Ottawa Lake Whiteford dominates Mendon, 50-21
HOWELL — Mendon’s drive to a Division 8 state football title stalled in the rain and wind Saturday at Howell High School with a 50-21 semifinal loss to Ottawa Lake Whiteford.
No. 2-ranked Ottawa Lake Whiteford (13-0) advances to face Saginaw Nouvel (13-0) in Friday’s 10 a.m. state championship game at Ford Field in Detroit.
Mendon finishes 12-1, including its first regional and state semifinal appearance since 2011. The Hornets were also outright champions of the Southwest 10 Conference.
Mendon found running room sparse in the first half against an Ottawa Lake Whiteford defense that came into the contest allowing just 99.8 yards rushing per game.
“Ottawa Lake was big, physical, aggressive and experienced up front. Turnovers killed us today and we played sloppy in the first half. When we started getting some drives going we would hurt ourselves with another turnover,” said Mendon’s second-year head coach Bobby Kretschman.
Behind its massive senior offensive line, the Bobcats built a 14-0 advantage after the first quarter.
Junior halfback Logan Murphy (6-foot-0, 190-pounds) roared into the end zone from 15 yards out to put Ottawa Lake Whiteford on top 6-0 with 10 minutes left in the first quarter. Murphy’s two-point conversion run failed.
Bradyn Clark Gilmore hauled in a 25-yard pass from Bobcats’ senior quarterback Thomas Eitniear with 6:31 left in the period. Eitniear hit his big senior tight end Matt Taylor (6-4, 210) with a conversion pass.
The Bobcats held the Hornets to just one yard of total offense in the opening period on 10 rushing attempts.
Ottawa Lake Whiteford found the end zone three more times in the second quarter to increase its lead to 36-7 entering halftime.
Junior wingback Zach Bertz (5-8, 170) scored all three second-quarter TDs for the Bobcats.
Please see Monday’s Commercial-News print or e-edition for the full article.