11-05-2020 Tri-City Area Sports

Coloma Press Box By Dave Vollrath

Coloma loses Division 6 playoff to Parchment; comes up one play short in 42-40 loss

The Coloma Comet football team, playing in a first ever home playoff game since moving into their new stadium in 2013, came up just short. They battled tooth and nail against a Parchment team whom the Comets had defeated earlier in the season, 36-25.

This time around these teams which were very evenly matched went back and forth with each team making big plays time and again, right to the very end of the game as Coloma came up one play short in losing to the Panthers, 42-40. The two teams matched each other with six touchdowns apiece on the night. But a bugaboo which has baffled the Comets all year had them only score on two of their 2-point conversion tries. Parchment tacked on three such efforts leaving the Comets two points short on the night and ending their season with a 4-3 record. Coloma also struggled to keep the Parchment running attack at bay and gave up too many big plays, especially when it seemed like they had the Panthers bottled up.

The scoring began with Coloma’s Noah Schwanke scoring on an 11-yard run, just a couple of minutes into the game. The Comets and Panthers then traded a touchdown each, and the Comets led 12-6 after the first quarter. Parchment took a brief 14-12 lead in the second quarter before Coloma came back and scored on a James Mathis 2-yard run, and tacked on a Timmy Schroeder 2-point conversion to go into halftime leading 20-14. The Panthers then scored back to back TDs with the 2-point conversion for each to take a 30-20 lead.

Coloma put another score on the board when Drew Goodline hit Cody Palgen with a 65-yard bomb at the end of the third quarter, bringing Coloma to within four points at 30-26. This game was far from over however, as there were plenty more fireworks, to entertain the COVID-19 diminished crowd, coming in the fourth quarter.

Parchment scored right at the start of the final stanza, and when the 2-pointer was no good the Panthers again led the Comets by 10, 36-26. Coloma responded with a scoring drive; highlighted by a sliding, 17-yard reception across the middle for a first down by Noah Schwanke. They then followed that up with a 46 yarder from Goodline to Schwanke for the touchdown. Trailing by 4 points 36-32, the Comets were given a short field when the Panthers botched a punt, giving Coloma good field position.

Coloma then scored the go ahead touchdown on a James Mathis 11-yard run with about four minutes left in the game, now leading by a score of 40-36. The Comets could not contain the Panther QB however, who led his team for another TD retaking the lead for the final time 42-40, with a little more than a minute to play. Coloma did drive deep one more time, but could not make a fourth down play and Parchment took possession for a final couple of kneel-downs to end the game.

Goodline finished the game with 198 yards passing going 7-16, with three touchdowns and two interceptions. Cody Palgen caught five passes for 149 yards and one touchdown, while Schwanke had a big game catching two passes for 63 yards and one TD and rushing for 89 yards and one touchdown. James Mathis was not the workhorse he’d been the last few weeks, but still rushed 13 times for 78 yards and three touchdowns.

The Comets finished the game with a very balanced attack rushing for 193 yards while piling up another 198 through the air. They came up a little short however, as they bow out of the playoffs and Parchment moves on to play Constantine who defeated Watervliet.

Coloma girls and boys headed to state finals in cross country: first time ever for Comet boys

The Coloma girls cross country team qualified and ran in the state finals last year. One of the main goals for Coloma head coach Courtney Churchill this season was for the girls to go back to state and get the boys qualified to go as well.

Even given the constraints of the COVID-19 pandemic limiting the time the team could practice and be together, Coach Churchill’s team responded with a great season which culminated last weekend with both the girls and the boys qualifying in the division 3 regional race run in Portage. Now both teams will be heading to the state finals to be run once again at the Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan, on Saturday, Nov 7.