BAY CITY, MI — Roundup of all the high school football action in the MLive Bay City coverage area for Week 5 on Friday, Sept. 24, 2021. Area coaches are asked to report highlights, stats and information the night of every game by emailing

RELATED: Bay City area scoreboard for Week 5


Bay City Central had the ball for one final drive and a chance to win it, but the Wolves couldn’t pull it off in a 28-21 loss to Saginaw Heritage. The Wolves slipped to 0-5 on the season.

READ Lee Thompson’s full story from Central at Heritage

Coach Chris Willertz addresses the Bay City Western football team prior to its game with Midland Dow. (Photo provided by Tim McDonald)


Bay City Western did everything but get to the finish.

The Warriors were on the verge of adding another chapter to their storybook season, building a 44-16 fourth-quarter lead on Midland Dow only to see it slip away before the clock hit zero.

Dow amazingly recovered three on-side kicks and punched in four fourth-quarter touchdowns to snare a stunning 45-44 victory in the crucial Saginaw Valley League North showdown.

“We had some bad luck and the coaches made mistakes. When you lose a close game like that, it’s my fault,” Western coach Chris Willertz said. “The kids played so hard, it was incredible.”

Dow quarterback Jack Bakus rushed for four touchdowns in the final 10:05, including the game-winner with 13 seconds remaining. Carson Jankens’ final PAT kick completed the comeback. The Chargers (3-2, 1-1) recovered the on-side kick after their first three fourth-quarter touchdowns, delivering a rally for the ages.

Bakus was 27 of 35 passing for 252 yards and a touchdown and rushed 12 times for 81 yards and the four crunch-time TDs.

Western (4-1, 1-1), earning a No. 10 state ranking after its best start since 2012, reached the 40-point mark for the fifth straight outing and appeared in control. Logan O’Hare and Joe Wiedyk were powerful in the run game again, with O’Hare rolling up 154 yards and three touchdowns on 24 carries and Wiedyk going for 110 yards and two scores on 20 carries.

O’Hare was 3 of 6 passing for 83 yards while Eric Randall added a rushing touchdown.

But Western couldn’t get the ball back to finish what it started as Dow delivered a head-spinning fourth quarter.

“We feel like we’ve got a chance here,” Willertz said. “So we’re going to get better.”

Garber hosts Freeland for Friday night football

Garber’s Colton Potts (42) catches the ball during a game against Freeland on Friday, Sept. 17, 2021. (Kaytie Boomer | Boomer |


Just when it looked like the game was slipping away, Essexville Garber clamped down and held on tight, pulling off a dramatic 26-20 overtime victory over Birch Run.

Birch Run (2-3, 1-3) scored a fourth-quarter touchdown and two-point conversion to send the Tri-Valley East contest into an extra session. But the Dukes (4-1, 3-1) wouldn’t relent, coming up with a defensive stop and punching in the game-winner.

“I’m proud of both the defense and offense for grinding it out,” Garber coach Jake Coquillard said. “We showed a lot of resiliency. When things were going bad, we found a way to win. The theme this year is brotherhood, and these guys pulled together and found a way.”

Michigan State University-bound defensive lineman Alex VanSumeren stepped in at running back in overtime and barreled in for the decisive touchdown. After rushing for 205 yards and two touchdowns on 36 carries, Caleb Christe shifted to blocking back for the biggest series of the game and helped pave the way for VanSumeren.

Tommy Szczepanski was 9 of 14 passing for 107 yards, hitting Max Fellows for a touchdown. But the Birch Run made it difficult to pass, nabbing three interceptions, including a pick-six.

Cade Coquillard led the Garber defense with 13 tackles while Dan Lazarowicz added 10 with a sack. Christe also hauled in an interception for the Dukes. VanSumeren finished with five tackles and a sack.

John Glenn hosts Clio in season opener

John Glenn sophomore Garett Forgash, 54, prepates to jog onto the field as John Glenn hosts Clio in the high school football season opener Thursday, Aug. 25, 2021 at Albert E. Johnson Stadium in Bay City. (Isaac Ritchey | Ritchey |


Homecoming comes with distractions, but it comes with motivation, too.

