Sports round-up 10.15

FAYETTE CROSS COUNTRY—Fayette’s girls had no trouble winning the final BBC cross country jamboree last week at home, but the boys squad was nipped again by Pettisville.

The girls made it easy with four top-10 finishers to score 37 points. Pettisville was next with 61, just ahead of Stryker’s 66. North Central scored 83, Hilltop 122 and Edon 155.

Erica Goeltzenleuchter ran close with Pettisville’s Tanner Hostetler, crossing the line at 20:39 which was 17 seconds back from the leader.

Danni Wyse finished fourth at 21:37, nine seconds back from North Central’s Grace Ebersole. Also in the top 10 were Hannah Schrock (9th, 23:11) and Alexa Kessler (10th, 23:15).

Rounding out the Eagle finishers were Sarah Kovar (12th, 24:04), Mara Raker (15th, 24:28) and Olivia Molina (24th, 25:46).

Darrell Randall held steady in the boys race, taking fourth at 17:17, and freshman Trevor Cox came in under 18 minutes to place eighth at 17:56. Hilltop’s Cody Livensparger won the race at 16:47.

Hilltop won the event with 42 points, followed by Fayette, 55; Stryker, 59; Pettisville, 91; North Central, 113 and Edon, 143.

Other Fayette runners were Logan Keefer (12th, 18:10), Dakota Brooks (13th, 18:15), Hunter Colegrove (18th, 18:20), Dalton Goeltzenleuchter (21st, 18:49), Ben Kovar (28th, 19:24), Jerry Minzey (34th, 19:52), Tim Stoltzfus (41st, 20:49) and Skylar Sommers (49th, 21:38).

In the junior high run, Ben Grieser paced the Eagle boys with a fifth-place 12:28. Tanner Rufenacht of Pettisville was the winner at 11:33.

Fayette’s other runners were Tyler Cox (8th, 12:35), Ian Schrock (13th, 13:13), Chandler Sanford (15th, 13:16), Dylan Aschemeier (22nd, 13:52) and Ben Kessler (29th, 15:06).

The Eagles placed third behind Stryker and Pettisville.

Jill Stuckey finished only three seconds back from first at 13:18 in the girls race. Madelyn Maginn placed fifth at 15:30 and Sadie Molina was 8th at 16:08. The Eagles finished second to Pettisville.

• The Eagles travel Saturday to Ottawa for the Div. III district run. The top four teams and top 16 individuals advance to the regional tournament Oct. 25 in Tiffin.

FAYETTE VOLLEYBALL—The match goes into the book as a loss, but Fayette volleyball co-coach Jodi Ordway saw some victories in her squad’s final match of the regular season.

Three of four games went beyond the standard 25 points in one of those nights where they say that it’s too bad someone had to lose.

“We had several rallies that seemed to go on and on,” Ordway said. “I have never been more proud of our team than I was tonight watching them fight for every point of every game. This team came together, stayed motivated and rallied each other until the end.”

Stryker claimed the opening game, but it didn’t come easily. The contest finally ended at 28-26—the same score as the next game, but this time with Fayette on top.

It became even more extreme I the third game with the Panthers finally claiming a 29-27 edge and a one-game lead.

Stryker wrapped up the BBC match—Fayette’s Seniors Night game—with a 25-22 victory.

The Eagles came through with a strong night at the serving line. Sierah Griffiths was perfect at 14/14 with two aces. Elisha Hartman went 11/11, Shenae Nuoffer went 13/14, Katie Borer went 12/14 with four aces and Tara Lichtenwald finished 6/6.

Andrea Canfield, Kalley Martin and Jacy Lewellen each missed on only one attempt.

Nuoffer provided 27 assists to her hitters, led by Griffiths with 12 kills, Borer with seven and Lewellen with four. Martin notched a pair of blocks.

On defense, Borer recorded 28 digs, followed by Hartman with 18, Lichtenwald with 15, Canfield with 14 and Griffiths with eight.

EDON—At Edon Oct. 7, the Bombers had no trouble putting Fayette away in three games, 25-16, 25-12 and 25-19.

The Eagles showed a large improvement compared to a match earlier in the season against Edon.

“Our Lady Eagles have improved immensely with every match we have played,” Coach Ordway said. “We came to Bomber country hoping for a good game and that is what we got. We made Edon struggle a little.”

