STANTON – Central Montcalm’s postseason ticket is going to have to be punched next week.
The Green Hornets lost to the Chippewa Hills Warriors 26-19 Friday night in the “Pink-Out” game at Green Hornet Field.
The Warriors were able to force three turnovers in the first quarter.
“We gave them a short field,” Central coach Marty James said. “When you turn the ball over three times you lack a little bit of confidence and I think we were reeling a bit.”
Down 14-0 after the first quarter, the Hornets (5-3, 5-2) scored on a Jon Fickle pass to Ben Bishop from 15 yards out. Chippewa Hills responded with another score and led at the half 20-7.
“We got some things going offensively,” James said. “We gave ourselves an opportunity to move the ball. Our defense was on the field way too long. But we were finally able to build some confidence.”
When Central went into the locker room at halftime, James reminded his team that they have come from behind before.
“That was pretty much the speech at halftime,” he said. “We were down two scores and we knew we were able to come back. It was going to be a matter of effort and they did. They responded well.”
Sam Rockafellow countered the Warriors’ score with a two-yard run of his own, then quarterback Will Plavan scored on a one-yard run to make the score 26-19.
The Hornets still could have won the game, James noted.
“We got them into a fourth-down situation with 12 seconds left,” James said. “We blocked a punt and we had a couple of hail-mary chances and couldn’t finish it.”
Rockafellow was the leading rusher with 18 totes for 77 yards and a score. Plavan had 14 carries for 36 yards and was 4-of-13 passing for 61 yards.
Rockafellow led the defensive charge with 19 tackles, and Garrett Morris added 14 more stops and a fumble recovery.
“We fought and didn’t give up,” he said.
The Green Hornets now will have to beat Morley Stanwood on the road next Friday to make it to the playoffs. James’ team understands that, he said.
“There’s a lot left to play for,” he said. “I think the first thing we have to do is get over the tough loss. We have to realize we still have a lot to play for and if we want to continue our season we have to move forward and get a win.”