Hillsdale 32, Dundee 29
A season that was almost over after week three was on its last legs again Friday, but a sophomore quarterback and the leg of the town’s newest hero came through just in the nick of time to save it.
Travis Hodos connected on a 34-yard touchdown pass to Dan Vear to tie Dundee at 29 with 6:30 remaining, and with one second remaining on the clock Vear booted a 35-yard game-winning field goal straight through the uprights to send Hillsdale to 5-3, with a chance at securing a playoff berth in week nine.
Vear had not made a single field goal in his varsity career, but he made two Friday. The 35-yard attempt was setup by a pass interference call on Dundee in the end zone and Vear didn’t disappoint.
The Vikings tried to ice the junior, but it was all for null.
“We were joking on the sidelines with Dan, saying ‘They can’t ice you,’ and he stayed loose and was laughing about it,” Hillsdale head coach Marc Lemerand said. “We practice making big plays in the heat of the moment and Dan just drilled that ball, it probably would have been good from another 15 yards out.”
It was the exclamation point on a contest that the Vikings led 7-3 at the half and the final play of a game the Hornets were able to win despite giving up a lot of big passing plays.
Dundee quarterback Dan Bolster threw for 233 yards and four scores, all of them to C.J. Wolfenbarger who had six catches for 92 yards.
The Hornets defensive line was relentless though, surrendering just nine rushing yards on 27 attempts.
“That unit, (Zack) Kinsey, (Kirk) Putnam, Brock Estel and (Nathan) Spieth has worked so hard in practice and they’ve put in the time to get to where they are now, making plays constantly,” Lemerand said.
Estel had eight tackles and Kinsey finished with six.
Hodos kept the Viking off balance with 116 rushing yards and two scores, including a 65-yard TD scamper in the third quarter. He also was 7-for-21 for 67 yards, a TD and an interception.
Lemerand said he is proud of the youngster.
“He is in a tough situation and he’s making the best of it. He’s making the right reads and just learning how to be a good play-maker at this level,” he said. “We joke with him that he’s not the fastest, and he’s certainly not the biggest, but tonight he was phenomenal when we needed it most.”
Nick Reiniche added a 58-yard TD run in the win.
The Hornets now have to go on the road to face undefeated Manchester in week nine, with their playoff lives counting on a victory.
Jonesville 35, Homer 0
Josh Lindeman said he’s seen better outings from his Jonesville Comets, but his squad is headed to the final week of the season with a shot at the playoff alive and well, nonetheless.
Freshman Brandon Jenkins had his coming out party and the Comets sacked Homer QB Lincoln Hackworth seven times in a 35-0 win.
Jenkins saw a lot of action Friday in part because of some injuries and illnesses, and he showcased skills that prove the Comets have a bright future with him.
He had 124 yards on nine carries and he scored the first three touchdowns of his varsity career. On top of that he had an interception.
Lindeman liked everything he saw.
“He has been a step away, block away from making a play all season and I told him earlier this week that it was going to be a ‘Brandon Jenkins coming out party’ in Homer and he ran hard, broke some tackles and we were happy to see him get in the end zone,” he said. “He also knew he might get picked on in the secondary and he did a great job of deflect some passes and holding his ground.”
John Sigler added 71 yards on 18 carries and Kory Kidder and Evan Blonde had touchdown runs.
The Comets head to Blisffield next week to end the regular season.