09-21-2017 Tri-City Area Sports

RoxAnn Rodney-Isbrecht picks perfect in week 4 AQB predictions


Kristy Noack

RoxAnn Rodney-Isbrecht returned to her true form in week four as she picked a perfect mid-September record on the football field. Rodney-Isbrecht won the week and moved up from the cellar position in the overall rankings.

Six local football fans compete weekly in the Tri-City Record Armchair Quarterback contest. They are tasked with selecting the winners of a mix of eight high school, college, and professional football games. Their records are tabulated weekly and, at the end of the season in February, the winner will win a snazzy TCR AQB ball cap.

One game is specially selected as the tie-breaker game each week. Contestants must predict the total number of points that will be tallied in that contest. The tie-breaker game is used to determine the players’ ranking if two or more are tied.

With a perfect 8-0 record, Rodney-Isbrecht led the weekly pack.

Chris Leach, Tim Hildebrand, and Rodney Lynch posted 7-1 records, so their standings came down to the Notre Dame/ Boston College contest. The two teams combined for 69 points scored.

Leach moved into second place, as she predicted 56 points would be scored. Lynch took third with his 55-point guess, and Hildebrand finished fourth after he reported a 39-point contest.

Greg Krell went 6-2 this week to earn a fifth place weekly finish. Bryan Conrad’s 5-3 record put him in sixth place for the week.

Overall, Krell maintains his lock on first place with a 28-4 record.  Hildebrand and Lynch remain knotted up, tied for second place overall with 26-6 records.

Leach is now tied in fourth place with Rodney-Isbrecht, who moved up from sixth place overall. The duo holds 25-7 records. That leaves Conrad in sixth place; he has a 23-9 record.

This week the big game on tap is Notre Dame versus Michigan State. That game will be the tie-breaker.

As for high school games, our local teams continue to fare well. Hartford and Coloma are 3-1, and Watervliet remains perfect at 4-0.

Here are the games on this week’s docket:

Constantine @ Coloma

Hartford @ Decatur

Kalamazoo United @ Watervliet

Michigan @ Purdue

Notre Dame @ Michigan State

Wagner @ WMU

Atlanta @ Detroit

Pittsburgh @ Chicago

How will our awesome AQBs handle these head-to-head, tough contests? Find out next week!

Truex Jr. takes Chicagoland – and first spot in Round of Twelve

It was Martin Truex Jr. who claimed the first spot in the next round of NASCAR’s playoff format after he won Sunday’s Tale of the Turtles 400 at Chicagoland Speedway.

The 27th race of the 2017 season was the first in the Round of 16 post-regular season competition for NASCAR drivers. Truex Jr. laid further claim to a Monster Energy Cup Series championship with his decisive win.

Truex Jr. earned his fifth trophy of the year and 12th career win. He led 77 laps before hoisting the trophy and guaranteeing his spot in the Round of 12 competition.

Chase Elliott chased Truex Jr. around the track and finished second. He led 42 laps. Elliott earned his seventh top five this season and was the only driver in the top five to not have a win this year.

Kevin Harvick drove into third place. He led 59 laps. Harvick has one win this season and nine top five finishes.

Denny Hamlin took fourth place after he led one lap. Hamlin has two wins this season and 12 top five finishes.

Kyle Larson, with four wins and 12 top fives, finished fifth.

Other drivers who led laps but did not round out the top five included: Brad Keselowski (1), pole sitter Kyle Busch (85), and Landon Cassill (2).

The playoff-opening race featured 267 hard-charging laps with 12 lead changes among seven drivers.  There were four caution periods for 21 laps.

With one playoff race under their belts, the drivers currently leading the post-season competition are: Truex Jr., Larson, Harvick, Keselowski, and Kyle Busch.

Race number two in the Round of 16 will take drivers to New Hampshire Motor Speedway for Sunday’s running of the ISM Connect 300.

Hamlin won at New Hampshire in July and will be seeking another victory at the track to ensure his pass into Round of 12 competition. Will it be Hamlin, another top 16 driver, or one who didn’t qualify for the Chase? Check back to find out!

SAC Jamboree yields 4th place finish for Coloma

The Southwestern Athletic Conference held its first jamboree of the season Wednesday, September 13 at Fenn Valley Winery in Saugatuck. Twelve SAC teams participated in the cross country meet that featured a men’s and women’s division.

