Playoff football roundup: Traverse City St. Francis marches over L'Anse, marches on in playoffs; Manistee, Benzie Central score upset wins over Boyne City, Charlevoix

Oct. 29—TRAVERSE CITY — The L'Anse football team might be the Purple Hornets, but they were all sorts of black and blue when Traverse City St. Francis was done with them.

The Division 7 top-ranked Gladiators swatted and squashed the Hornets by a final of 59-8 under the bright lights of Thirlby Field on Friday, advancing one step closer to Ford Field in Detroit.

St. Francis (10-0) fired up the scoreboard in the first quarter to the tune of 28 points, essentially putting away L'Anse (4-6) in the game's first 12 minutes.

Although the score was 21-0 in favor of the Glads eight minutes into the game, St. Francis had just five yards of total offense. The Hornets opened the game with a three-and-out, and a muffed snap on the punt put St. Francis on the L'Anse 5-yard line. Two plays later, Burke Flowers rumbled in from three yards out for the touchdown and a 7-0 lead.

The St. Francis defense forced another three-and-out, and this time the Hornets got the punt away — although they might have wished they didn't after Flowers took it 41 yards to the house for another touchdown. A third three-and-out and another L'Anse punt produced the same result as Flowers hauled in the punt and handed it off to Jack Prichard for a 56-yard punt-return TD and a 21-0 St. Francis lead.

Unsurprisingly, the Gladiator defense forced the Hornets to punt again after just three plays, and punter Dean Magaraggia wisely booted the ball out of bounds. But that only delayed the inevitable. St. Francis marched 64-yards down the field and capped off the drive with kicker Ty Martinchek running the ball into the endzone from three yards out for a touchdown.

The Hornets fumbled a handoff on the first play of the second quarter, and Joey Donahue jumped on the ball in the endzone for the score. Martinchek converted his fifth of eight made extra points and put St. Francis up 35-0 just eight seconds into the second frame. At that point, St. Francis had just 69 yards of total offense. They finished with 304, all of the rushing variety.

The Glads scored three more times before the half on a Garrett Hathaway 37-yard TD run, a Tommy Richardson 4-yard TD run, and a Noah Endres 7-yard TD run. Preston Jawarski connected on an 18-yard field goal in the fourth quarter to make it 59-0.

St. Francis stays at home next week when they welcome the Benzie Central Huskies to Thirlby Field.


Mona Shores ends Trojans' hope of return trip to Detroit

MUSKEGON — The 2022 Traverse City Central Trojans will not be joining the Ford Field ranks of their 2021 brethren after losing in the first round of the playoffs to Muskegon Mona Shores.

The Division 2 sixth-ranked Sailors (8-2) knocked off the unranked Trojans (5-5) by a final of 48-20, marking the second time in three seasons that Mona Shores dashed TC Central's postseason hopes. Although the Trojans hold a 17-3 advantage in the all-time series, Mona Shores has won the last two — including a 43-30 final in the state semifinals in the 2020 season.

The Sailors built a 21-0 lead after the first quarter and doubled that to 42-0 in the third before Trojan senior running back Reed Seabase stopped the bleeding with a touchdown to make it 42-7. Central added a pair of touchdowns in the fourth quarter, another from Seabase and one from Mack Shane to make it 42-20. But the game was well out of hand by that point.

The loss ends the high school football careers of Seabase and Shane as well as fellow seniors Josh Klug, Grant Schmidt, Alex Bocardo, Brayden Halliday, Matt Cook, Remy Soper, Tyler Cooper, Hudson Hula, Austin Wood, Matt Barbera, Ben Rice, Owen Meyer and Anthony Hicks-Pulling.

Mona Shores moves on to play Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central.

Manistee upsets undefeated Boyne City, 28-27

BOYNE CITY — With 90 seconds to go and just one point separating Manistee and Boyne City, the Manistee defense made a crucial stop on the Ramblers' two-point conversion attempt to snatch an upset win on the road.

The 28-27 victory marks Manistee's second-ever playoff win in program history and sends the previously undefeated Ramblers home for the remainder of the postseason. Manistee is now 7-3 and moves on to face the winner of Saturday's Gladstone v. Elk Rapids contest. The Ramblers end their season at 9-1.

Manistee built a 20-7 lead in the first quarter and led 20-14 at the half as Boyne City climbed back into the game. The Ramblers made it 28-20 in the third, and the fourth-quarter touchdown in the game's waning minutes made it 28-27.

"This game will be remembered, and rightfully so," Manistee head coach Troy Bytwork said. "They went for two, and we ended up making the play when the play had to happen."

Bytwork tipped his cap to the Ramblers for a great season, saying Boyne City "fought right to the bitter end."

"It was a heckuva football game for a Friday night in northern Michigan," he said.

Manistee: Isaiah Davis 14 carries, 102 yards, 9 tackles; Nick Hornkohl 16 carries, 54 yards, TD; Jeff Huber 11-yard TD pass; Kaden Kott 15-yard TD pass, INT on defense; Kanon Petzak 2 TD catches; Braydon Sorenson 12 tackles; Carter Fredericks 7 tackles, 2 TFL; Brian McNeil 7 tackles, TFL; Caius Johns 7 tackles, TFL.

Boyne City: Mason Wilcox 3/5 passing, 26 yards, TD; Joey McHugh 23 carries, 142 yards, TD, 10 tackles; Gavin Hewitt 11 carries, 106 yards, 2 TDs.

Benzie Central 21

Charlevoix 14

Benzie Central: The Huskies upset the Rayders for the program's first playoff win in 19 years. Danny Wallington 8/13, 90 yards, 7 carries 53 yards; Jaxon Childers 9 carries, 68 yards, 6 catches, 64 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INT, 1 TD; Cael Katt 14 tackles; Tyrone Brouillet 9 tackles; JJ Koscielski 8 tackles.

Charlevoix: Brady Jess 7/20 passing, 78 yards, 2 INTs, 3-yard TD run, 4-yard TD run; Patrick Sterrett 7 carries, 53 yards, 1 catch, 34 yards; Henry Herzog 11 carries 58 yards; Landon Swanson 17 tackles.

UP NEXT: The Huskies (4-6) will play Traverse City St. Francis at Thirlby Field in the next round of the playoffs. The Rayders end their season at 8-2.

Kingsford 34

Kingsley 30

Kingsley: Kyan Fessenden TD; Sam Goethals 117 yards rushing, 2 TDs, 2 2PATs; Eli Graves 82 yards rushing, 40-yard TD, 2PAT; Max Goethals 12 tackles (9 solo), 1 TFL. Stags led 30-14 and allowed the game-winning touchdown to Kingsford with 23 seconds left in the game.

UP NEXT: The Stags end their season at 7-3.

Mt. Pleasant 36

Gaylord 0

Gaylord: No stats reported.

UP NEXT: The Blue Devils end their season at 6-4.

DeWitt 50

Cadillac 20

Cadillac: No stats reported.

UP NEXT: The Vikings end their season at 5-5.

Evart 31

McBain 22

McBain: No stats reported.

UP NEXT: The Ramblers end their season at 5-5.