The Tri-County Vikings and Manistee Chippewas squared off in the regular season finale for both teams. Each club is safely within the playoff circle, so this match-up was a great tune-up in preparation for the postseason. It was a back-and-forth battle that Tri-County captured 32-28.

The Vikings struck first, as Tyler Tompkins reeled off a 50-yard touchdown run. A failed two-point conversion gave them a 6-0 lead. After forcing an interception, Manistee found the end zone. Connor Beaudrie ripped off a 20-yard run, and the conversion was successful. The Chippewas’ Jeff Huber tossed a touchdown that gave Manistee a 14-6 halftime lead.

Early in the second half, the Vikings edged closer. Tompkins found Stuart Gould on an 80-yard touchdown strike, the receiver showing his CSAA Gold 400-Meter Champion speed.

Manistee would respond on another touchdown march capped off by a Jeff Huber touchdown run. Beaudrie’s second touchdown carry gave the Chippewas a 28-12 lead with eight minutes to play, a seemingly comfortable margin.

On the ensuing kickoff, Stuart Gould bolted through the oncoming kick team for an 80-yard kick return touchdown. After getting a turnover on downs, Tyler Tompkins rushed for a 10-yard score, trimming the deficit to four, 28-24.

After getting a stop, Tri-County got the football back. Tyler Tompkins found David Sheehan on a 13-yard touchdown strike with just twenty-four seconds to go, giving the Vikings a 32-28 lead.

Manistee got to the 50 yard line, and the Chippewas aired it out downfield. Stuart Gould stepped in front of Huber’s pass, eliminating any chance at a comeback victory. Strong play over the final eight minutes helped Tri-County overcome an ejection of their Head Coach, and multiple unsportsmanlike conduct penalties.

On Sunday, Tri-County and Manistee will learn their playoff opponents. Both teams have a great shot at winning their opening game, especially since Tri-County is more than likely going to host their contest.