By Wes Morgan
The Schoolcraft and Constantine football teams probably won’t be getting together for a barbecue anytime soon, but things heated up in their Week 2 showdown faster than a propane grill. With five lead changes in a clash of relentless rushing offenses, Schoolcraft managed to scorch the Falcons on a key passing play to preserve a 37-29 victory.
With a 29-28 lead in the fourth quarter, Schoolcraft quarterback Tom Hurst hit Brennan Vaughn on a slant for a 47-yard touchdown, followed by a Josh Zemek 2-point conversion run, which made it a two-score game with 5:09 to play. Hurst punctuated a productive night on the ground with the zippy scoring fling — his fifth completion of seven passing attempts and an example of how balanced the Eagles can be when they need to change things up. The senior ran for a team-high 86 yards and threw for 82. Charlie Schultz rushed for two touchdowns and Cody Mikel added another TD on the ground.
“It was just a matter of will,” Eagles coach Terry Haas said. “We kind of made plays at the end of the game in the fourth quarter — that big pass over there — and I guess we did mix it up enough to keep them off balance.”
Constantine turned the ball over on downs on each of its last two possessions after being forced out of its comfort zone and trying to make something happen in the passing game. The Falcons won the battle of total offense 297-232, but they came up a few plays short at critical junctures.
The Falcons got rushing touchdowns from Justin Hull (two), Matt Hasbrouck and Taylor Reiff. Andres Montoya added a team-best 98 rushing yards.
Vaughn’s reception came after Constantine (1-1) fumbled the snap on first down and getting ready to cross midfield. It was one of two costly fumbles for the Falcons, which also turned the ball over on downs a couple times.
“At first I didn’t think it was coming to me,” Vaughn said. “Once I heard [the call], I knew it was coming to me. It was just a quick slant back. It was a perfect pass by Hurst. He’s a really good quarterback. This is huge. I love my teammates so much.”
“Remember this moment,” Haas told his 2-0 team after the game. “You will never fortet this moment.”
Constantine’s Matt Hasbrouck rushed 97 yards on the team’s second play from scrimmage to give the Falcons an early 8-0 lead in the first quarter.
Schoolcraft answered on the next possession with a 62-yard drive, mixing the pass and the run effectively. Hurst connected with senior receiver Trevor Stoddard for a 38-yard strike, but the 2-point conversion run failed. The Eagles fumbled in their own territory on their next offensive opportunity, and Constantine took over at the 33-yard line. The Falcons gave the ball right back on a first-down fumble. Schoolcraft executed a four-yard pitch to Charlie Schultz, followed by a 2-point conversion, to give the Eagles a 14-8 lead with 1:03 to play in the opening frame.
Hull hit a hole for a short score for Constantine with 11:18 in the second quarter to tie the game at 14-14.
Schoolcraft came right back down the field with a 67-yard scoring drive, highlighted by Cody Mikel’s 25-yard run and a 31-yard scamper on the next play that made everyone in a Constantine jersey miss for a 21-14 advantage.
Constantine drove down to Schoolcraft’s 40-yard line but on 3rd-and-19 ran the ball and gained no yardage and punted. The Falcons held the home team to a three-and-out and then got a 27-yard burst through the line from Taylor Reiff to regain a 22-21 edge with 40 seconds to play in the half.
Nic West had six tackles to lead Constantine, followed by Zach Sherman (five).