Football

Preps ticker: New Boston Huron football gets rare win over Monroe SMCC

Lowell QB Ryan Stevens looks to pass the ball against Detroit Martin Luther King in the second half of the Michigan High School Athletic Association football finals at Ford Field in Detroit on Friday, Nov. 27, 2015.

Lowell QB Ryan Stevens looks to pass the ball against Detroit Martin Luther King in the second half of the Michigan High School Athletic Association football finals at Ford Field in Detroit on Friday, Nov. 27, 2015.

One of the most significant football victories in the history of New Boston Huron occurred last week when the Chiefs registered a 7-6 win.

It was momentous because it came against Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central, a team Huron beats about as often as the Lions win in Green Bay.

This was Huron’s first victory over St. Mary CC since 1986; before that, the last time Huron beat CC was … never.

The ironic thing about the win is that the guy who rebuilt the Huron program — Dan Kalbfleisch — no longer is the Huron coach. Coaching the Chiefs is his father, Jim Kalbfleisch.

Just before the season, Dan received an offer you can’t refuse to become athletic director at Gibraltar Carlson, which ended his coaching career. In stepped his father, who has been the team’s offensive and defensive line coach.

The elder Kalbfleisch, 68, began coaching in 1970 as an assistant to the great Bill McCartney, and has been the head coach at Lincoln Park.

Kalbfleisch already was the varsity boys basketball coach at Huron and ran the school’s daily sports tech class, so the transition was smooth.

The amazing part of the win over CC was that the powerful CC T-formation offense managed only one touchdown.

“Every year we’ve been tweaking and trying to stop the T,” Kalbfleisch said. “This year we tweaked one of the fronts we’ve been using. It gave them a lot of problems … we got on their quarterback real early on their boot passes.”

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The younger Kalbfleisch did an amazing job in 11 years at Huron, making three playoff appearances in the past six years and two seasons ago advancing to the Division 3 semifinal before losing to eventual champ Orchard Lake St. Mary’s.

But last week’s win won’t soon be forgotten.

“It was fantastic,” Jim Kalbfleisch said. “The student body swarmed the field. The kids were as happy as they could be. It was really an exciting thing for them.”

Ristola a big kick for Churchill

Katherine Ristola is a junior back-up kicker and receiver/defensive back at Livonia Churchill who was profiled in last week’s Preps Extra. She had kicked only one extra point to that point, but last week Churchill’s starting kicker, Drew Alsobrooks, was injured.

Ristola stepped in and kicked a 27-yard field goal and six extra points in a 54-27 win over Plymouth.

“It was pretty cool,” she said. “I couldn’t get over the fact that I was actually out there. It was amazing. It was thrilling.”

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Don’t throw on St. Mary

The “No Fly Zone” at Gaylord St. Mary is still in effect.

Through four games, St. Mary has 14 interceptions, half coming in Week 2 against Bay City All Saints.

Most recently, the 4-0 Snowbirds picked off two passes in Week 3 against Indian River Inland Lakes, then had three picks last week against Mesick.

“We’re catching them at the end,” St. Mary coach Kevin O’Connell said. “We’re starting out slow, we’re putting points on in the third quarter and forcing offenses to go deep on us, and then we kind of cherry pick and catch them.”

The state record for interceptions in a season is 33, set by Warren Michigan Collegiate over 12 games in 2011.

Coach of the week

Dearborn Fordson’s Walker Zaban is this week’s Detroit Lions/Farm Bureau Insurance Michigan High School Coach of the Week.

Last week, Fordson defeated Garden City, 49-6, to improve to 4-0 and No. 4 in Division 1. This is Zaban’s 10th season as Fordson’s head coach, compiling a 76-26 record with nine state playoff appearances. Zaban spent 13 seasons as a Fordson assistant before becoming head coach.

Contact Mick McCabe: 313-223-4744 or mmccabe@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @mickmccabe1.

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