GREENVILLE — It was a tough one to take for the Bellaire Eagles.
Bellaire dominated the statistical sheet and moved the ball much better offensively than Deckerville, but still fell short in a dramatic ending 14-12 in the 8-Player football state championship game at Greenville's Legacy Field Friday night.
Hunter Walsh was stopped at the Deckerville 4-yard-line as time ran out on Bellaire's state title hopes.
The Eagles scored earlier with 49 seconds left on a dramatic touchdown pass of 52 yards from Zach Smith to Wes Villafane but failed to convert on the extra point and trailed by two.
It was the second MHSAA 8-man football state championship game in Michigan and the first one in the Lower Peninsula.
It was the second lowest scoring total for Deckerville this season, but it wasn't enough to give Bellaire the victory.
"The kids played like this all year," said Bellaire coach Ron Bindi. "With only 13 of them, always out-numbered, there was no quit in them. We didn't get it done at the end this time."
Bellaire had 300 rushing yards and 117 passing compared to 239 rushing yards for Deckerville and none passing. But despite a 417-239 edge in total yards, the Eagles were hurt by two interceptions and two costly fumbles.
Bellaire's season ended at 9-4. Deckerville takes the title at 12-1.
"With great kids, you saw a lot of character out here today," said Deckerville coach Bill Brown.
Trailing 6-0 at halftime, Deckerville score 14 unanswered points in the third quarter for a 14-6 lead.
Arthur Lapp recovered a fumble at the Bellaire 24. Christopher Wolfe scored from 5 yards out and a quarterback keeper by Nick Pagel gave Deckerville an 8-6 lead.
On Bellaire's next drive, Ryan Stone intercepted a pass. Deckerville had runs of 31 yards from Wolfe and 23 from Stone, who scored the touchdown for a 14-6 lead. Pagel's try for two points failed on the pass.
Bellaire came back and got deep in Deckerville territory on a 39-yard run by Chase Small.
But for the third time in the evening, Bellaire would be stopped in the red zone. On the first play of the fourth quarter from the 1-yard-line, Small was stopped for a loss and Deckerville maintained its lead.
Smith was stopped on a keeper at the Deckerville 33 with 3:59 to play.
Deckerville drove to the Bellaire 36 but ran out of downs, giving Bellaire the ball with 1:14 to play and no timeouts.
But then Smith and Villafane connected for a 52-yard touchdown pass with 49 seconds to play. On the key extra point try, Walsh took the pitch and appeared to reach the goal line, but was ruled short by inches on a hit from Stone.
Richard Winslow recovered the onside kick for Bellaire at its own 49.
Smith passed to Villafane 32 yards to the 4-yard line with 20 seconds to go.
Walsh took the pitch but was stopped by Deckerville at the 4 as time ran out.
"We didn't spike the ball down there because I live by the philosophy that hey, let's try to catch them so the other defense can't get set," Bindi said. "We just hit a big play earlier with that same running play. It just didn't work out."
It was all Bellaire in the first half but the Eagles only led 6-0 at halftime.
Turnovers were critical for Bellaire.
On the game's first drive Bellaire drove to the Deckerville 21 before fumbling the ball away. Later in the quarter, another Bellaire drive was stopped on downs deep in Deckerville territory.
Late in the second quarter, Bellaire started driving again and this time they scored. Smith passed 15 yards to Chase Small to set up what would be a 1-yard quarterback sneak for a 6-0 lead.
Smith was 6-of-10 passing for 117 yards. Villafane caught three for 93 yards. Small ran for 149 yards while Smith had 116 .
Small had 12 tackles and Jordan Proctor added 10.
Time runs out on bid to capture the 8-Player crown
GREENVILLE — It was a tough one to take for the Bellaire Eagles.
Ag Forum: Cider pressing on the move
Geissberger Farmhouse Cider has gone mobile. This cidery in Clarington, Ontario, is keeping up with the times by providing a mobile cider pressing service to Durham region farmers and farm markets.Continued ...
