FAYETTE CROSS COUNTRY: Fayette’s cross county girls finished fifth Saturday at the Defiance Early Bird Invitational and the boys squad took seventh.
Eagle senior Darrell Randall finished the highest among Fayette’s runners with a fifth-place finish at 17:12, just ahead of his time a year earlier. Five other Eagles finished below the 20-minute mark.
Napoleon’s boys won the event, led by the overall champion, Steven Weaver, who crossed the finish line at 15:48. Thirteen teams competed.
After Randall, Fayette’s scorers were Trevor Cox (27th, 18:37), Dalton Goeltzenleuchter (42nd, 19:21), Tim Stoltzfus (56th, 19:40), Chandler Sanford (60th, 19:52) and Tyler Keefer (61st, 19:55).
Other Eagles were Hunter Colegrove (65th, 20:03), Dusty Lantz (91st, 20:55), Clay Burkholder (93rd, 20:56), Nathan Seiler (110th, 21:33), Tyler Cox (115th, 21:45), Dylan Aschemeier (116th, 21:46), Ian Schrock (119th, 22:12), Jonathan Boesger (146th, 24:54) and Alec Hylander (155th, 27:35).
Fayette’s girls squad had a pair of top-20 finishers for their fifth-place standing. Napoleon easily won the team title with all seven scorers among the top 20.
Melani Seiler was tops for the Eagles at 22:01 for 15th place, followed closely by Jill Stuckey, 17th at 22:14.
Alexa Kessler took 35th (24:00), followed by Madelyn Maginn (46th, 24:39), Sarah Kovar (58th, 25:39) and Sydney Brown (86th, 30:16).
Napoleon’s Erica Monnin won the race at 19:46.
Fayette lost four members of last year’s talented junior high boys team who now run on the varsity squad, but the Eagles still managed to take a first-place finish at Defiance.
Five runners took top-20 finishes to help Fayette top Ayersville by five points, 55-59.
Skylar Lantz placed fourth overall at 11:59 to lead the Eagles. He was followed by Casen Burkholder (11th, 13:00), Jared Wagner (14th, 13:10), Mark Maginn (22nd, 13:58), Dylan Stannard (26th, 14:13), Joel Smith (35th, 14:40) and Jerad Seiler (38th, 14:44).
The winning time was 11:09.
Liz Maginn placed 13th in the girls run at 14:41, followed by Alexis Fruchey (26th, 15:31), Taylor Griffiths (30th, 15:47), Miranda Minzey (41st, 16:40) and Adrianna Hylander (50th, 18:30).
The winning time was 12:13.
FAYETTE VOLLEYBALL: Some little mistakes turned out to be costly for the varsity Eagles volleyball squad Monday in a season-opening loss to Swanton.
“We had some really good rallies and I’m pleased with how we played,” said coach Danni Keefer. “The little mistakes we made ended up costing points, but that was due to it being the first game and the nerves.”
The Bulldogs won the match in three games, 25-19, 25-15 and 25-21.
“I think the outlook for the team looks good once they start playing more,” Coach Keefer said. “I feel we could do well.”
Fayette’s JVs lost 14-25 in both games, with Jena Myers gave five good serves. Brittney Croskey and Taylor Hartman each gave four good serves.
MORENCI FOOTBALL: By DAVID GREEN
Leading 30-29 with less than six minutes to play, Morenci put the visitors from Jonesville right where the Bulldogs wanted them.
Brett Bovee’s punt bounced and stopped at the Comets’ seven-yard line. Ninety-three yards from the goal line and time running down.
Jonesville ran for a first down to the 27, but was bottled up with a fourth-and-four situation on their own 33. They went for it and got a first at their own 40.
That’s how it went all the way down the field. The Comets were stopped short once again at the five-yard line with half a minute to play, but a face mask call on the Bulldogs gave Jonesville the ball inside the one.
On the next play they were in the end zone to go ahead and Morenci couldn’t come back in the final seconds of the game.
“Our lack of depth really hurt,” said Bulldog coach Tom Saylor, “especially on that last drive. We should have won that ball game. Our biggest enemy right now is depth.”
Jonesville took advantage of Morenci’s shortcomings all night, starting with the Bulldogs’ shortage of players. Only four substitutes were on the sidelines and four players remain out of action.
Saylor thinks the offense was well prepared for the contest, although most of the burden fell onto quarterback Brett Bovee. The senior completed 10 passes for 189 yards and ran for another 140 yards, averaging more than 10 yards a carry.
“He had a sensational evening,” Saylor said. “That’s the finest output from a quarterback in all my years of coaching.”
Bovee ran for two touchdowns and passed for two others.
On defense, the shortage of players led to some shifting of positions, Saylor said, and not everyone was able to make the adjustment.
“The lack of depth on defense is the reason we lost,” he said.
Saylor saw some impressive defensive work, such as Jacob McVay’s 21 tackles and 19 by Lucas Hollstein.
The visitors scored on their third play of the game when halfback Jacobs traveled 68 yards for a touchdown.
Morenci soon came back to tie the game as Bovee passed to Simon Jeffers and to Nick Wilson. Bovee made a large gain on the ground and he ran the final three yards for a score.
Wilson left the game with a cut on his hand and the Comets pushed their way down field for a 13-6 lead in the second quarter.
Jeffers reeled in another pass before half-time and the Bulldogs went on top 14-13. Jeffers got his hands on a Jonesville pitch and Bovee soon traveled 17 yards to put Morenci ahead 22-13 with 47 seconds before intermission.
The Comets regained momentum by running back the kickoff and trailing by one, 22-21, at half-time.
Jonesville took the lead in the third quarter, but three minutes later Wilson caught a pass and scored. Bovee added two points to put Morenci on top 30-29.
That’s how it stayed until the final half minute.
Saylor said Wilson and Peter Bach opened some good seams for Bovee to carry the ball, and he praised sophomores Zach Signor and Matt Andrews for shuttling in and out to fill a variety of roles to give weary starters a break.
“Mason Sanders surprised me the most,” Saylor said. “He never came off the field except for kickoffs. He played beyond my expectations.”
MORENCI JV FOOTBALL: Morenci’s JV football squad could hardly help but score when they traveled to Jonesville last week.
The Bulldogs scored on most every possession to open the season with a 52-15 victory.
Five different runners crossed the goal line for Morenci as the Bulldogs went on top 38-0 at half-time to play with a running clock in the second half.
Cody Graham scored Morenci’s opening touchdown on a 57-yard play in the first series. Cody Powell added two points. The Comets soon punted and Graham soon had another score on a 35-yard run. Colin Smith added two points.
Next it was K.C. Clegg who scored on a 19-yard run and a 22-0 lead. Clegg scored again early in the second quarter on a 42-yard run and Graham added the conversion.
Austin Thomas was next with a 36-yard touchdown run, and Powell made the conversion for a 38-0 lead at intermission.
The Bulldogs needed a more sustained drive on their next possession and finally crossed the goal line with a three-yard run by Powell.
Jonesville put a drive together early in the fourth quarter, but Morenci soon came back with its final scoring drive, finishing with a three-yard run by Kendrick Taylor. Taylor added two points for a 52-8 lead, but the Comets ran back the kickoff for the final score of the game.
“Our running game was obviously clicking and we have three kids who run the ball well,” coach Ryan Love said. “We played outstanding defense and that allowed our offense to be on the field a lot to go to work.”
Love was pleased with the work of his offensive line, as well.
Graham finished with 208 yards on eight carries. Clegg covered 139 yards on 10 carries. Matt Heinze notched seven solo tackles. Eli Decker and Clay Harvey each finished with five.