The Bridgman Bees were one of the top 8-man football teams in Michigan last fall. They cruised to an undefeated season and a “Division 0” State Championship. They appear to be firing in mid-season form this fall, as they opened the 2022 campaign against Maple Valley. They scored the first 34 points in a 54-6 rout of Maple Valley.
In the first quarter, Reid Haskins showed why he was the media’s selection for SWMFL-II Player of the Year last fall. The senior scored on a pair of touchdown runs. First, he powered across the goal line from four yards out. Later in the quarter, he showed some speed with a 45-yard sprint to the end zone.
Ahead 13-0, Bridgman continued to build their lead. Again, it was Haskins who broke free. He took a 20-yard keeper through the teeth of the Lions for six points. Just moments later, the Bees’ defense scored key points. Nolan Staniszewski stepped in front of an Ayden Wilkes pass, returning the ball 35 yards for a score. Christian Dinges would extend the lead to 34 points when he ripped off a 22-yard touchdown run.
Maple Valley finally broke the seal on a 29-yard pass from Ayden Wilkes to Cameron Carpenter. Bridgman would quickly respond with two more touchdowns in the final four minutes of the first half. First, there was a Haskins-to-Haskins connection, as Reid found Wade Haskins on a 62-yard touchdown strike. With thirty seconds before the break, Clark Smith scored on a 29-yard touchdown carry.
With the running clock ticking away, and the lead at 48-6, scoring opportunities were limited in the second half. Bridgman managed to find the end zone once, on a 52-yard sprint to paydirt by Clark Smith.
In this victory, Bridgman outgained Maple Valley 481-53. The Bees rushed for 367 yards, and passed for 114. Reid Haskins led Bridgman with 12 carries for 160 yards, and 114 yards through the air. Clark Smith added 128 yards rushing for the victors.
Maple Valley was held to (-2) yards rushing in this game, and the Lions only managed three first downs. Ayden Wilkes was 6/14 passing for 55 yards in defeat.
Next week, Bridgman will take their 17-game winning streak into a matchup with New Buffalo. Maple Valley will look to capture their first win of 2022 against Brown City.