SPORTS

Sherrard wins homecoming game 18-12

Staff reports
Tiger Austin Hamerlinck is tackled by a Macomb bomber on his run to the end zone in Sherrard's 18-12 victory over the Macomb Bombers.

SHERRARD -- The Macomb High Bombers had to battle two opponents -- Sherrard and injuries -- Friday night, Sept. 19. That proved to be more than Macomb could overcome as the host Tigers dealt the Bombers its first Olympic Conference loss of the season with an 18-12 decision at Sherrard High School.

Zach Miller led the Tigers with 132 yards rushing on 24 carries as Sherrard improved to 4-0 overall and 2-0 in league play. MHS fell to 2-2 for the season and 1-1 in the conference.

The first half was a war in the trenches as both teams elected to keep the ball on the ground, but a turnover by the Bombers midway through the first quarter led to the first score of the game by Sherrard.

A fumble by Austin Sears was recovered by the Tigers at the MHS 49 and the hosts covered the distance in just four plays as quarterback Logan Frye hit Austin Hammerlink for a 12-yard touchdown toss with 5:04 to go for a 6-0 lead. The two-point run failed.

MHS could not sustain any offensive momentum for most of the half and the Tigers were able to put together one more scoring drive late in the second quarter. Sherrard went 44 yards in 11 plays as Frye capped the drive with a four-yard touchdown run at the 3:58 mark. The pass for the two-point conversion fell incomplete to give the Tigers a 12-0 advantage, which they would carry into the locker room at halftime.

The MHS defense got things going in the third quarter by forcing Sherrard to punt on its first series of the second half. However the Bombers were pinned back at their own eight-yard line to start their first drive.

But, MHS would take almost five minutes to march 92 yards to get on the scoreboard as Alex Roberts took it in from three yards out with 4:46 left in the third quarter. The two-point attempt was no good for the Bombers, who trailed by just a 12-6 margin.

Sherrard responded with a long scoring drive of its own as the Tigers drove 67 yards in 13 plays. Hammerlink scored on a four-yard run with 9:11 left in the game to make it 18-6. Following another missed two-point attempt by Sherrard, MHS started its next series at its own 38 and this time, the Bombers needed only two plays and 36 seconds as Roberts hit Matt Gordy on an option pass that covered 35 yards to bring the Bombers to within 18-12 with 8:28 remaining in the contest. MHS once again came up short on the two-point attempt to keep it a six-point game.

The Bombers had one last scoring opportunity after getting the ball back on its own 44 with 2:36 left. MHS moved into Sherrard territory at the 43 with less than a minute remaining, but the Tiger defense stopped MHS on a fourth-and-long with 45 seconds to go to seal the victory.

Roberts led MHS rushers with 91 yards on 11 carries and one touchdown while Gordy had just one reception for 35 yards.

After the game, MHS head coach Kelly Sears was proud of his team's effort despite missing eight starters, most due to injuries. "I've got to commend my kids tonight. ...I can make excuses and everything for the loss, but I'm proud of my kids," said Sears. "We've got eight guys out right now, but we're going to get these guys healthy and we're going to be good?"

"Those kids out there played their heart out tonight," he continued. "We were in this ball game all the way down. We may be little, but I've got some of the toughest kids around. They stepped it up when they had to."

MHS travels to Monmouth-Roseville for another Olympic Conference contest next Friday night. It will be homecoming for the Titans.

In the sophomore game, Sherrard led 20-8 at halftime and held off the young Bombers 20-14 to drop MHS to 1-1 in the conference and 2-2 overall.