**ARTICLE BY JOSH LONGSTRETH**
As we’ve gotten into the late stages of the high school football season, the Frankenmuth Eagles appear to be only getting better throughout each week. It’s hard to fathom from a team that has been dominant in every game on the year. They would have a chance to continue those ways against a Flint Hamady team that is riding a ton of momentum. The Hawks are 10-1 on the season and have won their first two playoff games in thrilling fashion. Led by an offense that can give opposing defenses fits, the Hawks would hope to ride that to an upset victory on the road at Frankenmuth on Friday night.
Hamady would grab a big gain off one of their first offensive plays on the night that seemed to give the visiting team some momentum. Right after the big play the Frankenmuth defense tightened up forcing a punt after 3-plays. The Eagles offense would set up in good field possession on their first drive. The Eagles offense would catch the Hawks with their eyes in the backfield as their first play on the night would be a big pass play of 50 yards from Aidan Hoard to Travis Brenner. Hoard would punch it in on the very next play and the home crowd was alive. Will Soulliere would give the Eagles a 7-0 lead after his good PAT. Frankenmuth would force a quick 3-and-out on the next Hawks possession and the Eagles were off and running again. Midway through the first Sam Barger would find his way in from 9-yards away. A Soulliere PAT would give the home team an early 14-0 lead. On the next drive, Hamady would put something together on offense. Driving to the 6-yard line of the Eagles the Hawks offense would come to a halt and Frankenmuth would take over on downs.
The Frankenmuth offense would then put together a monster drive early in the 2nd quarter. The Hawks defense looked like they might come up with a big stop after forcing a big 3rd and long. Hoard would find Griffin Barker on a throwback screen that the shifty running back would take in from 22-yards out. This would put the home team up 21-0 after the Soulliere PAT and the Hawks would have themselves some digging to do. Hamady would again drive deep into Eagles territory before the Frankenmuth defense would stiffen up again forcing the turnover on downs. The Eagles offense would take full advantage yet again putting together an 85-yard scoring drive that would result in a Barker 1-yard plunge. It would be all Frankenmuth after one half, 28-0.
When things are clicking it’s a beautiful thing. On the opening drive of the 2nd half, Barker would grab his third score of the night this time on a 12-yard scamper. The Eagles would take a 42-0 lead heading into the 4th quarter. Hamady would finally breakthrough early in the quarter. Young QB De’Queris Mayfield would find Jakobie Boose from 10-yards away to make it a 42-7 game. Frankenmuth would get the last laugh in this one, though. Jack Rich would plunge in from 2-yards out. Soulliere would put the final touches on a big night from Frankenmuth. The Eagles roll into the semi-finals, 49-7.
This one could have been very different. Hamady had their chances early to make things interesting but stalled drives would get the Eagles rolling. Hamady will look to build off a big year for their program as they have several key returners coming back next year.
The Frankenmuth offense had another big night piling up 361 yards of total offense. Griffin Barker would lead the way for the ground game in this one carrying 11 times for 114 yards on the night to go with 3 TD’s. Aidan Hoard was efficient throwing the ball on the night going 4 of 5 for 102 yards. The Eagles defense would hold an explosive Hawks offense to just 236 yards on the night. Travis Brenner and Colin Main led the way for the Frankenmuth defense combining for 17 total tackles on the night.
Frankenmuth came out ready to play in this one and you could sense it right when the teams took the field. It’s clearly a team that is as focused as ever and they let that catapult them to a big regional win. It’s a team that has been led by a bruising ground game that just completely wears down defenses. But the defense might be even better. Late in the season it’s a defense that is in the backfield on nearly every play. The Eagles could be on the verge of playing in the state finals in 2022.
They’ll have an opportunity to punch their ticket next week when they take on Detroit Country Day. Country Day is coming off a big regional win over Flat Rock. The Yellowjackets sit at 8-3 on the season and are battle tested. Frankenmuth will look to see if they can continue their dominant ways when the two teams battle next Saturday at a neutral location.