High School Football Notes: Miller a pleasant surprise for Bedford

Monroe’s Breylon Richards (68) tangles with Cooper Miller of Bedford Friday night.
Monroe’s Breylon Richards (68) tangles with Cooper Miller of Bedford Friday night.

Cooper Miller is giving Bedford a lot more than the coaches expected this year.

The junior was ticketed as a backup center when the season began. He has turned out to be a major contributor on both sides of the ball.

He had several tackles for loss Friday against Monroe including a powerful hit on Ryan Sieler that briefly knocked the quarterback out of the game.

“He went from a kid who was going to be a backup on one side of the ball to someone who is a starter both ways,” Bedford coach John Phillips said. “It’s not how we envisioned it, but he has worked his butt off.”

BEST OF WEEK 6

RUSHING YARDS

Trey Brueggemann, Bedford 215

Jack Mills, Airport 144

Omari Carter, Carlson 139

Zach Lindsay, Ida 123

Gavin Moczydlowski, Huron 117

PASSING YARDS

Vaughn Brown, Mason 275

Graham Junge, Flat Rock 169

Eddie Light, Carlson 156

Cooper Nye, Airport 137

Shea Ruddy, Whiteford 121

Ryan Zanger, Dundee 121

RECEIVING YARDS

Shade Daniels, Airport 89

Cole Kreger, Mason 83

Aidan Brodie, Monroe 77

Korbin Herrera, Mason 69

Rory Callahan, Huron 66

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The numbers were far from eye-popping for Monroe quarterback Ryan Sieler against Bedford Friday night.

The senior completed just 7-of-13 passes for 76 yards and a touchdown.

But he impressed both coaches with his toughness.

“That Sieler is a tough kid,” Bedford coach John Phillips said. “We kept hitting him and he kept getting up.”

Monroe coach Dave Mifsud was even more effusive with his praise.

“Ryan Sieler played the best game of his career,” Mifsud said. “He got hit more than he’s ever been hit before, but he kept coming back.

“At one point he had to come out for a play. I don’t know how but right away he was next to me on the sideline saying, ‘I’m ready to go.’ He was very determined and did a great job.”

The Trojans dipped to 2-4, but that’s not the only way to judge a football team.

“Right now at this stage, I am really happy how we made improvements as far as being physical,” Mifsud said. “We played as a team and played a great football game. I am proud of that.”

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Malachi Pribyl runs the ball for Jefferson during a 51-14 loss to Airport Friday night.
Malachi Pribyl runs the ball for Jefferson during a 51-14 loss to Airport Friday night.

Malachi Pribyl has been a bright spot for Jefferson in a 1-5 start this season.

Friday was the fourth time he has topped 100 yards rushing in the five games he has played this season. He missed one game with an injury.

He also is a standout on defense and special teams.

“He really works his butt off at all the time on all three sides of the ball,” Jefferson coach Eric Tipton said. “Coming off what he did last year as a sophomore, we built a lot of things around him.”

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Clinton's Nik Shadley cuts through the Dundee defense during Friday's game at Dundee.
Clinton's Nik Shadley cuts through the Dundee defense during Friday's game at Dundee.

Braiden Whitaker was Dundee’s leading receiver Friday with 5 catches for 45 yards against undefeated Clinton.

He is a poised and talented target for the Vikings.

The amazing thing is that he only has been playing football for a little over a year.

“I don’t think he played at all in middle school and he didn’t play his freshman year,” Dundee coach Steve Ayre said. “Last year as a sophomore, he came out late."

Ayre and the Dundee players knew Whitaker was an outstanding athlete from watching him on the basketball court. They recruited him for football.

“He started one game for the JV last year and we knew he had to be on varsity,” Ayre said.

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Brett Moore catches a touchdown pass for Airport during a 51-14 victory over Jefferson Friday night.
Brett Moore catches a touchdown pass for Airport during a 51-14 victory over Jefferson Friday night.

Airport bounced back Friday night after suffering its first loss of the season the previous week.

