Grayling falls to Boyne City in battle of two 4-0 teams

In a battle of two 4-0 squads, it was the home team – the Boyne City Ramblers – who stayed undefeated with a 21-6 victory vs. the Grayling Vikings during a Northern Michigan Football Conference Legends Division varsity football game played in Boyne City on Friday.
On 1st and 10, the first play of the game from scrimmage, Boyne City intercepted a Grayling pass attempt.
The Ramblers drove 26 yards on eight plays, converting once on fourth down, and scoring on a two-yard TD run on 1st and goal. After the extra point kick, with 7:31 left in the first quarter, Boyne City led 7-0.
Grayling started at its 28-yard line after the kickoff. A pass from quarterback Justin Nicholas to Chris Hunter on 3rd and 9 gained 40 yards. A miscue on 3rd and 4 led to a 17-yard loss, and the drive ended on downs with an incomplete pass on 4th and 21.
The next four possessions – two by each team – ended with punts.
On 3rd and 5 for Boyne City, Grayling deflected a pass attempt at the line of scrimmage and Trenton Gabriel caught the ball for an interception.
A pass to Ken Dutton gained 16 yards. A pass to Hunter, a run by Zack Osga, and two runs by Nicholas picked up another first down. The drive ended with a punt on 4th and 20.
Boyne City went for it on 4th and 6 and Grayling stopped the play with a QB sack. The Vikings punted on 4th and 10. On 1st and 10 for the Ramblers, Boyne City fumbled and Logan Joseph recovered the ball for the Vikings, returning it to the 24-yard line of the Ramblers.
After a sack and two incomplete passes, Grayling kept the drive alive with an 18-yard pass from Nicholas to Hunter. Later, on 3rd and 5, Nicholas threw to Nick Hunter for a seven-yard TD. The two-point conversion attempt failed.
With 27.9 seconds left in the first half, Boyne City led 7-6.
The Ramblers moved the ball from their 42-yard line to Grayling’s 26, but the half ended and the score was still 7-6.
The first two drives of the second half – one by each team – ended on downs. Boyne City punted on 4th and 9. Grayling drove from its 38-yard line to Boyne City’s 24-yard line, but the possession ended with an incomplete pass on 4th and 9.
Boyne City drove 86 yards on 10 plays – including a 38-yard run – and the Ramblers finished the series with a 23-yard TD run. They kicked the extra point. With 10:52 left in the fourth quarter, Boyne City led 14-6.
Grayling punted on 4th and 9. On 3rd and 2 for Boyne City, the Ramblers fumbled and the Vikings recovered the loose ball.
Grayling started at its 7-yard line. The series ended with a punt on 4th and 12.
The Ramblers started 40 yards from the goal line. Boyne City rushed for 19 yards on 1st and 10. Later, on 3rd and 2, the Ramblers scored on a 13-yard TD run up the middle. After kicking the extra point, Boyne City led 21-6.
Grayling started at its 23-yard line after the kickoff. A catch by N. Hunter gained 11 yards on 2nd and 9. Two rushes by Nicholas gained 10 yards. A reception by N. Hunter picked up 15 yards. An eight-yard catch by Joseph and a four-yard run by Nicholas gained enough for another first down. Catches by Rickey Heavner and Joseph picked up 15 more yards. N. Hunter caught a pass for a nine-yard gain. A run by Nicholas on 3rd and 1 brought up 1st and goal. The next play didn’t gain any ground for Grayling. On 2nd and goal, a fumble on a run play resulted in a turnover. Boyne City took over at its 1-yard line with 35 seconds left in regulation.
The Ramblers ran once up the middle to get clear of the end zone, ending the game.
Boyne City won 21-6.
“We were very proud of our guys’ effort,” Coach Tim Sanchez said. “Our defense played great and gave us a chance to win. We were just a little off on offense and couldn’t get clicking. Credit to Boyne City and their defense. Like all games, we will learn a lot from this and grow as a program.”
Nicholas finished with 211 passing yards, 41 rushing yards, and one passing TD. N. Hunter has 122 receiving yards with one TD. C. Hunter had 52 receiving yards.
On defense, Joseph had 14 tackles and a fumble recovery. Eli Jackson had 13 tackles and one sack. Justin Youngblood had 12 tackles. Heavner had 10 tackles.
The Vikings (4-1 overall, 2-1 league) will battle Traverse City St. Francis (5-0 overall, 3-0 league) at Thirlby Field in Traverse City at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 30.
 
Northern Michigan Football Conference
The Northern Michigan Football Conference – Grayling’s athletic league for football – has three tiers. Grayling is in the division called “Legends,” according to the Michigan High School Athletic Association’s online Score Center. The “Legends” division, also known as the large school division of the conference, includes Grayling, Kalkaska, Benzie Central, Boyne City, Cheboygan, Elk Rapids, Traverse City St. Francis, and Kingsley.
For the “Legends,” last week was the third round of conference games for 2017. 
At the end of it, two teams – St. Francis and Boyne City – were still undefeated in league play.
St. Francis won 35-0 vs. Kingsley. Grayling battled Boyne City – both squads were 4-0 going into the contest – and the Ramblers won 21-6, giving the Vikings their first loss. Cheboygan defeated Kalkaska 22-15. Elk Rapids won 20-14 vs. Benzie Central.
This week, Grayling will play against St. Francis at Traverse City. Benzie Central will play at Cheboygan. Kalkaska will host Boyne City. Kingsley will play at Elk Rapids.
Last week’s scores and current standings for all three tiers of the Northern Michigan Football Conference, courtesy of the Michigan High School Athletic Association’s Score Center, are listed below.
 
Legends Division
Team, League, Overall
Boyne City .....................3-0 (5-0)
St. Francis .....................3-0 (5-0)
Elk Rapids .....................2-1 (4-1)
Grayling..........................2-1 (4-1)
Cheboygan.....................1-2 (2-3)
Kalkaska........................1-2 (3-2)
Benzie Central...............0-3 (1-4)
Kingsley..........................0-3 (0-5)
 
Last week’s scores:
Elk Rapids 20, Benzie Central 14
Boyne City 21, Grayling 6
Cheboygan 22, Kalkaska 15
St. Francis 35, Kingsley 0
 
Legacy Division
Team, League, Overall
Harbor Springs...............2-0 (3-2)
Gaylord St. Mary............1-0 (5-0)
Joburg-Lewiston.............1-0 (3-2)
Inland Lakes...................2-2 (2-3)
St. Ignace.......................1-3 (1-4)
East Jordan....................0-2 (1-4)
 
Last week’s scores:
Inland Lakes 16, East Jordan 12
Harbor Springs 20, St. Ignace 16
Frankfort 52, Joburg-Lewiston 14
Gaylord St. Mary 34, Tawas 13
 
Leaders Division
Team, League, Overall
Frankfort.........................1-0 (4-1)
Glen Lake.......................1-0 (2-2)
Charlevoix......................0-1 (1-4)
Mancelona.....................0-1 (0-5)
 
Last week’s scores:
Glen Lake 49, Charlevoix 0
Au Gres 52, Mancelona 16
Frankfort 52, Joburg-Lewiston 14

 

Crawford County Avalanche

Mailing Address
Box 490
Grayling, MI 49738

Phone: 989-348-6811
FAX: 989-348-6806
E-Mail: information@crawfordcountyavalanche.com

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