Borer, Lewellen, Martin and Chelsea Mynhier were all perfect from the serving line. At the net, Borer finished with three blocks and three kills and Mynhier notched a pair of blocks.

Martin made 15 digs, Borer had 10 and Lewellen had nine. Nuoffer gave 15 assists.

• The Eagles faced Toledo Christian Tuesday night in Pettisville to open sectional tournament play. The winner goes back to Pettisville on Saturday to play the host team.

JV VOLLEYBALL—Fayette’s JV spikers started off the night with a win at  Edon Oct. 7, but the Bombers won the final two games to take the match. After the Eagles’ 26-24 victory, Edon turned things around to win 25-10 and 25-9.

Tori Lichtenwald was good on all seven serves attempts and she scored one ace. Leah Brinegar went six for six with two aces. Reba Rash missed on two of eight serves and she scored one ace.

Rash was good on defense with 16 digs. She scored three kills and Brinegar added a pair.

Lichtenwald gave 12 assists and made two blocks.

At home Thursday, the Eagles fell to Stryker in two games, 21-25 and 18-25.

Serving leaders were Brooke Croskey (8/8, 3 aces), Hannah Shaffer (6/6),  and Brinegar (8/10).

Rash scored four kills and Croskey added a pair. Defensively, Rash and  Kayla Wagner finished with 11 digs each, Tara Lichtenwald with nine, and Croskey and Binegar with seven each.

Tori Lichtenwald gave 11 assists.

MORENCI FOOTBALL—With two touchdowns in the first six minutes of the contest, it looked like Morenci might be on its way to another big win.

But that’s where it ended for the Bulldogs. After that it was “almost,” “oops” and a key injury.

Morenci ground out another 240 yards for the night—even advancing to the Summerfield one-yard line once and to the 12 another time—but they never scored another point.

The visitors made it into the end zone early in the third quarter and again mid-way through the fourth. An extra point kick after the second touchdown was good for Summerfield’s TCC victory to spoil Morenci’s homecoming.

The night proved one frustration after another for Morenci coach Dan Hoffman as he watch the Bulldogs drop the ball four times and lose possession on three of them.

One of the those fumbles was extra frustrating, he said, since the play was called dead and the runner let go of the ball.

Adding to the difficulties was the loss of Chas Frey in the first quarter with a foot injury. That limited the Bulldogs’ offensive options, Hoffman said, in addition to taking speed from the defensive backs.

“We’ve out-played everyone but Hudson,” Hoffman said. “We’re out-running them, we’re seeing people get knocked down, we’re coming up with better statistics.”

But the 3-4 Bulldogs aren’t coming up with the wins.

Morenci opened the game with a 77-yard scoring drive, highlighted by 20-yard  run by quarterback Jarrett Keller. After passing earlier to Clayton Wolf for a first down, Keller couldn’t locate a receiver when the Bulldogs were near midfield. He tucked the ball and took off, finally brought down at Summerfield’s six-yard line.

Two plays later, Reese Graham scored from four yards out, but PAT attempt failed.

Summerfield finished the game with 150 passing yards, but the visitor got off to a shaky start. On their first possession, sophomore quarterback Michael Hewitt threw two incompletions.

He went to the air again and let loose with a desperate toss down-field. Morenci’s Chas Frey grabbed the throw and raced 45 yards for a touchdown, with only 5:30 gone off the clock. Another failed kick attempt gave the Bulldogs a 12-0 edge.

Summerfield drove to Morenci’s 18 before coming to a halt, and on its next possession, Hewitt was hit as he passed and the ball came to Wolf. The Bulldogs drove to Summerfield’s one-yard line but turned the ball over on a fumble.

Morenci soon had the ball back at midfield and drove to the 12. After a fumble and with only seven seconds before half-time, the Bulldogs tried for a field goal but missed.

With those two scoring opportunities squandered, it was Summerfield’s turn to put some points on the board. The visitors’ first touchdown came courtesy of its defense when a fumble was scooped up on the run and taken in for a score.

Following a Morenci punt, Summerfield notched a pair of first downs before getting stopped on a fourth-and-eight play. A Morenci player was penalized for celebrating his sack and the Bulldogs were pushed by to their own 13-yard line.

Reese Graham picked up one first down, but the next drive stalled out inches short. Morenci punted and three plays later Hewitt connected with Tyler Benson who outran Morenci defenders to the end zone on a 54-yard play. The Bulldogs’ speedy defender, Frey, missed the entire second half with a sprained foot.

