Holly – During the last couple of weeks, Fenton varsity football coach Jeff Setzke has been a no-show for his squad.
It’s not his fault.
Setzke is involved in the General Motors labor talks, forcing him to spend most of the last two weeks in Detroit. He wasn’t able to attend the Tigers’ 50-0 victory against Swartz Creek on Sept. 13, and was only able to present his input in the game plan for one day as the team prepared to travel to Holly on Friday.
It didn’t matter. Setzke enjoyed watching the first half of Fenton’s 57-7 victory against the Bronchos from the press box.
“Most of us have been together well over 10 years,” Setzke said. “Even though we do some things different, it’s huge (my confidence in the rest of the coaching staff). I don’t like not being here, but I’m comfortable because we met (Sunday) and I was able to help put the practice plans together. But they did all the coaching (tonight).”
The coaches and players did an outstanding job. The Tigers scored 49 points in the opening half and cruised to a 57-7 victory against the Holly Bronchos.
Both sides of the ball had strong showings for Fenton. The Tigers had three different players score six rushing TDs, and Dylan Davidson completed one TD pass of 57 yards to Ethan Pyeatt. The defense also got into the scoring mix, collecting an interception return for a TD by Brady Triola, and a safety by Brendan Rosa.
“The practice week we practiced really good,” Fenton defensive lineman Cole Patterson said. “We knew what we were doing out here and we just gave it our all. We did great. I think we expected to stop their run game because we knew what we were capable of doing.”
“Our up-front blocking (is better than earlier in the year),” Miller said. “I remember in the first game we couldn’t really get much going, but we’ve steadily been improving each week. Our team chemistry is also coming together more.”
Holly’s defense did a solid job, stopping Fenton’s offense on each of its first two possessions. However, Holly’s offense was unable to do much against Fenton’s defense, resulting in back-to-back punting situations. On their second punt situation, Holly’s snap went wild and Holly punter Ben Gramer was tackled on his own 3. A play later, Angel scored on a three-yard TD. The first of seven Braden Moore extra-point kicks gave Fenton a 7-0 lead.
Holly was forced to punt on its next possession as well, but Fenton’s offense was now hot. The Tigers drove 58 yards on five plays, scoring on Anderson’s three-yard TD run. Davidson also completed passes of 29 yards to Owen Koza and of 26 yards to Triola during the drive. Fenton led 14-0.
The Bronchos fumbled the ensuing kickoff and Steven Bloss Jr. recovered for Fenton. Four plays later, Miller scored on a four-yard run. Fenton led 21-0 with 11:14 left in the first half.
Holly was forced to punt four plays later, and the Tigers started their possession at the 50. Four plays later, Miller was scoring on a 20-yard run around the right side. Moore’s extra-point made it a 28-0 Fenton lead with 8:26 left in the half. Holly could not stop the downhill spiral. A tackle for loss by Fenton’s Kade Lookebill set up another Holly punt. After it, it took just one play for the Tigers to score when Davison completed a 57-yard TD pass to a wide open Pyeatt who cruised into the end zone. Fenton led 35-0 with 6:35 left, and Fenton was still not finished.
Austin Hanard recorded a sack on Holly’s next possession, forcing another Bronchos’ punt. After it, Miller ran for 24 yards and Anderson scored on a nine-yard TD run up the middle. Fenton led 42-0 with 3:50 left in the half. The Bronchos were able to score on their next offensive drive. A 25-yard completion from Ryan Morgan to Alexczander Lewis and a 23-yard completion to Sebastein Bemman set up Morgan’s one-yard TD run. Holly trailed 42-7.
Fenton (3-1) was able to score one more time before the half was over. An interception by Triola resulted in a return for a score. Fenton led 49-7 with four seconds left in the half, and took that lead into the lockerroom.
The entire second half was played with the mercy clock. After a punt by Moore downed the Bronchos at their own 1, Fenton earned its safety when Rosa tackled Morgan in the end zone on the next play. Fenton led 51-7. The final score came on Anderson’s 10-yard run on the possession immediately following the kickoff after the safety.
Only one issue bothered Setzke. That was the high penalty yardage totals whistled against Fenton.
“We are still making too many little mistakes that could cost us bigger games,” Setzke said. “We looked a little flat when we started our offense. This team can play. … Our eyes are focused on Kearsley next week.”
The loss was Holly’s (1-3) third straight. The Bronchos have been outscored 120-7 in those losses. And life won’t get easier with a game against Flushing on Friday.
“It seems like with us it takes one bad break and then we start to fall apart,” Holly varsity football coach Dallas Lesperance said. “Right now we have to get mentally tough. We have to accept that in a football game there are going to be some things that are going to happen. We were playing well right until we fumbled. That’s where we started to fall apart.
“It’s about believing in themselves and confidence. That’s going to be our challenge going forward - how do we keep on building that confidence.”
The Tigers have a tough road game against Kearsley on Friday.
“I’m really excited about the game,” Miller said. “I think the whole team is excited about it. We have to be focused for it and we’ll be focused.”