**ARTICLE BY JOSH LONGSTRETH**
The Mt. Pleasant Oilers were hoping to get off to another strong start in Week 1, after a great 2021 season. Kalamazoo Central, meanwhile, was looking to change their fortunes and start what they hope to be a successful 2022 campaign. The Maroon Giants will have to wait for that fortune shift, as they suffer a 42-7 defat.
Mt. Pleasant was bound to dominate this one from the start. After forcing a three-and-out on the Maroon Giants first possession, the Oilers had great field possession on their first drive. Max Humphrey (Louisville baseball commit), would get the party started on a 2-yard touchdown run. The Oilers forced another three-and-out, and they would set up shop at midfield. On the ensuing drive, the Oilers would have two touchdowns called back before E’carves ‘Scooter’ Polk would take a misdirection handoff to the house for six. There would be no laundry on the field after his run, giving the Oilers a 14-0 late in the first quarter.
K Central would almost get something started on their next possession, before a costly penalty would halt their drive. The quarter came to an end with the Oilers ahead by 14.
The Maroon Giants would turn the ball over early in the second quarter on a Humphrey interception at the Kalamazoo Central 29-yard line. It wouldn’t take long for Humprey to glide in the end zone on offense for another Oilers touchdown, giving them a 21-0 lead.
K Central would mount some offensive momentum on their next drive, moving the ball into Mt. Pleasant territory on a big run. That’s where the drive would stop, however, as Polk made a big pass break up late in the drive. Central would come up with a big stop of their own on the next Oiler possession. A Kalamazoo Central fumble would leave this one at 21-0 Oilers heading into the half.
The second half was much of the same. The Oilers received the opening kick, where the explosive Polk would take it all the way to the house, igniting a home crowd that was already generating quite a buzz. This score put the Oilers up 28-0 and in full control.
Penalties would halt the next Maroon Giant drive, and on the ensuing Mt. Pleasant possession, the Oilers would have their third touchdown called back on the night. That wouldn’t stop them from making up for it shortly after, taking a 35-0 lead to trigger the running clock.
In the fourth quarter the Oilers would decide to pound the ball a little, and this time it was senior Jack Conners who was the beneficiary behind an aggressive offensive line. Kalamazoo Central would not leave town without getting some points of their own on the board. The Maroon Giants got their ground game going a bit as Rashawn Terrell took one off the edge to put the team on the scoreboard.
Mt. Pleasant will open Saginaw Valley League play when rival Midland will come to town. The Chemics opened their season with a 27-21 win over Cadillac. Kalamazoo Central will look to bounce back when they will make the short trip over to Kalamazoo Loy Norrix to battle a Knights team who will be looking to notch there first win on the season as well.