10-11-2018 Tri-City Area Sports

GLOWING PASS… Coloma Senior wide receiver Sincere Taylor (5) waiting on a pass from quarterback Zach Goodline. Pass was complete for a ten yard gain. (TCR photo by Dave Vollrath)

View from the Pressbox

Coloma Press Box By Dave Vollrath

I could not be more excited than I am to be covering the Coloma Comet athletic programs and writing about them for the Tri-City Record hometown newspaper. I have been involved in sports my whole life, and Coloma sports for a large portion of it. I am the second generation of three in my family to participate as a Coloma Comet athlete, as my father was before me and my two sons after me. All of us have played Comet football in our rivalry against Watervliet, and my son Dan played in the 100th meeting and my dad was one of the honorary captains for that game. While a Comet I also played basketball, baseball, and ran track. I would have golfed if it was possible. I believe I can bring a unique perspective to this column as I have participated in most of the sports I will be reporting on, worked as a professional baseball umpire, manager and coach, and worked as a volunteer on the boards of our youth baseball, softball, and football programs. I spent about 10 years in the press box for Coloma Jr. High football, and currently have been on the “mic” now in my fifth year for the Comet Varsity and JV football games. My wife Jan and I are both Coloma graduates, sort of retired, and have been married for 32 years, we have two grown sons, and are currently awaiting the birth of our first grandchild, due to arrive before the Coloma vs. Watervliet game on the 19th. I served over 18 years on the Coloma School Board, stepping down two years ago to take office on the Berrien County Board of Commissioners, an office I currently hold. I am happy to be a part of this new View from the Press box format and will give my best effort writing about our Coloma Comet athletes, as they are giving their best efforts on the courts and fields of play. I have a lifetime love of Coloma and the Comets, and once again extremely excited for this opportunity. Coloma football takes on conference foe Schoolcraft Last Friday night the Coloma Comet football team, with a 3-3 record, traveled to conference foe Schoolcraft. Their playoff chances were hanging by a thread, most likely needing to sweep the final three games on the schedule, starting with the Eagles, who were at 5-1 overall and 2-0 in the conference. Prior to the matchup with Coloma, Schoolcraft was ranked 10th in the state in Division 6. The Comet’s main task in trying to defeat Schoolcraft would be in trying to hold down their top running back, Junior Kobe Clark, who the previous week set a Michigan High School record, rushing for nine touchdowns, with 380 yards on 26 carries. Coloma won the toss and elected to defer, and so they kicked off to the Eagles, who recovered a squib kick by Comet kicker, Junior Kenyon Boyd, and started the opening series on their own 31 yard line. Schoolcraft wasted little time in getting on the scoreboard, as they moved 69 yards in three plays, capped off by a 31-yard carry by Clark for the touchdown, and the extra point made it 7-0. On the ensuing kickoff Coloma senior speedster, Sincere Taylor had a 45-yard return into Eagle territory setting up the Comet offense. Coloma moved the ball to the Eagle 5-yard line, where senior running back Caleb Ellis ran it in for a Comet score. The 2-point conversion failed however and Coloma trailed 7 to 6. The next series for the Eagles found them again driving deep into Coloma territory, but this time the Comet defense was up to the challenge and held them on fourth down, and took possession of the football on their own 12-yard line. Coloma offense with senior quarterback Zach Goodline was only able to pick up one yard in three plays, then a 5-yard penalty had them punting from back inside the 10-yard line. Junior punter Nick Santarlas’s punt only traveled 24 yards before going out of bounds, and the Eagles once again were deep in Comet territory. Coloma’s defense once again was up to the challenge, but after gaining only a single yard in two plays, sophomore quarterback Alex Thole completed an 11-yard pass on third and nine for the first down. The next play was a 20-yard touchdown carry by Clark, and after the extra point the Eagles led 14-6, and that’s how the first quarter ended. Overall the Comets looked very good in the first quarter holding their own and at times outplaying a very talented Schoolcraft team, but the big plays they had in that quarter were just a sampling of more that would come, with Clark leading the way. Coloma had one deep drive in the second quarter but stalled out at the 25-yard line. Schoolcraft added 14 points on two TDs, with one coming on a Kobe Clark 50-yard scamper, and led 28-6, with less than a minute left in the half, and looked like Coloma would go in at half only down by three scores. But sophomore wide receiver Jimmy Downs caught a 50-yard pass before being brought down on the 3-yard line, with 30 seconds left in the half. They scored on the next play, and even though they missed the extra point, that touchdown pretty much sealed the Comet’s fate. Coloma did have Goodline hook up on a 51-yard pass to Sincere Taylor with seven seconds left, but with the ball at the Schoolcraft 27 the Comets could not cash in. The Comets did take the second half kickoff deep on the Eagles, but the drive once again stalled, this time at the 10-yard line where the Eagles took over. The next play the ball was handed to Clark and 89 yards later, they were at Coloma’s one-yard line, where they scored a play later. The rest of the game was played with a running clock, and the Eagles picking up a couple more scores. The Comets took the loss with a final score of 56-6. Kobe Clark had a huge game for the Eagles gaining 256 yards on only 14 carries an average of 18 yards per carry, and five TD’s. Coloma did run off 70 plays on offense to only 42 for Schoolcraft, but Coloma only had 224 yards to show for it. Zach Goodline led Coloma with 60 yards rushing on 17 carries, and also had 122 yards passing on 5-15. Sincere