Colon defeated Morrice 27-8 in Saturday’s Division 1 eight-player football semifinal at Judd Field, sending the Magi to the state championship for the first time in school history.
“I’m proud of these boys, that was a dog fight,” said Magi head coach Robbie Hattan.
Colon’s defense was stellar yet again as they held the Orioles to 137 total yards and forced two key second half turnovers. Morrice was only able to get around 20 yards through their first four offensive drives, allowing the Magi offense to build up a 21-0 lead by midway through the second quarter.
“Every kid is getting in on the tackles, every kid is getting in on the hit,” noted Hattan.
The Magi offense was also excellent, earning 373 yards with numerous big plays on the muddy field. Quarterback Phillip Alva connected with Brayden Ireland on a 23-yard pass touchdown for the first quarter’s only points. Early in the second, Alva found Jonathan West on a 48-yard score. Alva then used his legs for a 23-yard TD run with 6:59 left in the half for the three-possession advantage.
Morrice finally moved the ball to close the half, putting together a 60-yard scoring drive capped on a 1-yard rush by quarterback Jonathan Carpenter at 2:34 remaining, followed by a Carpenter two-point rush. Then with seven seconds left, Garrett DeLau intercepted Alva in the endzone to keep the Orioles behind two scores with the ball to start the third.
They wouldn’t ultimately start with the ball, as Colon recovered an onside kick. However, Morrice’s defense grabbed its second takeaway on a Shane Cole INT. From there, the Orioles grinded out a 10-minute, 19-play drive that went from early in the third quarter to early in the fourth. Despite their efforts, the drive ended in failure as a poor snap flew over the QBs head, recovered by Colon’s Grayson Riethmiller.
“We are the best conditioned team in the state of Michigan, we put in more work than anyone because we want to have legs still in the fourth quarter,” said Hattan. “Bend, but don’t break.”
On the ensuing drive, the Magi got to the final margin of 27-8 on a wild 47-yard rush by Jonathan West. He started left and tight-roped the Morrice sideline, then shifted to midfield and kept his footing in the mud, ending up at Colon’s sideline by the time he made it to the endzone. The faint hope left for the Orioles ended when West intercepted DeLau on the next drive.
The win avenges Colon’s 40-8 loss at Morrice in last season’s semifinal, with the Orioles eventually winning it all. Morrice closes the season at 10-2 and graduate seniors Kodie Kiczenski, Caden Mortinsen, Jack Nanasy, Jarrett Wood, Shane Cole, and Max Jackson. Their 19-point defeat was the closest anyone has come against the Magi, with every other Colon win by at least 34.
Colon improves to 12-0 and heads north to Marquette’s Superior Dome for the Division 1 state championship next Saturday.
“There’s a lot of logistics to it regarding hotels and busing,” added Hattan. “If you feel like you want to support the Colon Magi going to state, we need the money. Any donation helps.”
The game is slated for an 11 a.m. ET kickoff against Suttons Bay, playing in their first eight-player championship and second overall final. Live broadcasts will be available via the MHSAA Network and MHSAA.TV.
Video by Jeff Ryder
CO- 23 yard pass Brayden Ireland from Phillip Alva, Austin Stoll PAT (4:06)
CO- 48 yard pass Jonathan West from Phillip Alva, Stoll PAT (9:28)
CO- 23 yard rush Phillip Alva, Stoll PAT (6:59)
MO- 1 yard rush Jonathan Carpenter, Carpenter 2PT rush (2:34)
CO- 47 yard rush Jonathan West, PAT Blocked (9:44)
Total Yards: Colon 373, Morrice 137
Penalties: Colon 8-92, Morrice 5-46
Turnovers: Colon 2, Morrice 2
Colon Rushing: Phillip Alva 109, 1 TD; Jonathan West 108, 1 TD; Brandon Crawford 80, Tucker Lafler 4, Justin Miller 3, Ryan Bower -1, Josh West -8
Morrice Rushing: Jonathan Carpenter 88, 1 TD; Jarrett Wood 7, Shane Cole 6, Garrett DeLau 1
Colon Passing: Phillip Alva 3-10, 78 yards, 2 TD, 2 INT
Morrice Passing: Garrett DeLau 5-11, 28 yards, 1 INT; Jonathan Carpenter 2-3, 7 yards
Colon Receiving: Jonathan West 1-48, 1 TD; Brayden Ireland 1-23, 1 TD; Brandon Crawford 1-7
Morrice Receiving: Peyton Smith 3-17, Shane Cole 2-14, Jack Nanasy 1-3, Jonathan Carpenter 1-1
Colon Defense: Justin Miller 12 tck, 1 TFL; Caiden Carver 10 tck, Brandon Crawford 8 tck, 1 TFL; Ian Eells 6 tck, 1 TFL; Kaleb Johnson 5 tck; Grayson Riethmiller 4 tck, 1 FR; Austin Stoll 2 tck; Robert Wickey 1 tck, Kodie Fields 1 tck, Jonathan West 1 tck, 1 INT; Brayden Ireland 1 tck
Morrice Defense: Peyton Smith 13 tck, 1 TFL; Jonathan Carpenter 8 tck; Shane Cole 8 tck, 1 INT; Garrett DeLau 5 tck, 2 TFL, 1 INT; Jarrett Wood 4 tck, Kodie Kiczenski 3 tck, 0.5 TFL; Jonah Mosher 1 tck, Max Jackson 1 tck, Todd Nanasy 1 tck, Jordan Converse 1 tck, Gavin DeLau 1 tck
Records: Colon 12-0, Morrice 10-2