Playing an inspired brand of defense that would make John Glenn football alumni proud, the Bobcats blanked Bridgeport 34-0 on homecoming at John Loop Field. Glenn (3-2, 2-2) forced seven turnovers, intercepting five passes and recovering two fumbles in the Tri-Valley East clash.

“I’m proud of the defensive effort, coming off a tough couple weeks,” Glenn coach Jon Horton said. “Bridgeport has some guys who can break big plays, so we needed a strong game from our defense – and we got it.

“We stayed together as a team through adversity and the distractions of homecoming to get the win we needed to get back on track.”

Logan Demorest fronted the defensive charge with two interceptions, including a pick six.

C.J. Schmidt had a big game on the other side of the ball, rushing for a pair of touchdowns and catching a 53-yard TD toss from Wyatt Weyrowske. Weyrowske also rushed 20 times for 129 yards and a score.

Moments as Bay City All Saints faces Caseville at St. Stans Field

Bay City All Saints senior quarterback Brendan Van Sumeren, 12, runs the ball behind sophomore Robbie Ballard during a game against Caseville Friday, Sept. 10, 2021 at St. Stans Field in Bay City. (Isaac Ritchey | Ritchey |


It looked like a mismatch on paper, but All Saints coach Eric Gust had to remind his squad that the game is played on the gridiron.

After a slow start that included Heston’s first score of the season, All Saints took control for a 56-18 non-conference victory in eight-player football.

“I told our players, I’ve been coaching long enough to see losing teams come to life if given the right amount of air,” Gust said. “I’ve seen too many teams underestimate opponents, and we needed to take this team seriously.”

Ryan McDonell went to work in a big way for All Saints (3-2), rushing for 317 yards and five touchdowns on 18 carries. He also caught four passes for 98 yards and another score.

Brendan VanSumeren rushed for 137 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries and was 4 of 9 passing for 98 yards and a score.

Damien Torres and McDonell each corralled 10 tackles to lead the All Saints defense while Luke Dengler added nine stops and Chris Pope and Antonio Salinas notched eight apiece.

Heston (0-5) had been outscored 249-0 this year before breaking through with 18 points.

Reese beats Unionville-Sebewaing to secure first Sugar Bowl in seven years

Reese freshman wide receiver Evan Brown, 19, runs onto the field with teammates before the 27th annual Sugar Bowl against Unionville-Sebewaig on Friday, Sept. 17, 2021 at Reese Elementary School in Reese. (Isaac Ritchey | Ritchey |


Three-time reigning Greater Thumb West champion Cass City was showing its old form, looking to knock off No. 5-ranked Reese.

But the Rockets finished strong, scoring the final 22 points of the game for a come-from-behind 35-20 homecoming victory.

Cass City (1-4, 1-3) had its rushing attack clicking for the first time all season, building a 20-13 third-quarter lead. Jordan Mester rushed 22 times for 104 yards and two touchdowns while Aidan Torres went for 140 yards and a score on 20 carries.

But Reese (5-0, 3-0) stormed back behind the connection of quarterback Tanner TerBush and receiver Damarquss Palmreuter. TerBush finished with a five-touchdown performance, completing 15 of 23 passes for 331 yards. Palmreuter hauled in 10 passes for 215 yards and two TDs.

“It’s always nice to get victory on homecoming and that is something that Reese hasn’t experienced in a couple of years,” Reese coach Cody Reif said. “Cass City is an extremely tough football team and they made us earn everything.”

Wesley Robinson caught two touchdown passes for Reese while Levi Foco added one. Foco led the defense with 11 tackles and Cameron Castle notched nine.

Dylan Wehner

Dylan Wehner of the Laker football team for 2021. (Photo provided by Dave LeVasseur)


Laker’s new-found passing attack continues to thrive, striking paydirt through the air four times in a 41-0 win over Vassar.

