2016-10-27 / Sports

St. Ignace Charges to 62-20 Victory Over Newberry in Regular Season Finale

By Erich T. Doerr


St. Ignace’s David LaVake (#4) has the ball as his teammate Kenney Rickley (#32) blocks Newberry opponent Andre James (#24) to help him during the second quarter. LaVake gained four yards on this play, setting up a rushing touchdown moments later for Rickley. St. Ignace’s David LaVake (#4) has the ball as his teammate Kenney Rickley (#32) blocks Newberry opponent Andre James (#24) to help him during the second quarter. LaVake gained four yards on this play, setting up a rushing touchdown moments later for Rickley. The St. Ignace football team closed out its 2016 regular season at home Friday, October 21, with a 62- 20 victory against Newberry. It was the final regular season game for both longtime Saints head coach Marty Spencer and assistant coach Les Therrian. Both the Saints (8-1) and the Indians (7-2) are heading for the playoffs, with Friday’s game serving as a warm-up for their post-seasons.

“We’re playoff-bound and ready to roll,” St. Ignace player Drew Marshall said.

St. Ignace will host its first-round playoff game at home Friday, October 28, at 7 p.m., when it faces Hillman. Newberry will also host a first-round game Friday as it plays Gaylord’s St. Mary Cathedral. If both teams win in the first round, they will be a rematch in the second round with a district title on the line.


The ball is hiked and the play is on midway through the first quarter of the St. Ignace and Newberry football game Friday, October 21. Here St. Ignace quarterback Steve Seccia (#11) has the ball as teammates, including Trevor Soblaskey (#57), Jared Cece (#63), Jared Helms (#54), Reid Marshall (#61), Kody Rickley (#55), Carter Tallaire (#84), and Kenney Rickley (#32), form a black and gold human wall to hold back the Newberry defense for him. Seccia ultimately handed off to Peterson, who ran for a 49-yard touchdown. The defenders here for Newberry include Adam Hildebrant (#7), Riley Pillion (#64), and Dylan Sears (#44). The ball is hiked and the play is on midway through the first quarter of the St. Ignace and Newberry football game Friday, October 21. Here St. Ignace quarterback Steve Seccia (#11) has the ball as teammates, including Trevor Soblaskey (#57), Jared Cece (#63), Jared Helms (#54), Reid Marshall (#61), Kody Rickley (#55), Carter Tallaire (#84), and Kenney Rickley (#32), form a black and gold human wall to hold back the Newberry defense for him. Seccia ultimately handed off to Peterson, who ran for a 49-yard touchdown. The defenders here for Newberry include Adam Hildebrant (#7), Riley Pillion (#64), and Dylan Sears (#44). The Saints led the entire game Friday, opening up a 16-8 lead in the first quarter and extending it to 40- 20 by halftime. St. Ignace pulled away further in the second half as its defense shut down Newberry’s offense. The last 11:03 of the game was played with a running clock as St. Ignace increased its lead beyond 35 points. St. Ignace took advantage of Newberry’s turnovers and the team cited the offensive and defensive lines as the key to the win. Mr. Therrian was pleased with the line’s play on both sides of the ball.


The Saints football game Friday, October 21, against Newberry marked the final regular season game in the long careers of head football coach Marty Spencer and assistant coach Les Therrian. The pair was honored for service during a pre-game ceremony that also included the rest of the coaching staff and the team captain players, as pictured here, including (from left) Mitchell Peterson, Jared Helms, Mr. Spencer, Drew Marshall, Mr. Therrian, Chris Marshall, Steve Seccia, Chuck McCall, and Mike Shepard. The Saints football game Friday, October 21, against Newberry marked the final regular season game in the long careers of head football coach Marty Spencer and assistant coach Les Therrian. The pair was honored for service during a pre-game ceremony that also included the rest of the coaching staff and the team captain players, as pictured here, including (from left) Mitchell Peterson, Jared Helms, Mr. Spencer, Drew Marshall, Mr. Therrian, Chris Marshall, Steve Seccia, Chuck McCall, and Mike Shepard. “Our offensive line dominated tonight, leaving a lot of big holes for our running backs,” Mr. Spencer said. “We were really good in the trenches tonight.”

The first half of the game saw an offensive explosion from both teams. Less than two minutes into the game, the St. Ignace first possession saw quarterback Steve Seccia give the ball a connecting flight straight into the hands of David LaVake en route to a 49-yard touchdown. Mitchell Peterson ran in the two-point conversion. The lead grew to 16 points later in the quarter when Peterson ran for a 49-yard touchdown and Seccia connected with Preston Mayle for the conversion. Newberry’s first touchdown of the night came on a 21-yard pass from John Paramski to George Sevarns. Sevarns caught another pass to score the conversion.