The PAT gave Summerfield a one-point lead, which turned out to be all they needed.

Morenci’s next drive was lost on a fumble and one final chance stopped short of the 50-yard line.

In addition to Frey’s interception, Clayton Wolf also grabbed a Summerfield pass. Levi Hoffman caused an interception and Josh Hauser caused a fumble. Wolf, Hauser and Hoffman each had a tackle for a loss.

• After dropping its first two games to strong teams, Sand Creek has won everything and leads the TCC. They aim to keep the streak alive Friday when they visit Morenci.

Coach Hoffman hopes to have Frey back to play against the Aggies.

“I think our best kids are as good as anyone else’s,” he said. “We can knock people down, but we have to hang onto the ball.”

JV FOOTBALL—The mercy clock went into action early in the second half when Morenci visited Summerfield last Thursday and the Bulldogs ended on top, 43-6.

Robert Schuch blocked a punt in the third quarter to give Morenci the ball on Summerfield’s 36-yard line. Andrew White soon scored from 22 yards out to make it a 35-0 game, but the rolling clock stopped on Summerfield’s next possession when they scored on a run up the middle.

Jacob Baker ran the kickoff back for an 80-yard return. With a bad snap on the PAT kick, White picked up the ball and ran it in for the final 43-6 score and the mercy clock was running again.

The Bulldogs scored in the first quarter on a four-play drive by White’s 27-yard run. White kicked the first of five extra points to make it 7-0. Summerfield punted and White scored again on a 72-yard run.

After an exchange of punts, Morenci put together a 67-yard drive with four first downs. White scored from three yards out.

With time running out in the first half, Brett Bovee intercepted. He passed to Baker on a fullback screen for a 56-yard touchdown and a 28-0 lead at intermission.

White was the leading ball carrier, covering 167 yards on just nine carries. Morenci tallied 344 yards to Summerfield’s 149.

Lucas Hollstein and Mitch Schmucker were each in on eight tackles. Jordan Bach was in on seven and Simon Jeffers finished with six. Baker had a pair of tackles for losses.

Morenci’s four sophomores will go up against Sand Creek’s 25 on the Aggies’ field Thursday. Facing a larger, older team with a more solid line, Bulldog coach Mike McDowell knows his squad is going into the contest as underdogs.

“We’d have to play our best game to win,” he said. “I think we can do some things if we execute well and play sound defense.”

He hopes the Bulldogs are able to keep the contest close into the fourth quarter and are able to take advantage of any Aggie errors.

“We’ll see if we’ve improved any since our opening loss to Hudson,” Coach McDowell said.

MORENCI CROSS COUNTRY—Zach Phillips posted a 16:40 Saturday at the Lenawee County meet near Blissfield to place third behind Blissfield’s Justin Bateson (16:02) and Hudson’s Stephen Tennis (16:27).

With Jeff Nofziger out of action while recovering from an injury, Morenci didn’t qualify for a team standing. Lenawee Christian School took that honor by topping Tecumseh, 48-56.

Morenci’s Micah Gillen finished 39th at 18:46, followed by David Brown, 55th at 19:25, and Logan Drummond at 21:34.

Tecumseh won the girls team title without any close competition.

Morenci was paced by Candi Evers at 24:07, followed by Jackie Paris, 54th at 25:47, Rachel Sodergren, 59th at 26:25, and Ashley Clark, 79th at 35:54.

Tecumseh’s Jordan Harrison placed first at 19:49.

TCC—At the league meet Thursday in Tecumseh, Phillips placed second to Whitmore Lake’s Zach Carpenter who won the race in 16:30. Phillips crossed the line at 17:01.

“Zach was running a little fast at the first mile,” coach Brad Brown said, noting the senior finished the first leg at 5:05.

Whitmore Lake finished first overall, while the Bulldogs placed fifth of seven teams—competing with only four runners. Coach Brown kept Nofziger out of action due to his injury.

He figures the Bulldogs had a good shot at placing second if Nofziger had run, but he didn’t think it was worth the risk of worsening the injury. He’s hoping to use the senior at the district run since Morenci has an outside chance of qualifying as a team.

Gillen placed 19th at 19:54, followed by Brown (21st, 20:15) and Drummond (35th, 23:23).

Only three girls competed in the run for Morenci. Paris placed 20th at 25:09, Evers was 22nd at 25:44 and Sodergren was 28th at 28:14.

