For the first time since 2009, the Cardinals were able to knock off the Coyotes last Friday night with a 25-14 victory at home.
Big Rapids were able to use big plays and an efficient passing game of 119 passing yards to hold off Reed City's heavy rushing attack.
After a fourth down stop defensively to start the game, the Cardinals were able to slowly move the ball up the field to the Reed City 10-yard-line on their first possession. The Coyotes were able to hold Big Rapids on three downs and force a 21-yard-field goal from Jace Heck.
Reed City would answer with a fourth down stop on the Cardinals early in the second quarter, getting the ball back on the Big Rapids 42-yard-line. Big runs by quarterback Landon Jackson and running back Zach Erickson would ignite the Coyote offense to put them inside the five yard line. At 4:12 to go in the half, it was John Ondrus who punched in a one-yard touchdown and the enusing two-point coversion to give Reed City an 8-3 lead.
With Big Rapids trying to get back with the lead before half time, they would put the ball in the hands of Garrett Foster who would cash in following a 16-yard run and a 32-yard touchdown catch to give the Cardinals an 11-8 lead going into halftime.
The Coyotes would fight back to start the second half, with Hammond forcing a Foster fumble on the first offensive play to get Reed City the ball. Reed City rode the momentum with back to back third down conversions to set up at the Cardinal 10-yard line. On fourth and five, it would be Hammond who would burst through the line and into the endzone for a five-yard score. A failed two-point attempt would keep the game at 14-11.
The Cardinals' speed would be the method to answer, as quarterback Riley Vennix would fire a perfect pass to Kaleb Dubowski for a 55-yard toudown on the following possession, retaking an 18-14 lead.
Facing a fourth down punting scenario, the Coyotes were unable to handle the snap and would fumble at the 28-yard line of Big Rapids. The Cardinals would only need three plays to punch it in from eight yards out courtesy of Riley Vennix, extending their lead to 25-14.
Needing a stop to take over on offense, Big Rapids' defense would get it on the ensuing possession. The offense would slowly move the ball for the next nine minutes before Reed City would force a fourth down incompleton for one final shot to extend the game on offense. Unfortunately for the Coyotes and their long-time winning streak, a fourth down pass fell incomplete and would give the Cardinals their first snaps in victory formation against Reed City since 2009.
Vennix led the Cardinals passing going 7 for 8 with 119 yards and two scores while also adding 40 yards rushing and a touchdown. Garrett Foster led Big Rapids with 137 scrimmage yards and a touchdwon on 21 touches followed by Jack Bollman with 70 yards rushing and Dubowski with 55 yards recieving. Phillip Wilber recorded a team-high nine tacles with Foster adding two tackles for loss.'
For Reed City, Jackson finished the game 1 for 4 for 12 yards as well as added nine yards rushing. Hammond led the Coyotes on the ground with 67 yards on 15 carries and a score with Ondrus following with 46 yards and a score and Erickson adding 29. Hammond recieved the only pass for a 12 yard game for the Coyotes. Ondrus paced Reed City with eight tackles followed by Ethan Powell with six. Hammond added two tackles for loss as well as a forced fumble.
Big Rapids (3-1) will face Chippewa Hills (2-2) next Friday in Remus while Reed City (1-3) will return home to host Central Montcalm (2-2) for week four action on the 23rd. For more football, be sure to subcribe to the Big Rapids Daily News at WBRN.com.