Vikings move to 4-0 with 32-28 league win vs. Cheboygan

We were really happy with the team effort today. Cheboygan is a big, physical team. We knew we were going to need to raise our game in that department. Our guys did just that, and kept their composure while overcoming some adversity in the process.” – Tim Sanchez, Grayling High School Varsity Football Coach
The varsity football squad from Grayling High School improved its overall record to 4-0 and its league record to 2-0 in the Northern Michigan Football Conference Legends Division with a 32-28 victory vs. the Cheboygan Chiefs on Friday night.
The Vikings scored first, driving 65 yards on the game’s opening possession, finishing it with a 21-yard touchdown reception by running back Zack Osga. The series also included a 16-yard run by quarterback Justin Nicholas and a 15-yard catch by Osga. The Vikings tried for two points on the conversion and the attempt was not successful. Grayling led 6-0 two minutes into the first period.
On 4th and 1, during the fourth play of Cheboygan’s first drive, the Chiefs went for it and Grayling forced a fumble. The Vikings came away with the loose ball, giving them possession at their 28-yard line.
A 12-yard run by Osga picked up a first down for Grayling. A pass from Nicholas to Chris Hunter on 3rd and 5 kept the drive going, picking up eight yards. Another completion to Hunter and a toss to Osga picked up enough for another first down. A pass to Osga gained 27 yards, bringing up 1st and goal. Jacob Macfalda rushed for five yards on the next play. On 2nd and goal, Nicholas ran the ball across the goal line for a touchdown. The pass attempt on the two-point conversion fell incomplete.
With 5:25 left in the first quarter, Grayling led 12-0.
Cheboygan went for it on 4th and 5 and an incomplete pass ended the drive on downs, giving the Vikings the ball at their 44-yard line.
On the second play of the drive, the Chiefs intercepted a Grayling pass attempt and returned it for a touchdown. Cheboygan completed a pass for the two-point conversion.
The Vikings led 12-8 with 2:54 left in the first quarter.
Grayling responded with an 87-yard scoring drive. Osga rushed for 34 yards on the first play of the possession. A pass to Ken Dutton and an offside penalty on Cheboygan gave the Vikings another first down. Nicholas ran for nine yards on 1st and 10. On 3rd and 11, Grayling picked up 11 yards with a pass from Nicholas to Hunter. Osga rushed for four yards. On 2nd and 6, Logan Joseph caught a pass for a 16-yard gain. On 2nd and 8 – the last play of the first quarter – Osga scored an 11-yard TD. Nicholas passed to Dutton for the two-point conversion. The Vikings led 20-8.
Cheboygan recovered Grayling’s on-side kick at its 45-yard line. The Chiefs drove 55 yards on eight plays, scoring on a one-yard TD run on 2nd and goal. The Vikings stopped the ball carrier short of the goal line on the two-point conversion attempt.
With 9:28 remaining in the first half, the score was Grayling 20, Cheboygan 14.
The Vikings turned the ball over on downs with an incomplete pass on 4th and 11. The Chiefs went for it on 4th and 1 and did not get enough to move the chains. The resulting drive for Grayling ended with a punt. The ball went into the end zone for a touchback, giving Cheboygan the ball at its 20-yard line.
The Chiefs drove 80 yards on seven plays, scoring on a 43-yard touchdown reception. Joseph intercepted Cheboygan’s pass attempt on the two-point conversion attempt.
With 1:14 left in the first half, the score was tied at 20-20.
Grayling was not able to score in the final 1:14 of the second quarter, leaving the score tied at 20-20 going into halftime.
The Vikings kicked off to the Chiefs to start the second half. The drive ended with a punt on 4th and 7. 
Grayling started at its 20-yard line. A pass to Dutton gained 10 yards on 2nd and 10. Later, a pass to Dutton on 3rd and 7 picked up nine yards. A pass to Nick Hunter and a toss to Osga gained enough for another first down. On 3rd and 5, Nicholas ran through a Cheboygan defender near the goal line to finish a 21-yard touchdown run. The two-point conversion attempt failed.
With 6:58 left in the third quarter, Grayling led by six, 26-20.
The next three possessions – two by Cheboygan and one by Grayling – ended with punts.
The Vikings drove 80 yards, scoring on a one-yard TD run by Nicholas on 4th and goal. The series also included a 17-yard run by Nicholas and a 16-yard catch by N. Hunter. Macfalda ran the ball across the goal line for the two-point conversion.
With 10:13 left in the game, Grayling led 32-20.
Cheboygan returned Grayling’s on-side kick to the 35-yard line of the Vikings. The Chiefs drove 35 yards on nine plays, scoring on a one-yard TD run on 3rd and goal. Two-point conversion attempt, no good.
With 5:47 left in the fourth period, Grayling led 32-28.
The Vikings started at their 25-yard line after the kick-off. Runs by Nicholas and Osga picked up a first down. Later, on 4th and 7, Grayling went for it, and Nicholas connected with N. Hunter for a 35-yard gain. Nicholas ran for 19 yards on the next play. Grayling killed the game’s remaining time and won by a final score of 32-28.
“We were really happy with the team effort today. Cheboygan is a big, physical team. We knew we were going to need to raise our game in that department. Our guys did just that, and kept their composure while overcoming some adversity in the process,” Coach Tim Sanchez said.
According to the team, Nicholas finished the game with 364 passing yards, two passing TDs, 122 rushing yards, and three rushing TDs. Osga had 40 rushing yards, 164 receiving yards on 13 catches, and two TDs. N. Hunter had 76 receiving yards on five receptions. Dutton had 58 receiving yards on seven catches. C. Hunter caught five passes for 51 receiving yards.
On defense, Joseph had 12 tackles. Jaden Gauthier had 11 tackles. Macfalda had 10 tackles.
The Vikings (4-0 overall, 2-0 league) will play at Boyne City (4-0 overall, 2-0 league) at 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 22.
 
