Reed City coach Scott Shankel said he shot himself probably four times on Friday night. On the other side, Newaygo coach Scott Van Essen may have pulled his hair out, but one problem with that: He said he had little left.
It was just one of those nights – a wild, crazy night – when their football-turned-track meet in Reed City. Host Coyotes walked away with a savage 70-40 victory in which they racked up 646 rushing yards and the teams combined for over 1,000 attacking yards.
Reed City improves to 4-0 on the season and 4-0 in the Gold Division of the Central State Activities Association. Newaygo slips to 2-2 overall and in the league.
“It was kind of one of those back-and-forth barn burners,” Shankel said in a phone interview with MLive. “The last two years with them have been like that. You punch them and they kick you back. They ended up having us last year where we just got the chance to have a better second half (this time).
Last season, Newaygo won a 41-38 thriller against Reed City, in which host Lions stopped the Coyotes at the 1-yard line for the victory.
No one was stopping anyone on Friday.
Shankel isn’t sure if the 646 rushing yards on 67 attempts are a school record, but according to the Michigan High School Athletic Association Record Book, He ranks No.2 on the one-game production list behind Zeeland West’s 755 yards in 54 carries against Holland Christian in a 2012 game.
Reed City only attempted three passes and completed none. This is not usually the game of the Coyotes, as they generally stick to their traditionally strong T-Wing.
Senior Landen Tomaski had a good night for Reed City, but he received a lot of help. The 5-foot-9, 165-pound half-back ran 21 times for 294 yards and four touchdowns, and he returned a 90-yard kickoff for a score just before half-time to build up the momentum that Newaygo could have had it right now.
Seniors Payton Hansen and Alex Wirgau also passed the 100-yard mark for the Coyotes. Hansen ran 12 times for 180 yards and a touchdown, and Wirgau added 12 carries for 102 yards and a score.
Shankel said the Coyotes got a great push from their offensive line, whose starters include: center Kyle Crusan, guards Blake Vanalstine and Teddy Cross, tackles Dylan Schebil and Chaz Davis and tight end Joe Shewan.
“Our offensive line was just getting the ball out, doing its job and moving people,” Shankel said. “Just like our full-backs carry the ball, they have to block just as much, and they did a great job realizing their scythes, blocking – all the little things.
“Our O line, we hold onto them a lot because we love to run the ball. We have to be smashing and they did a great job clearing the ball and moving people. “
Newaygo was a willing participant on the defensive side of the ball, according to Van Essen, who said the odd nature of this season has been difficult for his young team in terms of consistency.
“One, we haven’t addressed, so that helped them,” Van Essen said with a chuckle in a phone interview with MLive. “We really struggled on the defensive end of the ball tonight and they obviously executed their attack.”
Shankel fully understands. With the 7v7 shortfall this summer and having a young high school himself, the Coyotes are learning on the fly.
Any other night, Newaygo’s offensive would have been more than enough. The Lions ran for 197 yards and passed for 216. Brenden Brechting completed 8 of 15 passes with four touchdowns. Gavon Rake caught three of those passes and two of those touchdowns while totaling 115 receiving yards for the Lions. Jarrod Wismar carried the ball 11 times for 111 yards and two touchdowns.
“I think I got fired about four times tonight,” said Shankel, second-year head coach of Reed City, who helped Monty Price for 15 years and was his defensive coordinator for a decade.
“With the way this year has been, without the 7v7s and with a young high school kid and that’s just one of those things, I just think we’re still learning a lot about ourselves. We had a few blown blankets, a few plays that we thought we were done and pulled over and missed some tackles. “
Reed City were leading 16-14 after a quarter and 40-33 at halftime. The Coyotes outscored the Lions 16-0 in the fourth quarter and 30-7 in the second half.
“(Reed City) played really well and then in the third quarter we put him in the 20s but didn’t score and I think that was a big point where we couldn’t match them,” said Van Essen. “We had to score on every possession and then we didn’t score on that one and they scored again. We scored late there (in the game), but we couldn’t stay there after that point. “
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