
Chase Collyer scored the Royals’ first three touchdowns of the game to put them up 21-0 at halftime.
The Royals (3-6, 2-5 LCAA) went up 29-0 midway through the third quarter on a 21-yard touchdown pass from Noah Schnoor to Owen Smith before Onsted (2-7, 1-6 LCAA) came back with two scores in the third quarter, both touchdown passes from Hunter Kelley to Ayden Davis.
After the second Davis touchdown, Ethan Stines returned the kickoff 55 yards for a touchdown.
In the fourth quarter, Schnoor threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Ty Cantrell while Onsted got a 68-yard touchdown from Kelley to Harry Moore.
Collyer finished with 124 yards rushing on 25 attempts to lead the Royal offense. Landon Duval had 10 tackles and a tackle for loss to lead the defense. Blissfield’s season comes to a close at 3-6.
For Onsted, Kelley finished with 250 yards passing on 12 completions. Logan Hunt caught 8 passes for 166 yards for the 2-6 Wildcats.
Hudson 28, Dundee 0: At Hudson, the Tigers celebrated Senior Night by clinching its first 9-0 regular season since 2011 and clinching the LCAA title outright.
Nick Kopin started the game with a 70-yard kickoff return for a touchdown for Hudson.
“That really got us going,” said Tigers' coach Dan Rogers. “They were tough in the box. They made us work for every yard.”
Kopin and Brendan Akers scored second-half touchdowns for Hudson.
Hudson’s defense held Dundee to 68 yards passing and fewer than 20 yards rushing.
The Tigers will go into the Division 8 playoffs as the No. 1 team in the state.
“I’m just so happy for the kids,” Rogers said. “They worked really hard. You could see how hard they were working in the off-season and it's nice to see it pay off. To go through our league undefeated is a real credit to them and how hard they work. They’ve brought it week-in and week-out.”
Clinton 54, Hillsdale 34: At Clinton, the Redwolves broke open an 18-18 game with four consecutive touchdowns and went on to beat the Hornets by 20 points in an LCAA matchup.
Hillsdale jumped out to a 6-0 lead, led 12-6 and tied the game 18-18 on a kickoff return before the Redwolves (7-2, 5-2 LCAA) turned on the jets.
Bradyn Lehman scored on a short run, then on an 82-yard kickoff return in the first quarter for Clinton. Nik Shaldley had a 64-yard touchdown run and caught a 9-yard TD pass from Derek Tomalak in the second quarter.
Lehman, who finished with 161 yards rushing, scored on runs of 61 and one yards in third quarter and Jacob Felts caught a 3-yard touchdown pass from Tomalak.
In the fourth quarter, Lehman and Cole Breitenwischer had touchdown runs and Kent McCombs scored on a 3-yard pass from Tomalak.
Nate Smith led the Clinton defense with 12 stops.
Tecumseh 27, Ann Arbor Skyline 18: At Ann Arbor, Tecumseh capped the season at 4-5 in a Southeastern Conference crossover win.
Jacob Burns had another strong night under center as he competed 10-of-18 passes for 138 yards while rushing for 82 yards and a touchdown. The touchdown run came on a 21-yard scamper to make it a 21-6 game in the third quarter after taking a 14-6 lead into the half.
AJ Bryan rushed for 73 yards on 17 carries with touchdown runs of five yards and one yard in the first quarter. Gavin Chenvey ran in a 9-yard touchdown and caught four passes for 77 yards.
Morenci 22, Pittsford 14: At Morenci, the Bulldogs led 22-6 at halftime and held on to beat the Wildcats and close the season with a victory.
Morenci fell behind 6-0 early, but Jacob Reincke came back and scored on a 25-yard touchdown run to tie the game before the first quarter ended. Carsyn Varga and Landon Mansfield added second quarter touchdowns for the Bulldogs.
Varga finished with 161 yards on 21 carries while Reincke had 114 yards on nine attempts. Mansfield finished with 51 yards on 12 carries.
Morenci finished the season 2-5 (1-3 TCC), missing two games due to COVID-19 protocols.
“It was a big win for the program to close out the season,” said first-year Morenci coach Stefan Wilkinson. “Our guys battled tonight and all season with low numbers and it was great to be able to come out on top.
Owosso 33, Adrian 7: At Adrian, the Maples trailed 12-7 after the first quarter and Owosso pulled away from there with 21 unanswered points.
Adrian finishes the season 2-7 after starting the season 2-1.
Source : https://www.lenconnect.com/story/sports/2021/10/22/lenawee-christian-football-beats-britton-deerfield-battle-unbeatens/6144943001/2172