The momentum swung in the Indians favor at the start of the second quarter as a quick touchdown by Jeff Rahilly on a 24-yard pass from Paramski allowed the team to cut the lead to two points. They would get no closer as long runs for St. Ignace by Peterson and LaVake set up a oneyard touchdown for Peterson before he ran in the conversion. Another Newberry touchdown followed as Paramski passed to Adam Hildebrant. St. Ignace quickly countered as Kenney Rickley ran in a short touchdown and Seccia again located Mayle for the conversion. Rickley then intercepted a Newberry pass to set up another St. Ignace touchdown. Seccia passed to Carter Tallaire to score in the closing seconds of the half then found him again for the conversion.

The Saints scored the only touchdown of the third quarter came on a 14-yard pass from Seccia to Mayle. Seccia passed the ball to LaVake to score the conversion. Peterson caught a pass and ran for a 45-yard touchdown at the start of the fourth quarter then Mason Gustafson ran in the conversion to put the game into running clock territory. Senior Garrett Kellan’s only carry of the night in the game’s closing seconds saw him run for a 74-yard touchdown. The Saints combined for 286 yards of rushing as a team, scoring four touchdowns in the process.

“We had great blocking and tackles tonight,” St. Ignace player David LaVake said, noting the game was won on defense.

“Their defense couldn’t stop our offense,” teammate Alex France added. “Our defensive coverage was great.”

Newberry coach Fred Bryant said his team’s turnovers, including four interceptions, hindered it throughout the game.

“You can’t turn the ball over against good teams,” Mr. Bryant said, noting the issue led to both of the Indians’ losses this year. “We ran the ball effectively in the first half and passed well, but we had two turnovers that led to touchdowns.”

The game was something of a throwaway for Newberry, since the team was already bound for the playoffs. Mr. Bryant said the Indians backed off near the end of the game to save their players for the big game next week.

“We moved the ball well tonight,” John Paramski added. “We know if we play our game, and avoid mistakes and turnovers, we can contend right with” St. Ignace.

Mr. Spencer began with the Saints football team in 1988 as the coach of the junior varsity team, moving up to the varsity squad in 1997 and remaining in that position for the last 20 years. He is now longest serving and most winning coach in the football team’s history. Mr. Therrian started as a pee wee St. Ignace football coach in 1976 and partnered with Mr. Spencer as a junior varsity assistant in 1989. He also moved up to the varsity team as an assistant in 1997. The last 20 years coaching the varsity squad saw Mr. Spencer and Mr. Therrian post a record of 143-66, including Friday’s victory, with 10 consecutive seasons of playoff appearances, five district titles, and three trips to the state semifinals. Both coaches and the team’s senior players were honored in ceremonies before the start of the game.

The halftime entertainment for the game featured the Saints high school marching band being joined by several of the district’s eighth-grade band members. The students performed a movie-themed medley including themes for the fictional superheroes Batman and Superman, the Raiders March from the “Indiana Jones” films, and the “Star Wars” theme.

Saints Offensive Statistics: Steve Seccia, 16 for 19 passing for 202 yards and four touchdowns; Mitchell Peterson, 15 carries for 157 yards and two touchdowns, five receptions for 79 yards and a touchdown; David LaVake, 10 carries for 38 yards, six receptions for 88 yards and a touchdown; Kenney Rickley, five carries for nine yards and a touchdown; Garrett Kellan, one 74- yard carry for a touchdown; Carter Tallaire, two receptions for 13 yards and a touchdown; Preston Mayle, two receptions for 14 yards and a touchdown.

Saints Defensive Statistics: Mitchell Peterson, 18 tackles; Jared Helms, 17 tackles, two sacks; Mason Gustafson, 11 tackles, one interception; Kody Rickley, 13 tackles, one interception; Carter Tallaire, 12 tackles; David VanHeuvelen, 10 tackles; Alex France, eight tackles, one interception; Kenney Rickley, six tackles, one interception; David LaVake, eight tackles; Garrett Kellan, six tackles, one forced fumble; Drew Marshall, five tackles; Micah Davis, five tackles.

Indians Offensive Statistics: John Paramski, 13 for 21 passing for 152 yards and three touchdowns, 23 carries for 70 yards; Jeff Rahilly, two carries for 32 yards, four receptions for 51 yards and a touchdown; Adam Hildebrant, nine carries for 24 yards, one reception for 16 yards and a touchdown; Tom Clark, six carries for 21 yards; George Sevarns, four receptions for 48 yards and a touchdown; Casey Wendt, four receptions for 37 yards.

Indians Defensive Statistics: John Paramski, 11 tackles; Tyler Blakely; eight tackles; Adam Hildebrant, seven tackles; Dylan Sears, seven tackles; Mac Engelhart, six tackles; Jeff Rahilly; five tackles; Andre James, five tackles.

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