2017-10-05 / Sports

Saints Bested 35-22 by Snowbirds After Wild Fourth Quarter at Homecoming

By Erich T. Doerr


The Gaylord St. Mary Cathedral offense prepares to run a play during the first quarter, but St. Ignace’s defensive line is ready. Shown are (from left) Trevor Soblaskey (57), Trevor Matson (63), Joe Kelly (84), Christian Ross (60), Reid Marshall (50), and David VanHeuvelen (52). The Gaylord St. Mary Cathedral offense prepares to run a play during the first quarter, but St. Ignace’s defensive line is ready. Shown are (from left) Trevor Soblaskey (57), Trevor Matson (63), Joe Kelly (84), Christian Ross (60), Reid Marshall (50), and David VanHeuvelen (52). St. Ignace’s homecoming football game against Gaylord St. Mary Cathedral Friday, September 29, proved to be a tight battle that saw the lead change hands twice in the fourth quarter as the visiting Snowbirds (6- 0) defeated the Saints (1-5) 35-22. Traditional homecoming festivities accompanied the game, including a parade and the selection of a king and queen.

Gaylord St. Mary’s led most of the game, and carried a 21-8 lead at halftime. St. Ignace rallied back in the second half with a touchdown in the third quarter and another early in the fourth quarter to take a 22-21 lead. But two late Snowbirds touchdowns in the second half of the quarter gave the visiting team the victory.


At right: Jessie Frazier and Joel Dodds of St. Ignace were crowned LaSalle High School Homecoming queen and king. Members of the queen’s court were Linnie Gustafson, Kiara Bishop, Emily Coveyou, Courtney Frazier, Regan Mortensen, and Caiti Dean. King’s court members were Marcus St. John, David VanHeuvelen, Mason Gustafson, Jarett Soblaskey, Chase Tallaire, and Hunter DeKeyser. Last year’s king and queen, Carter Tallaire and Lydia Brown, returned to crown their successors. At right: Jessie Frazier and Joel Dodds of St. Ignace were crowned LaSalle High School Homecoming queen and king. Members of the queen’s court were Linnie Gustafson, Kiara Bishop, Emily Coveyou, Courtney Frazier, Regan Mortensen, and Caiti Dean. King’s court members were Marcus St. John, David VanHeuvelen, Mason Gustafson, Jarett Soblaskey, Chase Tallaire, and Hunter DeKeyser. Last year’s king and queen, Carter Tallaire and Lydia Brown, returned to crown their successors. “I’m happy with our performance, although I’m not happy we lost,” St. Ignace Coach Chris “Iffer” Marshall said. “The score was not indicative of what a battle that game was.”

Mr. Marshall called Friday’s game a moral victory for the Saints, noting how well his players worked together for each other’s benefit. The team focused on its running game in the second half, performing very well. Mr. Marshall said the offensive line responded to this strategy with the team’s backs cutting well. The team will need to work on its defense for future weeks to work out gaps he saw Friday.

The Snowbirds clinched a trip to this year’s playoffs with the victory. While the Gaylord squad came into this game undefeated, it knew the St. Ignace team would give it strong opposition and Coach Kevin O’Connell complimented the opposing Saints as a tough, disciplined team that boasts a strong lineup. He credited the Snowbirds’ strong senior leadership with helping the team best the Saints after their late comeback.

“A lot of our players have [had to face to adversity like that] before,” Mr. O’Connell said. “They were able to respond.”

The game began with a back-andforth battle between the two teams, as both St. Ignace and Gaylord St. Mary’s saw their first possessions end without scoring. The Snowbirds took a 7-0 lead with just over a minute left in the first quarter when Alex Cherry ran in a 20-yard touchdown. Another 20-yard rushing touchdown early in the second quarter by Gaylord St. Mary’s Cal Gilling gave the visitors a 14-0 lead. St. Ignace got on the board when quarterback Tucker Shepard connected with Andy Metz for a 14-yard touchdown pass. Another pass to Garett Rickley completed a successful twopoint conversion. The Snowbirds locked down their 21-8 halftime lead after their quarterback Drew Long completed a 38-yard pass to Joseph Moeggenberg.

Each team’s first possession of the second half ended in a punt. St. Ignace’s Mason Gustafson scored the only touchdown of the third quarter on a six-yard touchdown run. The Saints’ two-point conversion attempt came up short but their momentum carried over into the early parts of the fourth quarter. A big 54-yard rushing touchdown early in the quarter by Shawn Livingston and the resulting two-point conversion he also ran in gave the Saints their first lead of the night 22-21. A pair of rushing touchdowns scored by Gilling, one from 30 yards out and the other from 17 yards away from the goal line, in the last six minutes allowed Gaylord St. Mary’s to take the victory.

“That was a tough game,” St. Ignace player Garett Rickley said. “We tried our hardest.”

“We made some mistakes, but we still got through them for the win,” Gaylord player Alex Cherry said.

The Saints homecoming festivities preceded Friday night’s game. They included a parade through the city where each class constructed a float themed after an animated film as part of a friendly competition between classes. The seniors prevailed in this year’s contest. The homecoming court was announced before the game with Joel Dodds named as the king and Jessie Frazier honored as the queen. At halftime the school’s marching band performed with a lineup of songs from the 1960s through the 1980s including “Word Up” by Cameo, “Rock You Like a Hurricane” by Scorpions, “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond, and “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen.

With the loss, St. Ignace concludes its Northern Michigan Football League Legacy Division conference schedule with a 1-4 record. Friday’s game marked the fourth year in a row the team has faced conference opponent Gaylord St. Mary. The Snowbirds’ victory was the first against the Saints in their program’s history. The all-time record between the teams is 4-1 in favor of St. Ignace.

The Saints next game is on the road against Frankfort Friday, October 6.

Saints Offensive Statistics: Tucker Shepard, six of 11 passing for 43 yards and a touchdown; Garett Rickley, 19 carries for 65 yards; Shawn Livingston, seven carries for 62 yards and a touchdown, two kickoff returns for 58 yards; Mason Gustafson, seven carries for 14 yards and a touchdown, two kickoff returns for 75 yards; Andy Metz, two receptions for 24 yards and a touchdown, one kickoff return for 15 yards.

Saints Defensive Statistics: David VanHeuvelen, 11 tackles, one interception, one fumble recovery; Andy Metz, 13 tackles; Garett Rickley, 11 tackles; Trevor Soblaskey, 10 tackles; Mason Gustafson, eight tackles, one fumble recovery; Reid Marshall, seven tackles; Mason Matson, three tackles, one fumble recovery; Tucker Shepard, three tackles, one fumble recovery; Ryan LaVake, three tackles; Caleb Brown, three tackles; Trevor Matson, three tackles; Artie Boucha, three tackles.

Snowbirds Offensive Statistics: Cal Gilling, 25 carries for 181 yards and three touchdowns; Alex Cherry, 19 carries for 132 yards and a touchdown.

Snowbirds Defensive Statistics: Eamon Curran, 13 tackles; Eric Francowiak, 11 tackles.

Return to top


Click here for digital edition
2017-10-05 digital edition