Connor McCain completed six balls and they went for 178 yards and four touchdowns. Dylan Wehner was the big-play target, turning two receptions into 92 yards and two TDs. Wehner also had two interceptions on defense and was crowned homecoming king.

Logan Collison-Russell had four receptions for 86 yards and two scores while Colt Oyervidez ran for a touchdown. Zach Kretzschmer tallied 113 yards and a TD on 16 carries in the Greater Thumb West win for Laker (4-1, 3-0).

Payton Kinney rung up seven tackles to lead the defense while Kretzschmer and Oyervidez joined Mikel Good with five tackles each on defense.

Reese beats Unionville-Sebewaing to secure first Sugar Bowl in seven years

Unionville-Sebewaing senior Garrison Dyer stretches before the 27th annual Sugar Bowl against Reese on Friday, Sept. 17, 2021 at Reese Elementary School in Reese. (Isaac Ritchey | Ritchey |


Unionville-Sebewaing had its offense clicking, and its defense was in tune as well in a 48-14 romp past Brown City.

The Patriots (2-3) rolled up nearly 300 yards and six touchdowns on the ground in the non-league win. Braylon Ballard kept his hot hand, rushing for 160 yards and two TDs on 12 carries, while Noah Crumm went for 97 yards on 11 carries with three touchdowns.

Carson Holland scored the first touchdown of the night for USA. Landon Russell ran the offense at QB, completing 8 of 11 passes for 83 yards.

Crumm fronted the defense with seven tackles while Ballard and Schlund had five apiece.

Standish-Sterling football

The Standish-Sterling football team prepares for the 2021 season.


Every game is a challenge and Standish-Sterling keeps rising to meet it.

The Panthers continued their thrill-a-minute ways, outbattling Hemlock 21-16 in Tri-Valley West play. Standish-Sterling is now 4-1 on the season.

Nate Tremble, Charlie Kolbiaz, Chase Raymond and Matt Yealey each recorded eight tackles for the Panthers.

Laine Thibault led the offense with 26 carries for 113 yards while Kolbiaz added 46 yards on six carries. Brett Bartlett was 8 of 12 passing, connecting with Raymond for a score and running for another.


Clare powered its way to its fourth straight victory, routing Pinconning 55-0 in Jack Pine Conference action.

The Pioneers (4-1, 4-0) led 28-0 after one quarter and 55-0 at the half, getting touchdowns from six different players. Al Warner rushed for one score and joined Jacob Recker with one TD pass apiece. Dawson John scored once by air and once by punt return for Clare while Carter Smedley also caught a scoring toss.

Matthew Harton rushed for 71 yards and two TDs on four carries while Westyn Bryant and Jake Punches got in the end zone with their lone carries of the game.

Gage Beckner had eight tackles while Manmit Singh and Bryant each added seven for a Clare defense that held Pinconning to just 1 yard of total offense.

Pinconning (1-4, 1-3) suffered its fourth shutout loss of the season. Thaddeus Nashatka was 4 of 7 passing for 15 yards while Riley Hill led the defense with four tackles.


Gladwin’s offense is averaging nearly 60 points a game and its defense just recorded its fourth shutout of the season in a 56-0 romp past Sanford Meridian.

The Flying G’s (5-0, 4-0) continue to set the pace in the Jack Pine Conference, with a Week 7 showdown with Clare looming. Gladwin has outscored the opposition 294-18 on the year.

Nick Wheeler was 12 of 17 passing for 170 yards, connecting with Earl Esiline and Trace Corlew for touchdowns. Logan Kokotovich and Aaron Kozlow each rushed for two scores while Jhace Massey and Ethan Breault both took it the end zone once.

Kokotovich finished with 89 yards on 12 carries while Massey added 71 yards on five rushes. Anna Seebeck was true on all eight PAT kicks.


Beaverton opened the scoring and closed the scoring, but in between it was all Harrison.

