2016-11-03 / Sports

St. Ignace Tackles Hillman To Advance in Playoffs; Will Rematch With Newberry

By Erich T. Doerr


St. Ignace’s David LaVake (#4) has the ball and looks to run up field early in the first quarter Friday, October 28, as his teammate Jared Helms (#54) block the opposing Hillman player Jared Juergens (#5). LaVake had four carries for 63 yards and a touchdown in the first quarter, but was forced out of the game with an injury afterward. St. Ignace went on to win this opening round playoff matchup 55-20. St. Ignace’s David LaVake (#4) has the ball and looks to run up field early in the first quarter Friday, October 28, as his teammate Jared Helms (#54) block the opposing Hillman player Jared Juergens (#5). LaVake had four carries for 63 yards and a touchdown in the first quarter, but was forced out of the game with an injury afterward. St. Ignace went on to win this opening round playoff matchup 55-20. St. Ignace got off to a hot start in the first round of the Division 8 football playoffs Friday, October 28, as they scored 55 points in the first half and then cruised to a 55-20 victory at home against Hillman. Coach Marty Spencer was very pleased with his team’s performance Friday.

“Our offensive and defensive line dominated the game as it should,” Mr. Spencer said. “Our quarterbacks threw well and our backs ran great.”

The Saints (9-1) led Friday’s game from start to finish. The team called up several additional players from the junior varsity for the playoffs and they all saw action Friday, including playing a lot in the second half.


St. Ignace quarterback Steve Seccia (#11) hands off to teammate Mitchell Peterson (#22) during the second quarter of the school’s opening round playoff game Friday, October 28, against Hillman. Peterson ran for a 48-yard touchdown on this play. The other St. Ignace players pictured here include Drew Marshall (#52), Garrett Kellan (#36), Reid Marshall (#61), Jared Cece (#63), Kenney Rickley (#32), and Carter Tallaire (#84). This was the Saints’ last scoring play of the night as they went on to win 55-20. St. Ignace quarterback Steve Seccia (#11) hands off to teammate Mitchell Peterson (#22) during the second quarter of the school’s opening round playoff game Friday, October 28, against Hillman. Peterson ran for a 48-yard touchdown on this play. The other St. Ignace players pictured here include Drew Marshall (#52), Garrett Kellan (#36), Reid Marshall (#61), Jared Cece (#63), Kenney Rickley (#32), and Carter Tallaire (#84). This was the Saints’ last scoring play of the night as they went on to win 55-20. “I was hoping for a better first half as we missed some of our tackles,” Hillman coach Bill Koenig said. “Overall, we have our guys in the right positions, but they didn’t make the plays. St. Ignace is a very well disciplined football program.”

“We played good, but we’ll need to improve for next week,” St. Ignace player Mitchell Peterson said. “We ran the ball well and our linebackers filled the holes on defense.”

St. Ignace’s first possession of the game ended in a punt but it quickly regained control of the ball by recovering a Hillman (5-5) fumble. The Saints scored immediately on the first play of their new possession with a 13-yard rushing touchdown from David LaVake. Peterson followed with the two-point conversion then scored a 25-yard rushing touchdown on St. Ignace’s next possession. The lead grew to 20-0 when St. Ignace quarterback Steve Seccia located Peterson for a successful touchdown pass. Carter Tallaire added another touchdown as he scored a defensive touchdown after recovering a fumble and running it back 37 yards. Hillman got on the board with a 66-yard touchdown run by Billy Kolcan on the ensuing kickoff, making the score 26-6. LaVake had a 41-yard run to put the Saints in scoring position as the quarter concluded, but he was injured on the play and out for the night afterward.

St. Ignace started the second quarter with a four-yard rushing touchdown by Garrett Kellan with Peterson adding the conversion. The Saints pulled further ahead with a 58- yard touchdown dash by Kenney Rickley and a one-yard touchdown by Robert Rountree, with Rickley then adding the conversion. Peterson ran a touchdown from 48 yards out with Tallaire adding the extra-point kick to give St. Ignace a 55-6 halftime lead.

The entire second half was played with a running clock, with neither team scoring in the third quarter. Hillman’s Caine Hunt scored in the fourth quarter on a four-yard rush with Kolcan recording the last touchdown of the night on a one-yard rush. Dakota Zimmer scored the conversion.

For Hillman, making the playoffs was an incredible achievement this year. The Tigers only became eligible for the postseason after a large fourth quarter rally led to a victory over Indian River’s Inland Lakes in the last game of the season.

“That was rough, but there isn’t much you can do against a tough opponent like St. Ignace,” Hillman player Billy Kolcan said. “We were fired up in the second half. The linemen maintained their blocks and everyone did what they needed to do.”

With the victory, St. Ignace advances to the second round of the playoffs, where they will have a rematch against Newberry following its 16-14 win over Gaylord’s St. Mary Cathedral. The Saints defeated the Indians 62-20 in the final game of the regular season, although Mr. Spencer said the next game is going to be very different from that one.

“We’ll have to play well,” Mr. Spencer said. “Our players will need another big game.”

Saints Offensive Statistics: Steve Seccia, eight of 13 passing for 139 yards and a touchdown, one carry for five yards; David LaVake, four carries for 63 yards and a touchdown, two receptions for 24 yards; Mitchell Peterson, six carries for 85 yards and two touchdowns, three receptions for 55 yards and a touchdown; Kenney Rickley, five carries for 77 yards and a touchdown; Garrett Kellan, two carries for 17 yards and a touchdown; Mason Gustafson, four carries for 13 yards; Robert Rountree, three carries for three yards and a touchdown; Carter Tallaire, two receptions for 41 yards; Preston Mayle, one reception for 19 yards.

Saints Defensive Statistics: Carter Tallaire, nine tackles, one fumble recovery, one defensive touchdown; Kody Rickley, 13 tackles, one fumble recovery; Mason Gustafson, 13 tackles; Alex France, 11 tackles; Garrett Kellan, eight tackles; Jared Helms, seven tackles, one sack, one fumble recovery; Mitchell Peterson, six tackles, one interception; Micah Davis, six tackles; Greg Paquin, six tackles; David VanHeuvelen, five tackles; Drew Marshall, four tackles; Trevor Soblaskey, four tackles.

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