The Saugatuck Indians claimed their second ever Regional football championship Friday night with a 7-6 upset at Cassopolis. Saugatuck trailed nearly the entire contest, finally scoring with 2:42 remaining on a 41-yard touchdown pass from Jackson Shriver to Cooper Myers.
After both teams punted for their opening drive, Cassopolis scored what would be their only touchdown. Starting 46 yards from the end zone, a 32-yard Hunter Parsons run put them into the red zone, followed shortly by a 9-yard Brandon Anderson touchdown run with 5:40 remaining in the first quarter. Anderson’s extra point kick was blocked by Keegan Carper, which ended up being decisive by the final gun.
Saugatuck’s second drive made it to the red zone, but ended with Shriver intercepted in the end zone by Tyrese Hunt-Thompson. The remainder of the second half saw two punts and a turnover on downs for both teams, keeping the Rangers up 7-0 at halftime.
Saugatuck started with the ball in the third, but had a three-and-out. Cassopolis made it within 22 yards of scoring, but fell victim to a turnover on downs. From there, Saugatuck started a nearly eight minute drive, culminating in a fourth and two from the five-yard line to start the fourth quarter. Cassopolis made the stop and seemingly had all of the momentum, getting out of their own territory quickly on a 60-yard Anderson run.
The Rangers made it within five yards of scoring their second touchdown. On fourth down, Cassopolis elected for a 22-yard field goal try and once again, Saugatuck came up with a block and took over from their 20 with 6:26 remaining.
Two first downs put them past midfield, but Saugatuck then faced a third and 12 from the 41. Shriver found Myers at open at the 30 and the junior tight end used his blockers for only his second touchdown of the season. Evan Czarnecki made the extra point kick, giving Saugatuck the 7-6 advantage with 2:42 remaining.
Cassopolis couldn’t muster a first down on their ensuing drive and Saugatuck was able to run the clock all the way down to one second. An attempt to drain the final seven seconds on a fourth down play was unsuccessful for Saugatuck, giving Cassopolis one last hope from midfield. Despite numerous laterals, the Rangers couldn’t pull off the miracle.
Unofficially, Shriver was 6-8 for 87 passing yards, one touchdown and one interception. He also had 40 rushing yards, leading his team. He and five other rushers combined for 135 yards. For Cassopolis, quarterback Dylan Green was 2-9 for 20 yards. Anderson rushed for 126 on 12 attempts and a touchdown. They finished with 211 yards on the ground.
Cassopolis finishes the year at 10-2, ending their bid for back-to-back semifinal appearances. Saugatuck moves to 9-3 and is into the semifinal for the second time ever, joining their state runner-up 2010 season. They’ll meet 12-0 Madison at a neutral site to be determined on Saturday, November 18.
Listen back to the Regional final below:
Listen live online Friday night on the Slocum Sports Network to a Division 7 Regional football final with the Cassopolis Rangers hosting the Saugatuck Indians. It is the first ever football meeting between the two schools with the winner advancing to the final four against either unbeaten Madison or Monroe St. Mary Catholic.
Cassopolis enters at 10-1 overall, averaging 44.3 points per game while allowing 8.4 per contest. The Rangers made it to the state semifinal for the first time ever last season, falling to runner-up Detroit Loyola. Cassopolis is in the Regional final for the third consecutive year and been in the playoffs for 11 of the last 12 seasons.
In the regular season, Cassopolis shutout five opponents and rolled through most of the Southwest 10 Conference. Their lone loss came to unbeaten Mendon 34-24 in week eight’s de facto conference championship. In the playoffs, the Rangers defeated Homer (50-14) and Reading (31-16).
Saugatuck enters at 8-3 and are in the Regional final for the second time in school history, joining their state runner-up 2010 season. They’re averaging 30 points per game while allowing 16.9 per contest. They’re in the postseason for the eighth time in 10 seasons.
After a 2-2 start against the powerful SAC Lakeshore, Saugatuck rolled their first four SAC Valley Division opponents 166-18 to secure a playoff spot. The Indians ended the regular season with a thud in a 40-7 loss to Fennville, but bounced back with playoff wins over Springport (47-21) and Maple Valley (14-8).
The Comstock Colts survived a late charge from the Cassopolis Rangers Thursday afternoon, holding on for a 3-2 home victory. Initially, it appeared the Colts could rout the Rangers, as junior forward Evan Veenhuis scored three goals within the first 14 minutes. Goals in the 6th, 10th, and 14th minutes put Veenhuis to 44 goals on the season.
Cassopolis added one goal in the 26th minute from Kiambu Gary, taking a 3-1 score into the halftime break. Less than four minutes into the second half, the Rangers drew a penalty kick, which TJ Gless, Jr. capitalized on for a 3-2 score. Cassopolis had a number of good opportunities the rest of the way, but the Colts held firm with freshman goalkeeper Logan Hicks. A number of key saves, including back-to-back saves on a Gary breakaway, allowed Comstock to get the win.
Comstock improves to 15-2 overall with the victory and Cassopolis drops to 12-5. The Colts travel to Maple Valley Monday for their next match, while the Rangers venture to Niles against Brandywine Monday. Listen back to Thursday’s game below:
Listen online live Thursday afternoon at 4 p.m. on the Slocum Sports Network as the Comstock Colts host the Cassopolis Rangers in boys soccer. Both teams have hit the 10-win mark in 2017 and look to build momentum with the postseason less than three weeks away.
Prior to Wednesday’s game with Berrien Springs, Comstock sits at 13-2-0 overall. Ahead of their rematch Wednesday with Hartford, Cassopolis is 10-3-0*, much improved from their 8-11-1 mark in 2016. Comstock is the defending BCS Conference champion, while Cassopolis is part of the inaugural Southwest 10 Conference season after departing the BCS. The Colts crushed the Rangers 8-0 last season, with a 6-4 Comstock win in 2015.