For the ladies, Coloma earned 150 points to finish fourth. Host Saugatuck took the championship with 21 points. Saugatuck was followed by Kalamazoo Hackett in second place and Delton Kellogg in third. Watervliet ended the event in 11th place.

Coloma’s Emma Vandermolen was the highest area finisher in 12th place with a time of 22:10. Trailing in 19th place was Abby Vandermolen, who set a new personal best with a time of 23:02.

Vanessa Crisenbery raced to 32nd place (24:12) and also set a new PR. Marissa Sherburn’s time of 26:50 was good for 55th place. Samantha Scott took 58th (26:58). Amaria Echols ran the course in a time of 27:05 for 62nd place, while Phoebe Browne finished 72nd (28:30).

Julia Sternaman took 76th (28:56).  McKenzie Ecker and Kayla Walter finished 91st and 97th, respectively, with times of 30:41 and 32:38.

Watervliet’s first finisher was Alyssa Hobson in 49th place with a time of 25:51. Angelina Hammond crossed the finish line in 67th place (27:48) and set a new PR. Katelynn Sutherland set a new PR with her time of 28:40 en route to 73rd place.

Bailey Swisher and Keyona Klimkiewicz took 81st and 82nd place respectively with times of 29:17.

The men’s division was also won by host Saugatuck; they earned 22 points. Delton Kellogg took second place, while Constantine runners finished third. Watervliet raced to a sixth place finish with 150 points and Coloma took 10th with 226 points.

It was Coloma’s Adiel Granados who took the tape first in our area. Granados finished fourth overall with a time of 18:05. Teammate Josh Young took 39th place (20:04).  Ian Ishmael and Damon Howsley finished 69th and 72nd (21:30 and 21:45, respectively).

Blane Sutherland set a new PR with his 87th place finish time of 22:21.  Hunter Crist and Willie Donald finished 109th and 110th (24:25 and 24:35), with Donald setting a new PR.

Watervliet was led by Gus Hinch who finished 14th overall with a time of 18:37. Twenty-third and 24th places were secured by Ezra Troyer (19:03) and Kody Edmonds (19:10), respectively.  Edmonds time was a new PR for the sophomore.

Austin Roberts took 43rd place (20:16), while Trevor Pelton (20:33) and Alex Isbrecht (20:54) finished 51st and 54th, respectively.

Nick Swanson ran to a 56th place finish (20:59).  Kade Van Niel took 58th (21:01).  Matthew Hanks set a new PR with his time of 21:26 while taking 63rd place.

Klayton Marshall finished 74th (21:50) and Tom Swanson took 77th (21:54).  Coby Henslee raced to 101st place (23:36).  Korben Camp finished 109th (23:39).  Aaron Leoni took 112th place (24:38), and Josh Reeves rounded out the runners in 121st place (29:16).

Indians improve to 3-1 in SW10 after 28-18 win over Marcellus

It was a beautiful Friday night September 15 as the Hartford Indians welcomed the Marcellus Wildcats in a varsity gridiron contest.

SINCLAIR STEPS UP… Hart-ford’s Aaron Sinclair stepped up in a big way Friday as the Indians took on the Marcellus Wildcats at home. Sinclair had a timely interception and some nice runs during Hartford’s 28-18 victory. The Indians are now 3-1 this season. (TCR photo by Kristy Noack)

Hartford’s Danny Resendez kicked off the ball amid sunny, 70-degree weather. The ball traveled 38 yards.

The first possession of the game was Marcellus’s and their run game was on full display, but didn’t gain much yardage. The Hartford defense smothered Marcellus from the get-go, and the Wildcats had to fight for each and every yard. Marcellus ate seven-and-a-half minutes off the clock in the first period before they scored on a rushing touchdown. With 4:34 left in the quarter, Marcellus led 6-0 after their point after attempt kick failed.

Hartford’s Evan Parker fielded the kickoff return. Following that, Robert Ledesma Jr. hoofed the ball 30 yards downfield deep in Marcellus territory.

Hartford quarterback Garrod Johnson pitched the ball to Aaron Sinclair, who ran to the right and added eight yards.  The Indians, facing fourth and two, ended the first quarter trailing the Wildcats 6-0.

