Chippewa Hills, Reed City football square off for CSAA championship

CSAA SHOWDOWN:  Reed City’s Logan Straub rushes during a 2015 game. (Pioneer file photos)

CSAA SHOWDOWN: Reed City’s Logan Straub rushes during a 2015 game. (Pioneer file photos)

REED CITY – Reed City’s football team can clinch its fifth-straight Central State Activities Association title with a win over Chippewa Hills on Friday.

The Warriors, though, will be the Coyotes’ toughest test thus far as both teams enter Friday’s matchup 5-0 in the league.

“We’re going to have to play very well,” Reed City coach Monty Price said. “Chip Hills is the real deal. They’re athletic, they’re big and they’re physical. We’re going to have to play pretty sharp, execute at a very high level and certainly protect the football.”

Chippewa Hills accomplished two season goals last Friday with a 26-7 victory over Big Rapids – clinching a playoff spot and winning homecoming. It can check off a third goal with a win over Reed City for the CSAA title.

“They’ve earned it,” Warriors’ coach Larry Jose said of Reed City. “They’re on top of the mountain and we have to knock them off. They’re a strong, physical, well-coached team. It’s going to be a huge challenge.”

Whatever the outcome, Price said the game will be a valuable tuneup for playoffs.

“The great thing about it, both teams are already in the playoffs,” Price said. “It’s a championship game, but it’s also a playoff atmosphere game — two solid teams, rivals.”

Something will have to give Friday as both team’s offenses have been efficient and both defenses have been stout.

The Coyotes have scored 43 points per game while allowing 9.7 points per game. The Warriors are averaging 32.3 points per game and have allowed 11.6 points per game.

“We’re just practicing really hard, hoping we can just keep pushing forward,” Reed City senior quarterback Leland Yonkin said. “They’re going to give us everything they got and we’re going to give them everything we got. It’s going to be a hard game.”

Chippewa Hills junior quarterback DJ Lowery threw three interceptions in a 17-0 season-opening loss to Haslett, but he has passed for 11 touchdowns with no interceptions in six wins since. He also leads the team in rushing yards with 451.

“He’s a really good quarterback,” Yonkin said. “If we can stop him, we should be good. We just need to contain him, because he can run.”

The undefeated Coyotes were without leading rusher Andre Jones last Friday against Central Montcalm and his status is unclear for Friday.

“I’m not going to make any comment on Andre Jones,” Price said, smiling.

Friday will be Reed City’s third home game of the season.

“I think it’s going to benefit us a lot,” Yonkin said.

SPORTS BRIEFS

VARSITY VOLLEYBALL

Morley Stanwood 3, Lakeview 0

LAKEVIEW — The Mohawks (25-10-4, 7-1 CSAA Silver) swept the Wildcats 25-15, 25-16, 25-15 Wednesday.

Raven Hoskins and Demi Kuzee each had six kills, while Destiny Kuzee had four kills and 24 assists.

Shannan Thompson had five kills and 12 digs, while Rachel McNeil recorded 15 digs.

VARSITY BOYS SOCCER

Big Rapids 8, Kent City 0

KENT CITY — Mason Gifford led the Cardinals with three goals Wednesday, while Jackson Lund and Ryan Mackall combined for the shutout in goal.

YOUTH ICE HOCKEY

Learn to skate and learn to play sessions (ages 5-14) begin this week at the Ferris State Ice Arena. For more information, call Tim Blashill at (231) 591-2889 or visit Ferrisstatebulldogs.com/icearena.

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Posted by Ryan Zuke

Ryan is the sports editor for the Big Rapids Pioneer, covering local prep sports and Ferris State athletics. He can be contacted at (231) 592-8363 or rzuke@pioneergroup.com.

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