BEAVERTON – Oscoda struck first, but Beaverton answered immediately. It was apparent from the onset that game was going to be tight and the winner was going to have to earn it. The Owls came into the game undefeated at 7-0 having given up only one touchdown all season. The Beavers were 6-1 and had four shutouts of their own. Both teams were also led by quarterbacks who are also excellent baseball players, Owen Franklin for Oscoda and Trent Reed for Beaverton. The two actually play together on the Gladwin Post 171 American Legion team in the summer.
Franklin accounted for 51 of the 60 Oscoda yards on the first drive throwing for 12 yards and rushing for 39 including a five-yard touchdown run. After the success extra point Luke DeMoines returned the ensuing kick off 35 yards to the Owl 35-yard line setting up the Beavers in good field position. Six plays later Reed hit Carson Oldani for a 23-yard touchdown pass. After a successful kick by Reed the score was tied 7-7 midway through the first quarter. “This was a very hard fought football game,” said Coach Aaron Seiser. “Oscoda is extremely talented.”
Oscoda and Franklin looked like they were going to move the ball again on their second drive. They picked up eight yards on a first down run by Zach Ouillette. Franklin then ran for 22 yards on second down to the Beaverton 35, but a holding penalty negated the gain. The Beavers took advantage of the break and when DeMoines stopped Ouillette for no gain on fourth down the Beaverton had the ball at the Oscoda 43-yard-line.
Beaverton moved the ball to the Oscoda 19-yard-line where they had fourth and ten with 19 seconds left in the first quarter. On the next play Cameron Mishler lined up behind the center and Reed was split out. Mishler found Reed with a pass that he took into the end zone scoring with four seconds left in the quarter. After the extra point kick by Reed the Beavers were ahead 14-7. The 14 points the Beavers scored in the first quarter were over double the number that Oscoda had given up all season.
The Owls tied the score early in the second quarter on a one-yard plunge by Franklin and then took the lead on a bit of bad luck for the Beavers. Oldani intercepted an Oscoda pass at the Beaverton one-yard line, but three plays later the Beavers fumbled and Oscoda recovered in the end zone for a touchdown. The extra point made the score 21-14.
Beaverton wasn’t done though. They got the ball back at the 40 with a little over a minute to go before halftime. After a touchdown pass from Reed to Oldani was called back due to a penalty the Beavers had one more opportunity for an untimed play. Reed found Oldani again in the back of the end zone for a 32-yard touchdown tying the score 21-21 going into the break.
The teams traded touchdowns in the third. Reed scored from the one and Franklin completed a long touchdown pass to tie the score at 27-27. The Owls scored the only points of the fourth quarter on a five-yard run by Franklin, his third rushing touchdown of the night with about four minutes left to play. The two-point conversion pass was no good making the score 33-27 with time running out. The next Beaverton drive stalled forcing them to give the ball back to the Owls. Oscoda was able to run out the clock and go home with the victory.
“We challenged our boys to play as physical as possible and to make them take some stressful snaps. We did that over and over tonight,” said Seiser. “Unfortunately, we came up a little short. I’m so proud of this group.” By any measure it was a successful year for the Beavers. They finished 6-2 and were in the playoffs for the fifth consecutive year and won their first round game for the third year in a row. “I would have never thought that we would have been as successful as we were,” concluded Seiser. “We will definitely miss our outgoing seniors.”
Reed threw for 127 yards and two touchdowns while Mishler completed his only pass for a touchdown. Oldani caught four passes for 80 yards and two touchdowns. Brayde Keeley caught six passes for 41 yards Reed had one catch for a touchdown. Reed also led the Beaver rushing attack with 90 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries. Noah Coffey carried five times for the Beavers. Reed led the Beavers with 11 tackles. DeMoines had 6.5 while Logan Love and Brayde Keeley each had five.