Grand Blanc football team make history with 49-28 victory over Howell in district final


GOODRICH, MI – They have been playing football at Grand Blanc for 102 years, and no team has won more games in a single season than the 2021 Bobcats.

The Bobcats set a school record on Friday with their 11th win against no loss, but more importantly, their 49-28 victory over Howell saw the fourth-overall Grand Blanc play next week’s regional championship game against No. 1 Rockford.

The two teams are 11-0 and will meet at 1 p.m. on Saturday, November 13 at Rockford.

“It’s a relief,” said Grand Blanc coach Clint Alexander. “We worked hard to get here, we really wanted it for the kids. I had no idea they had never gone 11-0, so it was weighing on my head. I wanted to make sure we could close the deal. We had to do different things.

“It was a tough, tough, tough team. We were kinda stuck in the box and (using) duct tape and wire to finish it. The offense bailed us out when we needed it.

The victory over Howell gave the Grand Blanc the third district football championship in school history and the first since 2011.

“It feels good, but it’s obviously not our primary focus,” said quarterback Hunter Ames.

While no one has used the actual words ‘state championship,’ that’s what the Bobcats are aiming for after seeing the school’s basketball and baseball teams win state titles in 2021.

“It’s realistic,” said offensive lineman Andy Hartman. “It’s our goal, it’s our mission. Just keep grinding and make it happen. Were happy. We worked all summer for (a district title) but we haven’t finished yet.

“We have a mission and we will continue. Celebrate it tonight, then we’ll get back to work.

The Grand Blanc controlled the entire game, scoring the first three touchdowns of the game to move up 21-0 less than four minutes into the second quarter.

Howell responded by scoring two of the next three touchdowns to bring the score to 28-15, but that score only lasted 12 seconds as Nas Carson returned a 78-yard kickoff for a touchdown to put the Bobcats on. front 35-15.

But Howell was not finished.

After the Grand Blanc reached 41-15, Howell scored two quick touchdowns, recovering a side kick after the first of those touchdowns and descending the field in four games to score again. Then the Highlanders recovered another kick in play, but this time they narrowly missed fourth and -1.

The Bobcats took control of the ball and Ames hit Jack Goldie for an 8-yard touchdown to finish the scoring with 1:44 left.

“We told them, ‘They won’t stop, they won’t stop. They just played triple overtime last week. So if you think they’re going to relax, they’re not, ”Alexander said. “This last trip was big.”

The Bobcats have received contributions from virtually everyone who has played.

Elijah Jackson-Anderson rushed for three touchdowns, Ames ran for another, Jalen Johnson caught a touchdown pass, the Bobcats were intercepted by Joe Nemecek and Ryan Deibis. And don’t forget Carson’s kick return which counted for the winning points.

“We are focused on combined arms warfare, all phases working together,” Alexander said. “It saved us the whole season. If one of the phases does not work, the other two pass and carry us.

“Tonight the offense really showed a lot of effort, then critical turnovers, an interception until the 6 was huge, then the kick came back. It was an incredible return.

Jackson-Anderson played the game when Ames threw a pass in his direction that seemed out of reach along the left sideline. Instead, Jackson-Anderson reached out and grabbed it with one hand before zigzagging across the field to Howell’s 4-yard line.

A game later, Ames scored to make it 14-0.

Jackson-Anderson led the offense with 172 total yards. He rushed 18 times for 127 yards and caught a pass for 45 more. It was the aforementioned game of the game.

Ames was 8 of 11 passing for 141 yards.

Jackson Kovarik, Ashton Hill, Noah Ramonaitis and Arvin Yang scored touchdowns for Howell, who finished 8-3.


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