Jets' coach Jim Duffy was proud of the way his team was able to move on.

"We wanted to play a game that was going to get us going in the right direction," Duffy said. "We want to be able to play meaningful games in Week 7 and 8."

All of Airport's goals are still in front of them. The Jets travel to 6-0 Riverview this week. Airport could still put itself in position to share the Huron League title with a win this week.

"We want to make sure we can compete for the possibility to get a piece of it," Duffy said. "We put ourselves in a position to go to Riverview and play a great football team in what should be an awesome football atmosphere."

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New Boston Huron’s Tom Hoover is learning a lot in his first year of coaching in the Huron League.

The biggest lesson is that you have to adapt quickly on defense.

“It’s a new challenge every week,” he said. “Grosse Ile ran the spread and threw it all over the place (Friday night). We face a straight T (from St. Mary Catholic Central) this week. It’s a big contrast.”

Huron did very well against the spread the past two games, limiting Airport to just 6 points two weeks ago and handing Grosse Ile its first shutout since 2014 Friday night.

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Ida twins Tyler and Trevor Konieczny have a last name that is difficult to spell and it can be difficult to tell them apart.

“Not so much this year,” Ida coach Jeff Potter said if he has trouble identifying the juniors. “But I still call them the wrong name in practice.

“They have both done a good job. Tyler plays linebacker and Trevor plays outside linebacker. Both of them touch the ball a little bit on offense.”

Two of the Blue Streaks’ three interceptions Friday night came from freshmen – Owen Snyder and Gavin Albring. The third was returned by Josh Jones about 60 yards to the Sand Creek 5.

That return set up a touchdown.

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Whiteford led Sand Creek 56-6 at halftime and scored on all nine of its possessions in beating Sand Creek 68-6.

It was the tied for the third highest point total in school history.

Next week the Bobcats take its longest road trip of the season when they play at Kalamazoo Loy Norrix. The Knights (1-5) are a Division 1 school with an enrollment of more than 1,700 students.

Whiteford will take a 6-0 record into the game.

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Erie Mason had a long drive home.

The Eagles suffered their first loss of the season Friday against North Central High School in Pioneer, Ohio. But that wasn't why the trip seemed so long.

"The GPS broke, I think, and we took a couple wrong turns," Mason coach Steve Bowers said.

An hour and a half on the bus back to Erie gave the Eagles plenty of time to think about the game. Bowers said that Mason just faced a more physical team. It was just that simple.

"They were living and dying running off tackle and running a toss to the outside. Those two plays were their bread and butter," Bowers said. "They don't disguise a lot. You know what's coming, but they're big up front and they had three good backs who can all move the ball. They ran just a few plays, but they ran them well."

Mason offense wasn't as sharp as it had been in starting 5-0, but it still moved the ball. Vaughn Brown was 24-for-45 for 275 yards and was the team's leading rusher with 9 carries for 46 yards. Cole Kreger, Korbin Herrera, Louden Murbach, Trent Herrera, Michael Narew, and Phoenix Stefko all caught passes.

Murbach was all over the field defensively with 14 total tackles, Brown had 11, and Kreger had 8 tackles including one for a loss. Stefko forced a fumble.

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The Tri-County Conference celebrated its 50 year anniversary season throughout the Summerfield-Madison game Saturday afternoon.

League officials have been planning for months for the occasion and marked it by inviting former athletes from all of the league schools to participate and be introduced at halftime of the game. All league coaches to win four or more league titles were also on the guest list.

Among the coaches in attendance were Whiteford's Kris Hubbard (25 titles), Darrell Polter of Summerfield (17), John Rice of Whiteford (8) and Terry Pant from Whiteford (5).

Athletes spanning the league's first season in 1973 to last year were in attendance. Summerfield brought along former superintendent Jack Hewitt and former athletic director Tim Aldrich.

"The TCC has been a really nice conference with some good people," Aldrich said. "The people that have been in the league are what made the TCC."

This article originally appeared on The Monroe News: High School Football Notes: Miller a pleasant surprise for Bedford