OTTAWA LAKE — Whiteford closed out its regular season Friday with a disappointing 33-30 loss to the Summerfield Bulldogs, but Bobcat head coach Jason Mensing sees it as an opportunity to get better.
“This isn’t how we wanted to end the regular season, but we’ll take a look at the film, see what we did wrong and, ultimately, our goal is to get better,” the eighth-year Bobcat coach said.
Whiteford’s regular season closes at 5-4. The Michigan High School Athletic Association will announce the 2019 state high school football playoff pairings at 7 p.m. Sunday. Whiteford didn’t earn an automatic berth that comes with six wins in nine games, but could still make it in.
“I think we are in,” Mensing said.
Whiteford gave up more than 400 yards of total offense, including 344 yards through the air, to Summerfield. The Bulldogs scored five touchdowns, all on pass plays with four of them covering at least 40 yards. Summerfield scored on the opening play of the game on a 65-yard pass from Devin Albain to Brendan Dafoe then took the lead for good with 6:45 left in the fourth quarter on a 46-yard pass play, again, from Albain to Dafoe.
“Summerfield had great success in their pass game,” Mensing said. “We know going into the game that they were a good passing team and we would have to get great pressure on the quarterback. We didn’t do a great job in that phase of the game and they executed. They got by us a couple times and made some good plays. Credit them for that.”
Whiteford took its first lead in the third quarter on a scoring run and two-point conversion by Devon Shaw. The lead didn’t hold up, however, as Summerfield regained the lead on Dafoe’s final TD.
In the final two minutes, Summerfield took a safety rather than punt out of its own end zone as Whiteford pulled within 33-30. The Bobcats would get to the Summerfield 20-yard line with five seconds left but a sack ended any scoring chance.
Shaw finished with 152 yards rushing and Marchant 137. Shaw scored twice, Marchant once and Giesige once.
Noah Bauman had a great game defensively for the Bobcats, getting in on nine tackles, including two tackles for loss. Eli Dyer made eight tackles and Marchant had an interception.
Summerfield 33, Whiteford 30
S – Brendan Dafoe 65 pass from Devin Albain (Derek Clark kick), 11:49
W – Cole Giesige 5 run (run failed), 2:25
S – Andrew Bucher 15 pass from Devin Albain (Derek Clark kick), 11:19
W – Devon Shaw 4 run (pass failed), 7:09
S – Andrew Bucher 68 pass from Devin Albain (Derek Clark kick), 6:04
W – Nick Marchant 4 run (Shea Ruddy run) 2:25
S – Brendan Dafoe 64 pass from Devin Albain (pass failed), 2:14
W – Devon Shaw 8 run (Devon Shaw run), 7:23
S – Brendan Dafoe 46 pass from Devin Albain (pass failed), 6:45
W – Safety, Summerfield punter ran out of back of end zone, 1:24
RUSHING – Summerfield: Derek Clark 11-29, Devin Albain 6-16, Ethan Eyler 2-12. Whiteford: Devon Shaw 23-152, Nick Marchant 23-137, Cole Giesige 7-27, Eli Dyer 2-9, Shea Ruddy 6-(minus)-14.
PASSING – Summerfield: Devin Albain 17-24-1 344 yards. Whiteford: Shea Ruddy 3-8-0 57 yards.
RECEIVING – Summerfield: Brendan Dafoe 8-189, Andrew Bucher 4-100, Roman Iott 1-23, Brayden Jewell 1-17, Derek Clark 3-15. Whiteford: Cole Giesige 1-27, Skylar Collins 1-23, Devon Shaw 1-7.