Second-half surge lifts Reed City over Chippewa Hills 58-29 in CSAA Gold tilt

Reed City’s Anthony Pelton (34) lifts running back Philip Jones (4) in celebration following a Jones touchdown run during Friday’s game against Chippewa Hills. (Pioneer photo/Maxwell Harden)

REED CITY — Anytime Reed City and Chippewa Hills face off on the football field, you know it’s going to be a hard-nosed, black-and-blue type of game.

Friday’s game was no different. Leading 28-22 at halftime, Reed City outscored Chippewa Hills 30-7 in the second half to come away with a 58-29 victory at Reed City High School.

“We knew coming in that it was going to be a battle,” head coach Monty Price said. “Chippewa Hills is a great football team. They have a lot of talent over there.”

“It was good and bad,” head coach Larry Jose said. “I thought we did a lot of things well tonight and other things not well enough. That credit goes to Reed City; they were well-prepared again. Their kids played very hard and they earned the win tonight.”

The first half was a back-and-forth affair that saw Chippewa Hills score on its first three possessions and Reed City on its first four. Philip Jones (25 carries, 234 yards, 3 touchdowns) scored all three of his touchdown runs in the first half to help the Coyotes take the lead into halftime.

“I want to give all the credit to my O-line,” Jones said. “They made holes and I read them and did what I had to do to get in the end zone.”

Chippewa Hills went 3-and-out to start the second half against Reed City. The Coyotes got the ball back and marched down the field until Zach Wirgau (20 carries, 132 yards, 3 touchdowns) broke free for a 9-yard touchdown run to put his team up 36-22. Schafer’s pass was intercepted deep in Chippewa Hills territory, which set up a 4-yard Mason touchdown run to push Reed City’s lead to 42-22 with 3:39 remaining in the third quarter.

The Warriors wouldn’t give up as Ty Jose (5-of-7, 65 yards, 1 touchdown, 1 interception) found David Spedowski (128 total yards, 1 touchdown) for a 65-yard touchdown pass moments later to stay within striking distance trailing 42-29.

Try as they might, the Warriors couldn’t slow down the Coyotes. Two more Wirgau touchdown runs in the fourth quarter finalized the score. Reed City finished with 550 yards of offense.

“We went into halftime and made some adjustments defensively,” Price said. “I think we took them out of rhythm with their pass game a little bit. The kids rose to the challenge and earned a great win for the Coyote program.

“I couldn’t be more proud of these kids.”

Reed City’s Brandon Major finished with 13 carries for 70 yards and one touchdown and quarterback Price finished 1-of-5 passing for 27 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. Major, Jones, and Mason Bush each tallied interceptions on defense.

Koronte Lowery had 95 total yards and Seth MacKenzie had four catches for 70 yards and one touchdown. Billy Koepf led the defense with 17 tackles and Spedowski had 15. Lowery added an interception.

The win gives the Coyotes a 5-1 (5-0) record and puts them in the driver’s seat for this year’s CSAA Gold Championship. Reed City faces rival Big Rapids next week.

“We’ve got Big Rapids next,” Jones said. “It will be another hype game for us. We’re just rolling right now as we aim for titles.”

The Warriors fall to 4-2 (4-1) on the season and are ready to respond next week against Central Montcalm.

“We’re going right back to work tomorrow,” Jose said. “We’ve got to get better. Our best wasn’t good enough tonight and odds are we’re going to see them (Reed City) again in the playoffs.”

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