The Montague Wildcats enter the Division 6 playoffs as the defending State Champions. This week, they were looking to capture a District Championship against the Reed City Coyotes, a team that entered with a 9-1 record that included a dominating performance against Whitehall. Even though Pat Collins is no longer at the helm, the “Playoff Cats” are back, playing their best football once again in November. On the road at Reed City, Montague played stellar in a 35-22 victory over the Coyotes.
Four minutes into the action, Montague took a lead. Dylan Everett powered across the goal line from two yards out. On their next drive, Andrew Kooi aired it out and found Tugg Nichols on a lengthy scoring play that covered 51 yards. Two Kooi extra points gave the Wildcats a 14-0 lead after twelve minutes.
Early in the second quarter, Reed City responded. Nick Wirgau rushed for a 5-yard touchdown, but a failed conversion left the Coyotes behind by eight. Montague answered quickly with a 9-yard strike from Kooi to Colton Blankstrom, jumping back ahead by fifteen points.
With just two minutes before the half, Noah Morgan got Reed City back within seven points. Blake Daggy was able to successfully add the two-point try. Montague would not be satisfied with that lead, and Kooi found Paul Olsen on a 21-yard touchdown that extended the lead back to fourteen points, 28-14, at the break.
Midway through the third quarter, the Coyotes howled back. For the second straight score, it was Noah Morgan. His 25-yard carry was paired with a conversion run from Bryson Hughes to bring the tally to 28-22 in favor of Montague. It would remain six points as the game entered its final frame.
With forty-five seconds remaining, the Wildcats got an insurance touchdown to ice the contest. Dylan Everett was able to reel off a 23-yard sprint through the Reed City defense, giving Montague an insurmountable 13-point lead.
Andrew Kooi completed just 7/14 passes, but he was effective for Montague. He racked up 127 yards and three touchdowns through the air. Dylan Everett had 29 carries to shoulder the ground game, finishing with 197 yards and two scores.
This is the fifth straight district championship for Montague. In each of the last three occurrences, they also captured a regional title. This will be put to the test next week, when the Wildcats hit the road once again. They will face the winner of Saturday’s contest between 10-0 Millington and 9-1 Lansing Catholic. The Cougars will host on Saturday at 1:00 PM in Lansing. Regardless of the outcome of that game, Montague does not have enough playoff points to host, so they will be back on the road next week.