2017-11-09 / Sports

Glads stymie Lakers, win district

By Jay Bushen
Sports Editor


GLEN LAKE coach Jerry Angers hugs senior Max Guilbeau on Saturday shortly after a 13-0 district final loss to St. Francis at Thirlby Field. Guilbeau replaced Angers’s son, Duke Angers, at middle linebacker this season and posted a team-high 8.5 tackles Saturday. GLEN LAKE coach Jerry Angers hugs senior Max Guilbeau on Saturday shortly after a 13-0 district final loss to St. Francis at Thirlby Field. Guilbeau replaced Angers’s son, Duke Angers, at middle linebacker this season and posted a team-high 8.5 tackles Saturday.

Nick Apsey slowly made his way from the west end zone toward the handshake line with his hands on his hips and helmet tilted upward. Apsey, a senior, wasn’t ready to walk away — no matter what shape his ankle was in — but did so with his head held high.

“Nick was banged up, obviously,” St. Francis coach Josh Sellers said. “There’s no doubt about that. We talked about that during the week and told our kids it doesn’t matter what we see or what we hear about a boot or not practicing. He’s going to play in this game.”

The toughness of the two-way Glen Lake starter in many ways embodied his team’s performance Saturday in the district title game — a hard-hitting clash of area rivals that ended as a 13-0 win for the Glads in Traverse City. Thirlby Field was no frozen tundra, but the soggy turf and chilly temperatures set the stage for a game featuring 10 punts, 88 rushing attempts, a blocked extra point and two fullback passes.

Much unlike the 35-9 St. Francis win at Glen Lake in Week 2, the heavyweight bout lived up to its billing.

“We knew they’d get better,” Sellers said, “and that’s exactly what they did.”

A few key plays were the difference.

The first came on the game’s opening possession as a Glen Lake punt bounced off the back of a St. Francis player. The Glads recovered the loose ball, however, and promptly put together a 13-play drive capped by a 2-yard Teddy Prichard touchdown run.

The Lakers nearly knotted things up on their next possession after a 48-yard run from Apsey and first downs from senior quarterback Cade Peterson and senior fullback Max Guilbeau, but the drive stalled as time expired in the first quarter when officials credited St. Francis with a fumble recovery on their own 1-yard line.

Glen Lake forced a punt and returned to the red zone on their next possession but turned the ball over on downs.

St. Francis did not pick up a single first down in the third quarter, but senior fullback Joey Muzljakovich moved the chains on the first play in the fourth. Muzljakovich proceeded to finish off the drive with a 29-yard touchdown pass to Tom Hegewald from the wildcat formation with 9:39 to play.

“We left it all on the field,” Hegewald said after the game.

Glen Lake went backward on its next drive until Peterson converted a 4th-and-16 with a 19-yard bullet to Josh Sterzer along the Glen Lake sideline. St. Francis stood tall again, however, forcing another turnover on downs and ending the game soon after by taking a knee on Glen Lake’s 1.

“It’s so tough when you play a team like that and play as hard as you can but can’t get a break,” Glen Lake coach Jerry Angers said. “They put the ball on the turf three times and we couldn’t recover it. Those are all parts of games you can’t control.”

St. Francis finished with an advantage in total yards, 262 to 208, and made its mark on fourth down by converting all four of its attempts.

The Glads, who lost starting quarterback Danny Passinault for the season against Grayling in Week 6, completed just three passes.

Peterson, who rushed for a game-high 82 yards on 21 carries, completed 6-of-14 attempts for 49 yards. He was sacked three times and hit often.

“One of the keys is the pressure we try to bring,” Sellers said when asked how his team limited Apsey and Peterson. “If you let him stand back there, he can sling the ball everywhere.

“We tried to bring pressure on him, but he’s elusive for a big guy. Our defensive backs did a great job.”

Apsey toted the rock four times for 56 yards, adding two catches for nine yards and 5.5 tackles on defense.

Guilbeau, who led the team in tackles with 8.5, helped quarterback a defensive performance that was nothing short of impressive, especially when considering Glen Lake gave up 108 points in its first three games — and that St. Francis came in averaging more than 35 points per contest.

Glen Lake (7-3) will graduate 14 seniors and bring back about six players with starting experience on both sides of the ball.

“The adversity we fought through in games against Watervliet and St. Francis this year was for games like this,” Angers said. “We fought until the end, and those seniors should keep their heads held high.

“I just love my seniors.”

St. Francis (10-1) will play Millington (10-1) on Friday.

Return to top