Port Huron Northern is going dancing.
For the first time since 2010 and for just the fourth time in program history, the Huskies qualified for the playoffs with a comeback 20-14 win over Warren Woods-Tower.
“It’s a great feeling,” second year Northern head coach Larry Roelens said. “All the hard work you put in the summer (paid off) and the coaching staff has worked their butts off in getting the kids to buy into the program, and they did.”
The sixth win of the season was made sweeter with the Huskies putting up two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to come away with a victory.
“It just shows that we are a resilient team,” Roelens said. “And we bounced back from adversity and no matter what was happening we knew we could get it done.”
Northern will also be looking to get it done next week as the annual rivalry with Port Huron will go down at Memorial Stadium. That will be another drought the Huskies will try to snap as the Big Reds have won every matchup since 2010.
“I told the kids enjoy this, but we got a big game this week,” Roelens said. “As a staff we are breaking down film (Friday night).”
Deckerville flying high into playoffs
Being named North Central Thumb Conference champions? Completing an undefeated regular season for the first time since 2000? Raising money for cancer research during its pink game?
Deckerville was able to do all of that on Friday night as its defense was ruthless once again in a 42-0 win over Kingston. In the Eagles’ fourth shutout of the season, they held the Cardinals to minus-2 rushing yards on 26 attempts.
With that production, it looks like Deckerville could very well make another deep run in the 8-man playoffs.
“We knew we would be pretty good coming back from last year, especially defensively,” Deckerville head coach Bill Brown said. “We are still on track for that now … when you play defense the way we play defense, we thought we were going to be solid.”
The Eagles offense has also been a force, averaging 43.5 points per game.
With no opponents set for week nine, the Eagles have a bye week before playoffs roll around. While Brown is bummed there’s no game next Friday, he’s looking at the bright side of a week off.
“That will give us time to get healed up and have us work on some stuff,” Brown said.
Ingman remembers grandma in big win
After the game – kneeling over the breast cancer ribbon on Algonac’s 50 yard line – Richmond lineman Stephen Ingman III just broke down after the Blue Devils won the BWAC title.
He knew one of his biggest fans were watching, but not from the stands. In February 2015 Stephen’s grandmother, Nancy Ingman, passed away from ovarian cancer, but he still felt her presence throughout the 28-13 win.
“I just knew it would be a big game and she would have been there,” Stephen said. “And I knew up in heaven she was there.”
He thought about his grandmother the second he stepped on the field, knowing exactly how she would be in the stands. Outside of the game she was a classic sweet grandmother, but while it was game time? That’s a different story.
“Every time she saw something she didn’t like she would scream and yell,” Stephen recalled. “She was a sweet little old lady, but if something upset her she would let them know.”
For all of the Blue Devils, the postgame celebration was a flood of emotions. After the game it was clear Stephen felt the gravity of the win Richmond brought back home.
“I knew we were a good enough team and we could beat them, and it just hit me like a rock,” Stephen said. “I just fell to me knees when I knew that we got the win.”