2018-10-11 / Sports

Dragons clinch playoff berth

By Austin VanDaele
810-452-2655 • avandaele@mihomepaper.com

Swartz Creek’s Michael Smith looks for an open receiver as Thomas Marshall blocks a Kearsley defender during last Friday’s win. Photo by Amy Hill Swartz Creek’s Michael Smith looks for an open receiver as Thomas Marshall blocks a Kearsley defender during last Friday’s win. Photo by Amy Hill FLINT – The Swartz Creek football team had two players rush for over 100 yards during a 37-30 win at Kearsley Friday. The win was the Dragons’ sixth of the season, allowing it to clinch a playoff berth for just the second time ever, and first since 2012.

Swartz Creek wasted little time getting on the board, as Thomas Marshall scored on an 84-yard touchdown run at the 11:03 mark in the first for a quick 7-0 lead. At the 7:20 mark, Max Murphy helped the Dragons extend their lead with a five-yard touchdown run to lead 15-0 after a successful twopoint conversion. With 2:12 remaining in the opening quarter, Marshall put the Dragons up by three scores when he found pay dirt on a seven-yard rush. Swartz Creek jumped ahead 23-0 after a successful two-point conversion.

Kearsley responded with its first score of the game at the 4:44 mark in the second quarter thanks to a Braylon Silvas pass to Conner Cooper from six-yards out, but a failed two-point conversion left the score at 23-6 in favor of Swartz Creek. The Dragons responded with a touchdown on a 20-yard run from Michael Smith with 57 seconds remaining in the half to put the team ahead 30-6 going into the break.

Following halftime, Kearsley began to chip away at the deficit, scoring on a 62-yard run from Jalon Birchfield and converting on a two-point conversion to trail 30-14 with 10:57 to play in the third. The Hornets added their second touchdown of the quarter after Silvas found Isaiah Stiverson for a 21-yard touchdown through the air at the 2:07 mark. Silvas ran the ball in for the twopoint conversion to bring the Hornets within eight with one frame remaining.

In the fourth, it was Murphy who broke free for Swartz Creek and scored on a 15-yard rush with 9:13 remaining to put the Dragons ahead 37-22 following a successful point-after. Kearsley responded with a 25-yard touchdown run from Jace Chapman with 7:34 remaining, and even converted on the two-point attempt to trail 37-30, but was then unable to get back on the board as time expired.

Michael Smith finished the game 3-for-5 passing for 48 yards, while also rushing for 16 yards and a touchdown on three carries. Marshall led the ground attack on the night with 222 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries. Murphy had 141 yards and two touchdowns on 24 touches and DJ Brown had 27 yards on five carries.

Marshall led all receivers with one catch for 33 yards, followed by Hunter Mofield with one catch for 21 yards. Defensively, Brown led the Dragons with five solo tackles. Murphy had four solos, Andrew Heatherton had two solos with three assists and Hunter Puestow chipped in with two solos.

Swartz Creek, 6-1, hosts Fenton, 5-2, tomorrow at 7 p.m. for Senior Night.

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