**ARTICLE BY JOSH LONGSTRETH**
The Mt. Pleasant Oilers and Midland Chemics would square on a beautiful Friday night in their SVL opener. It’s a series that had been much of a back-and-forth affair. This time, both would look to start their seasons off with their second win.
The Chemics couldn’t have asked for a better start early in this one. They would chew up nearly half of the 1st quarter, before striking on a Jalen Brown touchdown to take the lead, 7-0. The Oilers would respond quickly, as Max Humphrey would take the ensuing kick all the way to the house to ignite the home crowd. We had a 7-7 ball game to this point. A few drives later, the Chemics would recover an Oilers fumble setting up ship at their own 44-yard line. On the very next play, the Chemics would cough it up, and the Oilers would regain possession. The Oilers would move the ball early in the drive, and a costly Chemics facemask would give the Oilers even better position.
The Oilers would take advantage a couple plays into the second quarter on another Max Humphrey scamper, and we had a 14-7 Mt. Pleasant lead after a Tyler Hutchins PAT. The Mt. Pleasant defense would force a three-and-out on the next possession. The Oilers would put another nice drive together on their ensuing drive. Unsurprisingly, another Max Humphrey touchdown capped off this drive to give the Oilers a 21-7 lead. The Chemics weren’t about to go away in this one, however. That’s when QB Jason Davenport would connect with TE Hudson Gerstacker on a huge pass, and the Chemics were deep in Oiler territory. Midland would punch it in a few plays later on a converted 4th and 1 from Mason Weaver to give the Chemics life. Mt. Pleasant would have solid field possession after the kick return, but would be content with taking this one to the half. It would be Oilers, 21-14, heading in.
Mt. Pleasant would find its way to the endzone quickly to start the second half when Humphrey would break free again. This time 58-yards to paydirt. This would put the lead at 28-14, Oilers. Mt. Pleasant would get the ball right back on a fumble recovery by Caleb Neubecker. When it looked as if Mt. Pleasant was going to take full command of this game, the Chemics just wouldn’t allow it. Mt. Pleasant would have to settle for a field goal attempt that would then be blocked by the Chemics, keeping them in this one. Midland would start out on their own 10-yard line, but would get out of danger on the next two plays giving themselves some breathing room. Colin Coffey would then find some daylight to put the Chemics in business deep in Oiler territory. Davenport would then punch it on to bring the Chemics closer making it a 28-21 game.
The Oilers would put something together on their next drive that started with a 16-yard pick up when Blake Moore would take a shovel pass from QB Logan Borodychuk. Then, Borodychuk would connect with Humphrey from 55-yards out for a touchdown, giving Mt. Pleasant a 35-21 lead. Back-and-forth we went. Coffey would then break free again in what looked like would be a responsive drive for the Chemics. Instead, disaster struck for Midland, as they would cough it up on a recovery from Neubecker. Mt. Pleasant would make it a 42-21 game shortly after on a Hutchins touchdown. Hutchins would add the PAT, as well. The mistakes would woe the Chemics again, as they could not get out of their own way. They would give the ball back to the Oilers, this time on a fumble recovery by Kaden Benaske. This game then headed to the fourth quarter, with Mt. Pleasant ahead 42-21.
Mt. Pleasant would add a field goal from 39-yards out by Hutchins to make this thing a 45-21 Oilers deep into the fourth quarter. Midland continued to battle, though, when Coffey would take one in. After the 2-point conversion it would cut the lead to 45-29. It was just too little too late in this one for Midland. The Oilers would a final score on a Neubecker touchdown run. This contest would go the way of the Oilers, 51-29.
Mt. Pleasant opens their season at 2-0. They’ll head on the road next week for a showdown with Cadillac. Cadillac is coming off an impressive win over Escanaba where they improved to 1-1. Midland will look to bounce back and fix their mistakes when they take on Carman-Ainsworth in Flint. The Cavaliers open at 0-2 on the year.