Hartford opened the second quarter after picking up the first down and faced first and goal. Following three tries at the end zone, Hartford was looking at fourth and goal at the half yard line.

Robert Ledesma Jr. got the ball but was stopped short of the goal line. Hartford turned the ball over on downs.

During their second possession, Marcellus still didn’t pass. They continued to work their run game but it faltered and the Wildcats had to punt.

Hartford’s first pass of the game from Johnson was caught by Sinclair. He picked up a couple of yards. The Indians were unable to convert much offense and had to punt the ball.

Following another fruitless Marcellus possession, Hartford got down to business.

Johnson passed the ball to Joe Beebe on a 16-yard pass play. Runs by Ledesma Jr., Sinclair, Parker, and Johnson marched the Indians downfield.

It was Ledesma Jr. who scored for the Indians on a two-yard run with 0:50 left in the first half. Resendez’s boot made the score 7-6 at half-time.

The game picked up in the second half with Sinclair fielding the kickoff return. Ledesma Jr. again got the call. He raced 45 yards for his second TD of the night at 10:16 left in the third. Resendez kicked another successful PAT, and the Indians led 14-6.

Marcellus then opened up their throwing game, which resulted in a 46-yard TD pass at 9:30 remaining in the third quarter. The Wildcats attempted a two-point conversion, which failed. The score stood: Hartford 14, Marcellus 12.

Hartford’s Sinclair picked up the kickoff return again and chugged along the sideline for 35 yards before being forced out of bounds.

Johnson turned to Joe Beebe with a 47-yard pass play, setting up Resendez for a field goal attempt. The ball sailed wide left and kept the score at 14-12.

Marcellus fumbled then recovered the ball on their next possession before scoring on a one-yard throw at 5:02 in the third. The two-point conversion pass was incomplete, but Marcellus took the 18-14 lead.

Parker scored for the Indians after racing 53 yards straight through the Marcellus defense at 4:13. The PAT was good, and Hartford reclaimed the lead, 21-18.

The final score in the third quarter came at the hands of Johnson. After sailing a long pass into Sinclair’s hands, the Indians began their scoring drive at the Marcellus 42 yard line.

Facing fourth and sixth, Hartford head coach Brad Manning went for it. Johnson tossed an eight-yard pass. He then snuck into the end zone from one yard out. Resendez sailed the ball between the uprights, and Hartford’s lead increased to 28-18 to close out the third quarter.

Neither team scored in the fourth quarter, giving Hartford the 28-18 win. The Indians are now 3-1 on the season.

Johnson was four of 10 for 93 yards. He also rushed five times for 17 yards and one touchdown.

Ledesma Jr. was a workhorse during the game. He churned and churned up field, often dragging defenders. If he couldn’t power past the line he took them with him as he strong-armed his way for every yard possible. Ledesma Jr. had 20 carries for 143 yards and two TDs.

“[Ledesma Jr.] put in a lot of work in the off-season. Same with Evan Parker. Both of them put in a lot of work trying to get stronger,” Hartford head coach Manning said.

Beebe caught two passes for 62 yards.

Parker led the defense with five tackles and two assists. Bobby Johnson had five tackles and six assists.  Moses Beraza notched five tackles and five assists. Earls had four tackles, three assists, and one sack. Luke Manning put up two tackles, two assists, and one fumble recovery. Randy Ramierez contributed two tackles.

Manning is cautiously hopeful about his team’s performance thus far this year. “There’s some little mental things. They aren’t running technically all the plays correctly.” More importantly, however, is Manning’s take that his players “are waiting for the other shoe to drop.” He references the revolving door of coaches that have led the team over the last four years and the tentative nature of his players to believe that they are a good, strong team. “I don’t know if [the players] got into this with an end goal. I just want us to play good Hartford football like we used to.”

The Indians ran 54 plays compared to 52 from Marcellus. The Indians tallied 362 total yards while Marcellus had 324.

Hartford had zero turnovers but was whistled four times for 25 penalty yards.

The Indians travel to Decatur Friday. Game time is 7:00 p.m.

Comets soar to 3-1 after shut out of Martin

Coloma’s football team continues to shine as they won their third game of the season, shutting out Martin on the road Friday, September 15.