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 second round of conference games for 2017. 
At the end of it, three teams – Grayling, St. Francis, and Boyne City – were still undefeated in league play.
St. Francis won 47-0 vs. Benzie Central. Grayling edged Cheboygan 32-28. Boyne City beat Kingsley 19-12. Elk Rapids blanked Kalkaska 17-0.
This week, Grayling will play at Boyne City. Cheboygan will host Kalkaska. St. Francis will play at Kingsley. Benzie Central will host 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 .....................2-0 (4-0)
Grayling..........................2-0 (4-0)
St. Francis .....................2-0 (4-0)
Elk Rapids .....................1-1 (3-1)
Kalkaska........................1-1 (3-1)
Benzie Central...............0-2 (1-3)
Cheboygan.....................0-2 (1-3)
Kingsley..........................0-2 (0-4)
 
Last week’s scores:
St. Francis 47, Benzie Central 0
Boyne City 19, Kingsley 12
Grayling 32, Cheboygan 28
Elk Rapids 17, Kalkaska 0
 
Legacy Division
Team, League, Overall
Gaylord St. Mary............1-0 (4-0)
Joburg-Lewiston.............1-0 (3-1)
Harbor Springs...............1-0 (2-2)
Inland Lakes...................1-2 (1-3)
St. Ignace.......................1-2 (1-3)
East Jordan....................0-1 (1-3)
 
Last week’s scores:
Gaylord St. Mary 20, Whittemore 12
Harbor Springs 34, Inland Lakes 0
Joburg-Lewiston 28, Charlevoix 7
St. Ignace 24, East Jordan 8
 
Leaders Division
Team, League, Overall
Frankfort.........................1-0 (3-1)
Glen Lake.......................0-0 (1-2)
Charlevoix......................0-0 (1-3)
Mancelona.....................0-1 (0-4)
 
Last week’s scores:
Joburg-Lewiston 28, Charlevoix 7
Frankfort 48, Mancelona 6

 

Crawford County Avalanche

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Grayling, MI 49738

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

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