2011-10-06 / Sports

Harbor Beach controls own fate in race for league title


Mother Nature was not very nice to area football teams Friday night, dumping rain and blowing chilly winds across fans and players. At Harbor Beach, the Pirates played a key game against the Marlette Red Raiders in a battle for GTC-East bragging rights, a contest won by Harbor Beach. 
Photo by Ashley Wehner Mother Nature was not very nice to area football teams Friday night, dumping rain and blowing chilly winds across fans and players. At Harbor Beach, the Pirates played a key game against the Marlette Red Raiders in a battle for GTC-East bragging rights, a contest won by Harbor Beach. Photo by Ashley Wehner HARBOR BEACH — Neither wind, nor hail nor the persistent rain was able to deter the Harbor Beach Pirates in their showdown with Marlette Friday night.

Playing in conditions more suited for early winter, with persistent rain showers and a strong, gusty wind from the north, the Pirates were able to edge the Red Raiders 12-8. With the win HB has secured a spot in the post season, and, more importantly, controls their own destiny - a possible GTC-East championship, with three weeks left in the regular season.

Having played five of their first six games at the friendly confines of their home field, the Pirates (5-0 and 6-0) must now finish the season - and play for the league championship, on the road. They have conference games at Sandusky and at Mayville, along with a trip to USA, remaining on their schedule.

Elsewhere around the area Friday night, Ubly kept their play-off hopes alive with a 44-0 whipping of Bad Axe, USA suffered their first GTC-West loss of the year, falling to Vassar 28-8, Laker fell 36-0 to Reese, Tawas kept North Huron winless with a 41-0 decision and in Eight Man play, Owen-Gage rolled past Litchfield, 44-6.

The Pirates rode the rushing power of Sloan Klaski and a solid performance by both the offensive and defensive lines to post a key win over Marlette.

Klaski gained 139 yards on 27 attempts and scored the first of his two touchdowns midway through the third quarter, diving in from two yards out. He also had a key carry on a fourthdown play that turned into a fake punt, gaining 25 yards and a critical first down.

The scoring drive was capped when Klaski broke free along the far sidelines and scampered 16 yards for the game-winning touchdown, with about 10 minutes to go in the game.

The Pirates overcame the rainy conditions to tally more than 230 yards of offense, most of which came on the ground.

The potent Marlette offense, led by quarterback Kolby Lange, was held in check for most of the evening by defensive coordinator Ron Wruble’s determined bunch, that has proven to be stingy throughout the season. The Red Raiders’ star player managed just 86 yards rushing and threw for only nine yards.

BAD AXE - Ubly’s running game - namely Jimmy Shaw - had quite a night Friday, spoiling the Hatchets’ home date with a lopsided 44-0 win. Shaw ran wild, scoring six touchdowns in the game, and finished the night with 270 yards rushing on 13 carries. His TD runs covered five, 15, 32, 45, 57 and 65 yards.

Bad Axe, who will host Laker Friday night, had 55 yards rushing from Spencer Kelly, and another 32 yards by Brett Metzger.

PIGEON - The homecoming news was bad for EPBP after Reese paid a visit to Laker country, and came away with a 36-0 whitewashing of the home team.

Laker finished the night with over 130 yards rushing against the Rockets, led by Seth Kosinski’s 56 yards on 21 carries.

Evan Gascho added 44 yards on 20 rushes, and Nick Post (eight tackles) finished with 32 yards. Jeff Diebel chipped in with five tackles and Austin Jobes had four.

SEBEWAING - The USA Patriots suffered their first loss in league play, falling 28-8 to Vassar. With the loss, the Patriots are now in second place, a game back of Reese who they play in the Sugar Bowl this week.

After the Vulcans had taken a 6-0 first quarter lead, USA scored in the second quarter on a Brandon Harper TD run to claim a slim 8-6 lead at the intermission. From then on, the Patriots offense struggled to mount another scoring drive.

Harper finished the night with 117 yards on 19 carries while Jake Beachy connected on an 18-yard pass to Dan Reick and a PAT conversion pass to Ryan Nitz following Harper’s score. Mike Bednarski and Tim Zube each had eight tackles for the Patriots.

KINDE - The Warriors continue to look for their first win of the season, following a 44-0 setback to Tawas. Quarterback Kyle Case completed six passes for 51 yards and Brandon Moore (11 tackles, fumble recovery) chipped in with 100 all-purpose yards. Tom Fischer added seven tackles.

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