The Hornets scored 24 unanswered points for a 24-13 victory in the Jack Pine Conference rivalry.

Harrison (4-1, 3-1) didn’t put up the monster rushing totals it is accustomed to but tallied 196 yards, with Samual Rust getting in the end zone twice and Conner Kirby scoring once. Haydin Sims completed his only two passes of the day, both going to Logan Ashcroft, for 26 yards.

Kirby led the defense with 12 tackles while Sims added seven and Jackson Collins picked off a pass.

Beaverton (1-4, 1-3) got a touchdown run from Mitchell Hall for a 6-0 lead then another from Hall with two minutes left in the game. He finished with 88 yard on nine carries while Noah Coffey was 4 of 10 passing for 73 yards and rushed for 77 yards on 19 carries.

Logan Love was busy on defense for the Beavers with 10.5 tackles while Justin Wood added nine.


Mio showed its winning touch once again, rolling to a 56-16 victory over Whittemore-Prescott.

One season after going winless, the Thunderbolts are off to a 4-1 start. Austin Fox set the tone, rushing for one touchdown and throwing for three on 7 of 15 passing for 114 yards. Lewis Kuffel hauled in two TD grabs in the win and Nathan Hurst had one to go with 104 yards and a touchdown on the ground.

Seth Spahn rushed for 80 yards and a pair of TDs while Brandon Wiltse had 86 yards and a score on 11 carries.

Ryan Frost led the defense with two fumble recoveries while Dallas Long notched 12 tackles and Spahn and Kuffel added eight stops apiece.

Whittemore-Prescott (2-3) saw its two-game winning streak halted. Nick Smith rushed 13 times for 83 yards and touchdown while Brady Oliver added 17 carries for 74 yards and a score. Sam Vyner led the defense with seven tackles.

“We didn’t come out and play our best football,” W-P coach Joe Murphy said. “We had moments where we played really good defensively, then we would give up a big play. Offensively, we just made too many mistakes and turned the ball over way too much, and you can’t do that and expect to win a football game.”


A slow start and a flurry of penalties saddled Hale with a costly loss in its quest for the North Star League crown, falling to Hillman 22-0.

Hale (2-3, 2-1) battled back after trailing 22-8 at the half but couldn’t erase the entire deficit.

“Tough game and tough outcome to deal with,” Hale coach Grant Kortman said. “We hurt ourselves way too many times.”

Zach Koepke rushed for 151 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries and Robert Rosebrugh tallied 146 yards and a score on 29 carries. But the Eagles couldn’t get anything done through the air, completing no passes in the game.

Jeff Guoan led the Hale defense with 11 stops while Rosebrugh added 10 with an interception.

Mason VanSickle

Mason VanSickle of the Au Gres football team for 2021. (Photo provided by Brian Sanchez)


Au Gres got caught off guard early in the ballgame, falling in a quick 14-0 deficit.

But it’s safe to say the Wolverines were ready from there, erupting for a head-spinning 72-32 triumph in the non-conference clash.

“Our kids kept their heads up and kept fighting,” Au Gres coach Brian Sanchez said. “We ended the first half up 32-20, then came out in the second half and never let up.”

Mason VanSickle showed the way at quarterback, completing 28 passes for 408 yards and four touchdown. He also ran for 117 yards and two TDs with seven two-point conversions.

Keagan Bender was the hot target, catching seven passes for 198 yards and three touchdowns. Evan Saunder was also on task with nine receptions for 120 yards and a TD.

Bender fronted the defense with 12 tackles and Parker Nelson added 11.


Mayville handed Akron-Fairgrove a 22-8 setback.

“We played some great defense and showed some strong heart,” Akron-Fairgrove coach Dominic Trogan said.


Bay City area football scoreboard for Week 5

Heritage handles adversity to send Central into a deeper hole

Bay County Leaders for football through Week 4

Did Lee T pick your team to win in Week 5?

Quarterbacks rule among Week 4 Golden Helmet winners present and past

Associated Press high school football state rankings