End of the highway: TC St. Francis too much for McBain in D7 district final | Sports
TRAVERSE CITY – The destination left a little to be desired.
However, the trip was pretty good.
McBain saw his season end in the hands of the private school power Traverse City St. Francis, 55-13, in an MHSAA Division 7 Football District title game Saturday afternoon at Thirlby Field.
The defeat ended the Ramblers’ season 7-4 overall, while the Gladiators (11-0) received Ishpeming Westwood (10-1) in a regional title game on November 13th.
Getting into a district final after a difficult start to the season means something for McBain head coach Pat Maloney.
McBain started 0-2 with gross losses to Kingsley and Beal City – both of whom are still playing – and then lost only once to Evart in Week 6.
“To start the year 0-2 and not play well early so the guys can pick up the pieces and figure things out, I’m proud of them,” said Maloney. “We just played against a really good team today and if you play against a really good team, you can’t go wrong.
“We didn’t play well, but they are one of the reasons. I’m proud of my boys for a season where a lot of teams went 0-2 and didn’t get any better or didn’t even get to the playoffs. They fought, fought, fought and if that’s one thing we can say, that’s key beyond football as well. Even if the chips are against you, just keep fighting. “
The Ramblers certainly knew what to expect on Saturday.
St. Francis has been going through its schedule, having just one close match with Division 5 regional finalist Kingsley in Week 9, a 38-30 win.
The Gladiators could take on McBain’s Beef on the offensive and had an abundance of big, fast skill kids to take care of the rest.
So the plan was to get up in the air and see if St. Francis would step back a little from the scrimmage line.
“We were hoping to get the ball up in the air, get a few meters and at least pull it back to the pass,” said Maloney.
“We didn’t complete the early passes. We were rushed by them and they brought more than we could block. That was part of it … we didn’t want to establish the run first. We had to come out, try to walk a few meters, and then come back to the run. In front, that is our strength, they were stronger. “
The Gladiators only scored 2:31 in the game, while McBain’s first possession resulted in minus 8 yards with two bad snaps thrown in.
The Ramblers first down came late in the first quarter to a fake punt from senior Kalvin McGillis.
St. Francis led 24-0 after the first quarter and increased that to 55-0 at halftime.
McBain got two touchdowns in the fourth quarter.
Braylon Pace hit Carsten Huttenga in a 25-yard passing game with 2:09 points remaining, before Huttenga scored with 1:22 points remaining after a 30-yard fumble recovery.
McGillis led the Rambelrs with 98 yards of rushing on 14 carries.
Pace was 6 of 17 for 65 yards over.
McGillis led defensively with six tackles while Landon Eling had 4.5.