It was all Coloma all game. The Comets accumulated 369 yards on the ground and 60 in the air. They held Martin to 75 total yards of offense.

The victory was pretty, but it wasn’t perfect. Coloma turned the ball over twice via interceptions and suffered 12 penalties which cost them 114 yards.

Coloma quarterback Zach Goodline found his groove rushing but struggled with the pass game. He was two of five for 60 yards and one interception. Adam Hearn took a spin at the QB duties and threw one pass – an interception.

Coloma had two scoring drives in the first quarter. Goodline ran the ball in from two yards out for the first six points of the game. Derek Plitt teed up the point after attempt which was good. Coloma led 7-0.

In their second drive, Goodline made good use of the backfield, broke free, and ran 80 yards into the end zone. Plitt’s kick was good and Coloma held a 14-0 early lead.

In the second quarter, Caleb Ellis scored on a 47-yard rushing touchdown.  Plitt booted another successful PAT giving Coloma the 21-0 lead.

Goodline tallied his second touchdown of the night in the second quarter. He scored on a quarterback keeper from four yards out. Plitt sailed the ball between the uprights for the extra point. Martin trailed 28-0 as the game hit intermission.

Ellis scored a second rushing TD in the third quarter. He carried the ball 15 yards for the score. The PAT failed as Coloma increased their lead to 34-0.

Neither team scored in the fourth quarter, Coloma nabbed the 34-0 shutout victory.

Goodline and Ellis led the team with 129 rushing yards. Goodline carried the ball nine times and picked up three TDs. Ellis had six carries and two touchdowns.

Levi Wilkens picked up 34 yards on four carries.  Jamane Smith Jr. notched two carries for 31 yards. Zack Lake’s seven carries accounted for 28 yards.

Tevon Blazier picked up 11 yards on two carries.

Calvin Starnes continues to be Goodline’s go-to guy for the long ball. He caught one pass for 36 yards.  Robbie Schroeder had one reception for 24 yards.

Defensively, Schroder led Coloma with five tackles and one assist. Smith Jr. tallied four tackles and one sack.

Trent Brown had four tackles and one assist.  Wilkens landed three tackles and one assist.  Calvin Hutchinson and Billy Boyd contributed three tackles each, with Boyd adding on a sack.

Matthew Davis provided two tackles and one assist.  Zach Colvin had two tackles. Pablo Martinez accounted for two tackles and two sacks.

Coloma is at home this week. They face Constantine Friday at 7:00 p.m.

Watervliet captures perfect 4-0 record after 54-6 Tiger thrashing

The Watervliet Panthers football team is firing on all cylinders so far this season. They continued their streak of perfection after they trounced the Gobles Tigers on the road Friday, September 15, 54-6.

Four plays into the first possession of the football game Watervliet had six points on the board. It was Watervliet quarterback Zack Pickens who put the points on the board. He kept the ball and rushed for 20 yards and the TD. The two-point conversion failed but Watervliet held a 6-0 lead, minutes into the first quarter.

After the first possession by Gobles yielded a big bag of empty for the Tigers, Watervliet got the ball back on downs. The next play saw Pickens loft a pass to Bryant Kieft for the 65-yard play and six more points.

Dylan Lynch was handed the ball and scored the two-point conversion, increasing Watervliet’s lead to 14-0.

Pickens scored his second rushing TD of the night on the following Watervliet possession. He ran 15 yards into the end zone. Pickens then threw the two-point conversion pass into the outstretched arms of Lamarrius Smith for the additional score. Watervliet 22, Gobles 0 would show on the scoreboard as the first quarter closed.

It was all Watervliet in the second quarter as well. Following good field position taken off an interception Pickens three-peated in the end zone after a one-yard rush.  Converting the two-point attempt was Garrett Matthews with the successful reception. Early into the second quarter Watervliet held a 30-0 lead.

The Panthers lead increased to 38-0 following another Pickens one-yard scoring scamper with under a minute on the clock. Trent Boone carried the ball into the end zone for two points and Watervliet enjoyed a 38-0 lead at the half.

In the third quarter, the lone score of the game came on a Pickens 20-yard pass play caught by Tate Halamka. Another catch by Matthews on the two-point conversion attempt was successful as the shut out of Gobles continued. At the end of the third quarter, Watervliet led 46-0.