Climbing a mountain is hard enough. Thriving at the summit for any extended period of time is even more difficult. This is something the 9th-ranked Constantine football team is starting to realize.
After back-to-back Division 6 state finals appearances, the Falcons are scratching their heads at 2-2 this year following Friday’s 44-26 loss at Parchment in a Kalamazoo Valley Association contest.
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Head coach Shawn Griffith, after reviewing the game film, was pretty blunt about his team’s performance.
“We just basically got physically manhandled,” he said. “We still outgained them on offense (478-429) and we just couldn’t make tackles. It was pretty pathetic. I’ve never seen a Constantine crew that block and tackle quite like this one. Back to the drawing board.”
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Six of Parchment’s 11 drives resulted in touchdowns, and the Panthers (2-2) posted more than their fair share of big plays, including a 47-yard touchdown run in the first quarter and a 92-yard scoring run in the second. Parchment jumped out to a 20-0 lead before Constantine’s Justin Hull scored back-to-back rushing touchdowns, preventing, albeit temporarily, the game from slipping away before the break.
Parchment found the end zone on a 28-yard run in the third quarter, answered by the Falcons’ 10-yard TD scamper by quarterback Matt Hasbrouck. Then the Panthers broke Constantine’s back on a kickoff return for a touchdown and a 36-20 lead. The teams traded rushing touchdowns in the final frame.
“We’ll have to play a lot better to have a chance to beat Kalamazoo Christian next week,” Griffith said. “Parchment was a much more physical team than us tonight and hats off to Coach Hinton and his staff for having his kids ready to go.”
Hull churned out 220 rushing yards and three TDs on 31 carries and Andres Montoya carved out 163 rushing yards on 20 attempts. Luhk Mullendore had a team-high nine tackles for Constantine, followed by Spencer Tefft and Alex Miller, both of whom finished with seven.
Parchment’s Clay Wilkey unleashed 233 rushing yards and three touchdowns, with four carries going for at least 20 yards.