• Morenci will compete Thursday at the Madison Invitational and Monday at the Sand Creek Invitational, the last events before the Oct. 25 regional tournament.

MORENCI VOLLEYBALL—Morenci and Sand Creek faced off here Thursday for a TCC volleyball double-header. Nearly two hours later, a winner was declared.

Morenci took the opener 25-17, followed up with a 25-20 win, then dropped two in a row—15-25 and 23-25—to stretch the match out into a decisive fifth game.

The Bulldogs started to run away with it after posting an 11-4 lead and ended up on top 15-8.

The second round of the double-header moved faster as the Bulldogs won in three, 25-21, 25-21 and 25-23.

The win moved Morenci’s conference mark to 4-5 and the overall record to 7-9-1.

“The best part of the night was our mental toughness and working together enthusiastically,” said coach Dennis Owens. “Every one of the girls contributed greatly to the victory. To come back and win the fifth game of the first match was a really big deal, it was our first five-game match of the season.”

Morenci started to open up the first game after a pair of kills by Tia Tompkins made it 16-11. Chanler McCaskey increased the lead to six and Tompkins made it seven. The Bulldogs’ final three points to win all came on kills by Mariah Bovee.

Morenci overcame a six-point deficit in the second game to take a 15-14 lead on a kill by McCaskey. The Aggies hung close and trailed 21-19. Amy Gillman scored on a kill, Tompkins added a point on a dink and another came on a net violation. Tompkins ended it with a kill.

Morenci trailed most of game three and  trimmed the Aggie lead to 18-15 on an ace from Tompkins. Sand Creek scored seven in a row to win.

The Aggies were on top for most of game four, but a kill by Bovee and an ace from McCaskey tied it up at 22 each. It was tied again at 23 before Sand Creek evened the series with a win.

In the final game, Gillman served three aces as the Bulldogs went on top 9-2. Sand Creek cut the lead to five, but could get no closer. Dana Joughin ended it with a kill.

In the second match, Morenci came from behind in the first game and finally pulled ahead for good on a string of seven serves by Bovee. Late in the second game, the teams were separated by two points, 22-20, before the Bulldogs finished it off.

The deciding game was even more of a nail-biter for Morenci fans. Sand Creek took a 17-11 lead, scoring eight consecutive points, but the Bulldogs came back to tie it at 23 each. A good dig by Kathleen Barron kept Morenci alive and it ended at 25-23.

Owens said the Bulldogs’ serve reception was strong all night, led by Barron’s 27 for 28, and the aggressive play at the net was a key factor in the victory.

SERVING: Barron, 26/27, 3 aces; McCaskey, 28/31, six aces; Tompkins, 21/22, 3 aces; Gillman, 8 aces; Bovee and D. Joughin, 4 aces.

PASSING & DIGS: Barron, 20/22; McCaskey, 25 digs; Bovee, 23 digs.

SETTING: Gillman, 30/32; D. Joughin, 26 assists.

ATTACKS: 73 team kills on 190 attacks; Tompkins, 21k/41, 5 kill blocks; Bovee, 20k/56; McCaskey, 17k/40, 2 kill blocks.

COUNTY TOURNAMENT—The Bulldogs drew a couple of tough opponents at the annual county match-up, falling first to Clinton, 7-25, 16-25 and 23-25, and later to Onsted, 21-25, 17-25 and 11-25.

“Our serve/receive was not good on Saturday and it put us in hole in every game and limited our aggressive play at the net as well,” Owens said. “We only had 18 kills as a team on the day.”

 SERVING: McCaskey, 18/18, 3 aces; Bovee, 17/18, 2 aces; Tompkins, 18/21, 4 aces; Gillman, 4 aces.

ATTACKS: McCaskey, 6 kills, 2 kill blocks; Tompkins, 5 kills, 3 kill blocks; Bovee, 4 kills, 1 kill block.

SETTING: Gillman, 11 assists; Ramsey, 2 assists.

DIGS: McCaskey, 17; Barron, 13.

 • Morenci’s double-header against Whiteford is rescheduled from Thursday until 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 24. The Bulldogs travel Monday to Lenawee Christian School.

Morenci plays host to the county junior varsity tournament Saturday.

CHEERS—Morenci alumni cheerleaders are invited to join the current cheerleaders at Friday night’s football game against Sand Creek.

Anyone who would like to participate should call Robyn at 458-6324 or 458-2300.