By David Fleet
Goodrich— The Goodrich Martians Varsity Football team ended the Freeland Falcons season with a 21-20 win to claim their second consecutive Division 4 District football crown in just two seasons.
“We moved the ball well on the ground,” said Head Coach Tom Alward. “We were able to lose their defense up just a little for the throwing game.”
The Martians rolled up 350 yards of offense, out gaining the Falcons by 82 yards. The Martians kept the ball on the ground with 319 yards rushing and just 31 in the air. GHS Sr. #2 Easton Phipps completed one pass on nine attempts for 31 yards. GHS Jr. #25 Chase Burnett had 174 yards on 23 carries and one touchdown, Phipps had 106 yards on eight attempts for 106 yards and one touchdown. On defense, GHS Jr. #33 Luke Francis had eight tackles , Phipps had six and Burnett six. GHS Jr. #9 Max Macklem had one punt return for 80 yards.
“In the second half our kids made some plays after falling behind in the third quarter,” he said. “The kids are warriors and we are very proud of them. We made some adjustments on defense in the second half, that turned it around. A few more points would have been nice. Our defense has been stellar all year long, the team played very well, when the offense was struggling they kept us in the game.”
The win for the Martians was the second consecutive one point victory over the Freeland Falcons in the District Championship. Last year the Goodrich Martians rallied from a 9-0 defect in the fourth quarter for the victory.
“Two district titles each by one point,” said Alward. “It would be nice to have a little cushion but we’ll take it. Freeland is a class act, the game was not dirty or nasty. It’s too bad one team has to lose.”
The Martians will play three of a possible five playoff games at home this year.
“We played the maximum number of home games possible due to the strength of schedule,” he said. “Last year’s road to Ford Field made this team realize there’s a fine line between playing for a state title and sitting home. They continue to understand that aspect of the game. We have big game experience and they don’t shy away from a big moment. This team takes nothing for granted, they can play with all the teams left going into the regional. We still have work to do this season and nothing is going to be given to us.”
By David Fleet