2018-11-08 / Sports

Norsemen fall to Pickford in regional final

by Grant McPherson
of the Enterprise staff


DEREK PIGLOWSKI, holds on to tackle the Pickford ball-carrier Friday in the regional final. Photo: Richard Piglowski DEREK PIGLOWSKI, holds on to tackle the Pickford ball-carrier Friday in the regional final. Photo: Richard Piglowski Suttons Bay finished its season in a tough matchup.

In a close game, the Norsemen fell to Pickford, 48-42 in the regional final of the MHSAA playoffs.

“I’m proud of the guys and they never gave up in the game,” Suttons Bay coach Garrick Opie. “We really used our passing game to help us against Pickford.”

Both teams went back and forth to start the game, but Pickford opened up the scoring with 2:35 left in the first quarter. The Panthers scored on a 13-yard touchdown pass to take the early 6-0 lead.

The Norsemen didn’t let the Panthers enjoy the lead for long, as Bryce Opie found Derek Piglowski on a 58-yard touchdown pass with 2:19 left in the first quarter. The Norsemen failed the two-point conversion, but tied the game at 6-6.


MICHAEL WITTMAN, middle, turns up field Friday in the regional final at Pickford. Photo: Richard Piglowski MICHAEL WITTMAN, middle, turns up field Friday in the regional final at Pickford. Photo: Richard Piglowski The Norsemen forced a Panther punt, and was the first team to get on the scoreboard in the second quarter. Caleb Smith found the end zone on a 10-yard touchdown run, and Opie ran in the two-point conversion to give the Norsemen the 14-6 lead with 11:53 left in the first half.

The Panthers returned the favor to Suttons Bay. Pickford scored on a one-yard touchdown run, and added the two-point conversion to tie the game at 14 with 5:49 left in the first quarter.

Opie found the end zone on a four-yard touchdown run, and Cesar Ramirez kicked through the extra point to recapture the lead, 21-14 with 1:57 left in the first half. The Suttons Bay defense held on the rest of the first half to hold onto the lead.

Pickford started off the second half with the ball, but was unable to find the end zone. The Norsemen took over on offense, and Opie found Erik Halvorsen for an 11-yard touchdown pass. Ramirez added the extra point, extending the Norse lead, 28-14 with 7:41 left in the third quarter.

The Panthers didn’t let the lead get any farther, as Pickford took over on offense and found the end zone. The Panthers scored on a three-yard touchdown run, adding the two-point conversion to tighten the score, 28-22 with 5:59 left in the third quarter.

Pickford tied the game up at 28, as the Panthers scored on a 60-yard touchdown run with 4:43 left in the third quarter.

Pickford scored its third unanswered touchdown, running in a three-yard touchdown. The Panthers took the 34-28 lead with 1:17 left in the third quarter.

Lucas Mikesell caught a touchdown pass from Opie to open up the fourth quarter, taking the slim 35-34 lead. Pickford took the 42-35 lead, as the Panthers scored on a 10-yard touchdown run and added the two-point conversion.

The Norsemen tied the game up with 2:39 left in the final quarter, as Mikesell caught his second touchdown pass on a 63-yard pass from Opie. Ramirez kicked the extra point through the uprights to tie the game at 42.

The air came out of the Suttons Bay sideline, as Pickford ran in a one-yard touchdown with :37 seconds left in the game. The Panthers took the 48-42 lead, and held on to knock off the Norsemen.

Opie completed 14 of his 23 passes for 332 yards and four touchdowns on the night. He also carried the ball nine times for 31 yards.

Mikesell caught eight passes for 184 yards and two touchdowns. He also carried the ball seven times for 17 yards. Michael Wittman caught two passes for 86 yards on the day. Halvorsen caught his one pass for the 11-yard touchdown. Piglowski caught just one pass for 58 yards and a touchdown.

The Norsemen compiled 404 total yards of offense to 450 yards of offense from the Panthers. Suttons Bay committed 10 penalties for 105 yards and Pickford committed eight penalties for 80 yards.

Zach Morton led the Norsemen defense, as he made 24 tackles, one for loss. Opie had 19 tackles and broke up five passes. Halvorsen made 13 tackles, two for loss, and Piglowski added 12 tackles, two also for loss. Mikesell added 12 tackles and Alex Aguilar had 12 tackles and two tackles for loss.

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