West prevails, Central falls
Traverse City West scored two unanswered goals in the third period Friday to win at Calumet 3-1. Meanwhile at Hancock, the host Bulldogs bolted out to a 3-0 lead and then held off Traverse City Central 6-4.Continued ...
Letters to the Editor: 12/07/2013
Where are the blowers?; Things will happen.Continued ...
'Messiah Sing' ushers in TC holiday season
David MacDougall considers himself the kind of singer who sounds better singing with a crowd than on his own.Continued ...
Sewer plant fix up for debate
City and township sewer users could face significant rate increases over the next three years to replace treatment plant components that convert sewage into near-drinkable water.Continued ...
Rob Ford: Spread holiday cheer with eye contact
‘Whatever you do, don’t make eye contact” I said to myself. “It’s OK to look at your hands, look at your shoes, look at his beard or look at anything else, but just don’t make eye contact.”Continued ...
Girls Basketball Roundup: Frankfort tops TCSF in Challenge
Guards Pauline Lausten and Shayla Soto led Frankfort to a 42-38 girls basketball win over St. Francis in the Lake Michigan-Northwest Challenge here Friday night. (Plus more)Continued ...
In old ruling, judge ruled DNA not essential
Accusations that Jason Anthony Ryan raped and killed Kalkaska resident Geraldine Montgomery in 1996 came about because a group that works to exonerate convicted criminals through DNA evidence took an interest in the case.Continued ...
Body&Soul in Brief: 12/07/2013
"Pangea's 4 Peace" fundraiser; Parkinson's Support Group Christmas party; Christmas cookie sale; and more.Continued ...
Police chief woes continue
Frankfort city officials must renew their search for a police chief after their top pick dropped out.Continued ...
More property owners sue over Boardman flooding
A new group of Boardman River property owners is suing over flooding caused by removal of the Brown Bridge Dam.Continued ...
Blood Drive Calendar: 12/07/2013
Where to donate blood in the region:Continued ...
Drug charge dropped
Authorities dismissed a felony drug charge against a Traverse City man accused of possessing a designer drug.Continued ...
Body&Soul Newsmakers: 12/07/2013
People in the news:Continued ...
Community in Brief: 12/07/2013
Child care for holiday shoppers; old-time country dance.Continued ...
Education Newsmakers: 12/07/2013
The following local graduating seniors were named Kiwanis Club of Traverse City Students of the Month:Continued ...
Bullough, Sadler earn honors
Michigan State senior linebacker Max Bullough and junior punter Mike Sadler have been named to the Capital One Division I Academic All-America first team, as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).Continued ...
- Saturday, November 30, 2013
Letters to the Editor: 11/30/2013
Best salute possible; Global action needed.Continued ...
Blood Drives 11/30/2013
Where to give blood in the region.Continued ...
Traverse City repairman goes 'above and beyond' to save Thanksgiving Day
TRAVERSE CITY -- On Thanksgiving, the Donohue family gave thanks for what they normally take for granted: running water. And they gave special thanks to Doyle Berg, the man who was able to get their faucets flowing again. "It was just a really awesomContinued ...
Body and Soul in Brief 11/30/2013
Cookie sale; Advent Quiet Time service; Cookie Walk; Christmas Festival; and more.Continued ...
- Friday, November 29, 2013
Community in Brief 11/30/2013
Pancake dinner; nutrition seminar; holiday concerts; Benzie Community Emergency Response Team re-organizing; and more.Continued ...
- Saturday, November 23, 2013
Letters to the Editor: 11/23/2013
Listen to the people; More nuclear, please; Detroit has moved north.Continued ...
Apple crop sets records
The Michigan apply industry set new shipment records in October, and that’s no surprise to northern Michigan apple farmers.Continued ...
Ring Those Bells: Goal is $196K by Christmas Day
Tom Mountz rang his first bell for the Salvation Army as a little boy with his granfather downstate in the mid-1950s.Continued ...
- Ag Forum: Cider pressing on the move