Sabers fall to Posen, postseason hopes end

MANISTEE — Manistee Catholic Central football had a chance to keep its postseason hopes alive as the Sabers had a first-and-10 at their own 32-yard line while down six with 1:03 left in the game.

Unfortunately for MCC, none of Preston Picardat’s desperation heaves could be completed and the Sabers fell at home 32-26 to Posen Friday.

“We just couldn’t sustain anything,” said Sabers head coach Jake Szymanski. “We’d get a few yards and then a fumble would happen or we’d get a big play called back. Those things you just have to play through and we had too many to play through tonight.”

Posen scored on a 7-yard touchdown pass with 5:59 remaining in the game. The 2-point conversion gave the Vikings a 26-12 advantage and it looked as though they were set to cruise to a victory.

After the ensuing kickoff, Manistee Catholic (5-4) answered back on the first play from scrimmage with a 49-yard touchdown pass from Picardat to Brayden Perkins. Mateo Barnett punched in the 2-point conversion to cut the Posen (7-2) advantage to 26-20 with 5:42 left on the clock.

“These guys have nothing but heart — nothing but what we’ve been telling them all year long,” Szymanski said. “These guys have a lot of grit. We knew we were going to hold them the second half. Sadly, we’re a second-half team. There were a couple of times when we should have taken control in the first half but we didn’t. We just ran out of time.”

A Sabers win would have not guaranteed a playoff appearance, but with the loss the door is shut on Catholic Central’s postseason hopes.

Posen turned the ball over on downs and the Sabers scored two plays later on another deep touchdown pass from Picardat to Perkins. The failed 2-point conversion left things knotted up 26-26 with 3:07 left in the game.

“(Picardat) played how a senior should play his last game,” Szymanski said. “He left it all out on the field.”

The Vikings scored seven plays later when a 36-yard run by Posen’s Mark Wisniewski set up a 5-yard TD scamper by Sam Brunet to bring things to the final score.

“We just couldn’t bring them down tonight,” Szymanski said. “That’s plain and simple. Defensively, that’s what we couldn’t do.”

Manistee Catholic started the second half facing a 20-6 deficit. The Vikings opened the third quarter with a 10-play, 75-yard drive that ended with a turnover on downs at the Sabers’ 5-yard line. Six plays later Picardat broke off an 85-yard rush up the middle for a touchdown to make the score 20-12.

“Football is a great sport,” Picardat said. “I wouldn’t rather be out here with anyone else. I’ll cherish these memories.”

MCC scored on the game’s opening drive when Barnett took a 24-yard rush into the end zone to give the Sabers a 6-0 advantage.

The Vikings answered back on their ensuing possession with a 14-play, 71-yard drive capped off by a 5-yard touchdown pass. The successful 2-point conversion left Manistee Catholic trailing 8-6.

A costly snap over the Sabers punter’s head gave Posen a first-and-10 at the Sabers’ 25. The Vikings wasted no time in capitalizing on the error and scored on a 25-yard touchdown pass on the first play from scrimmage to take a 14-6 lead.

Picardat picked off a Posen pass with 4:43 left in the first half, but a fumbled snap and a sideline interference penalty stifled the drive. The Vikings scored in the waning seconds of the half on a fourth-and-goal from the 20 as Brunet shed multiple would-be tacklers en route to the end zone.

“The coaches always preach it, and everyone else does, too: Mental,” Picardat said. “You have to have it up here. We made a lot of good plays out there but a lot of stupid ones up top. A lot of flags. And that probably was the difference.”

The tough loss puts an end to the Sabers’ first winning season since 2012. Manistee Catholic lost by a combined 10 points in its last two defeats and had either game ended differently MCC would likely be playoff bound.

“This year was a roller coaster,” Szymanski said. “We had our ups. We had our downs. These kids went through a lot: Players coming and going, people getting hurt at the wrong time. Just a roller coaster. But it was a fun ride.”

Game statistics were unavailable at press time.

Bobcats thumped by Au Gres-Sims

AU GRES — Brethren football ended its regular season on a sour note, falling 62-6 at Au Gres-Sims Friday.

The Bobcats were able to control the ball early in the game with a pair of sustained drives that unfortunately ended in turnovers.

“We got down real quick,” said Brethren head coach J.J. Randall. “… We never recovered. I think it was 14-6. We moved the ball really well and Au Gres is a really good team — a very athletic team. They can put up numbers quickly. If we were able to avoid those turnovers I believe it would have been a totally different game.”

Troy Macurio scored the lone Bobcat touchdown on a quarterback keeper.

Game statistics were unavailable at press time.

avatar

Posted by Dylan Savela

Dylan is the county reporter for the News Advocate, he also is in charge of the Small Town Life, religion and senior pages. He can be reached at (231) 398-3111 or dsavela@pioneergroup.com.

Leave a Reply