Listen live online to Thursday’s game on the Slocum Sports Network with kickoff scheduled for 4 p.m. from Comstock High School.
*The overall record has not been confirmed, it is listed based on their Maxpreps page.
The Kalamazoo Christian Comets and Quincy Orioles will meet in the Regional 17 boys basketball final on Wednesday following tight victories Monday night at Bangor High School. The Comets needed a bucket as regulation ended to force overtime and eventually defeat the Schoolcraft Eagles, 53-47. The Orioles traded the lead nine times with the Cassopolis Rangers, but held it at the end with a 64-60 final.
Kalamazoo Christian led for almost the entire first half, although their lead was never bigger than six points. Schoolcraft had a very brief one-point second quarter lead and put the score at 25-23 Comets into halftime. The Eagles had a 31-30 lead by the end of the third and remained ahead throughout almost all of the fourth quarter. The Comets erased a six-point hole in the final 1:27 to force overtime. With four seconds remaining down two, Kalamazoo Christian inbounded to Jordan Katje under the basket for the bucket to force OT.
Overtime began with a three-pointer, followed by a basket-and-one from Alex Visser to put Kalamazoo Christian ahead for good. Schoolcraft made it back within two in the final minute, but the Comets finished strong at the free throw line to avenge their two regular season losses to Schoolcraft earlier this season. Kalamazoo Christian finished 11-14 at the foul line, including a perfect 7-7 from Drew Scheffers, with the Eagles 7-15 by comparison. Visser led all players with 18 points, followed by 12 from Scheffers and 10 by Katje. Schoolcraft senior Caleb Eustice scored 16 in his final game. The Eagles end the year at 22-2 with Kalamazoo Christian improving to 17-7.
In the other game, the first quarter saw five lead changes with neither team leading by more than four. Cassopolis led 16-14 after one and never trailed in the second quarter. The Ranger lead got as big as nine, but Quincy was able to tie it up just before the break for a 27-27 score at halftime.
After four more lead changes, the Orioles ended the third quarter ahead, 41-40, then started the fourth on a 6-0 run. Cassopolis tied the game back briefly, but Quincy remained on top for much of the fourth quarter. With 17 seconds remaining, the Rangers had the ball trailing 62-60 and a chance to tie or win. Tyrese Hunt-Thompson’s shot try missed and Nathan Karney grabbed the board with six seconds remaining, securing the win after making both of his free throws.
Karney finished with 16, going 8-10 at the foul line. Freshman William Dunn topped the Orioles with 19. Sophomore Hunt-Thompson topped Cassopolis and all players with 21 points, followed by senior Shane Los’s 17. The Rangers finish at 18-5 with Quincy improving to 20-4.
The Regional final is now set for Wednesday at 7 p.m. from Bangor and can be heard live on Michigan Sports Radio. Quincy has never gone beyond the regional round, most recently losing in the 2009 final to Schoolcraft. The last time Kalamazoo Christian made it through the regional final was the 2008 season, which ended with a state championship.
Listen back to Monday’s games below
KALAMAZOO CHRISTIAN VS SCHOOLCRAFT
QUINCY VS CASSOPOLIS
Listen live on Michigan Sports Radio Monday and Wednesday to the Regional #17 boys basketball games of the MHSAA Class C state tournament from Bangor High School. Monday’s semifinals feature the Cassopolis Rangers (18-4) against the Quincy Orioles (19-4) at 5:30 p.m., followed by the Schoolcraft Eagles (22-1) versus the Kalamazoo Christian Comets (16-7) around 7 p.m. The regional final will be Wednesday at 7.
Following a district tournament weekend which saw five of the Associated Press Class C top ten teams eliminated, including #1, #3, and #4, Schoolcraft sits as one of three remaining teams with one loss or fewer in the Class C field. (Interestingly enough, the other two, unbeatens Michigan Center and St. Mary Catholic Central, play each other in their regional semifinals). The Eagles mowed through their district and hold a 17-game winning streak. In that streak, they’ve beaten all but two opponents by double-digits, including a 63-47 victory over the one team to beat them this season in Hackett Catholic.
The closest team to beating Schoolcraft since their lone loss was Kalamazoo Christian. The Comets lost their first meeting with Schoolcraft 72-46 in January, but took them to the brink on February 17, falling 58-56. Of note, the Comets had also lost twice to fourth-ranked Hackett in the regular season, then downed them 48-37 in the district semifinals.
It will be the eighth postseason meeting between Schoolcraft and Kalamazoo Christian, with the most recent one going to Schoolcraft, 56-44 in the 2012 district final. Historically, the Comets have fared better, winning five of their seven meetings. Schoolcraft last advanced out of the regional round in 2013, where they fell in the quarterfinals. Kalamazoo Christian’s last trip out of regionals was their 2008 state championship run. The Eagles won it all in 2011.
As for the other semifinal teams, Cassopolis went to double-overtime in both of their district games, defeating Watervliet (69-65) and Bridgman (60-57). It’s the first regional appearance for the Rangers since 2008, when they were knocked out by Kalamazoo Christian. Cassopolis hasn’t made it through the regional round since 1989. They don’t have any postseason history with Quincy, who topped Jonesville, Homer, and Union City in their district. The Orioles are in the regional round for the first time since 2009, when they fell to Schoolcraft in the regional final. Quincy has never advanced beyond the regional round in boys basketball.
Listen the Regional 17 games from Bangor live on Michigan Sports Radio. Quincy and Cassopolis play Monday at 5:30 p.m., followed by Schoolcraft and Kalamazoo Christian around 7 p.m. The winners meet Wednesday at 7 p.m.