In a game with five lead changes Saturday, it was the Constantine football team that advanced to the Division 6 district finals after running away in the end for a 41-26 victory at Michigan Center.
The offensive linemen rolled up their sleeves and outmuscled the Cardinals (8-2), said Falcons head coach Shawn Griffith, whose team will travel to Hillsdale next weekend for the district title bout.
The two teams met in regionals last year and the Falcons won, 49-35.
“We got our fullback going and I think that opened up a lot of other things for us,” he explained. “Our offensive line came of the ball well today. We got into them a little bit. I don’t know if they were expecting that. We’re certainly battle tested coming out of the KVA.
“It showed today; we were definitely the most physical team on the field. We get to this time of year in the playoffs, if you’re the most physical, you’re going to win some football games.”
Full game stats are available on our Scoreboard page.
Constantine (6-4) rushed for 419 yards, led by quarterback Matt Hasbrouck and running back Taylor Reiff — both of whom registered 165 yards on 18 and 19 carries, respectively. Hasbrouck scored on a pair of runs and Reiff found the end zone three times.
The teams traded touchdowns in the first quarter, with Michigan Center failing on the point after attempt. The Cardinals struck first in the second frame on a 60-yard run by Josh Padelt. Constantine fullback Andres Montoya answered with a short run to give the Falcons a 21-18 halftime advantage.
Reiff started the second half with a 28-yard scoring run. Hasbrouck tacked on a 1-yarder in the fourth quarter to give Constantine a 27-18 advantage heading into the fourth quarter and Reiff capped things off with a 6-yard TD.
“It was the reaction of the guys before the game,” Griffith said. “We had probably our best week of practice. When it was announced that we had made it [into the playoffs], guys came out and put six straight days of great practice in and it showed today. I’m happy for our seniors and we’re certainly looking forward to having a chance to play for a district title.”
Michigan Center racked up 431 yards of total offense but lost two fumbles and was penalized 10 times for 64 yards. Constantine possessed the ball for just over 30 minutes to make a Cardinals comeback that much more difficult.
“We played Hillsdale in regionals last year,” Griffith said. “Both of us are pretty much retooled teams. They’re starting four sophomores, I believe. We’re starting three sophomores. It will be a good game.”