By Chris Zadorozny
In a battle between the undefeated Grosse Ile Red Devils and Huron Chiefs, only one could come out a winner. Red Devils junior quarterback, Andrew Mitroka made sure it was his team that came out on top with the 28-3 victory.
Mitroka led the Red Devils by racking up just over 300 yards of total offense, including two rushing and two passing touchdowns. Mitroka also threw two interceptions on the night although neither resulted in points for the Chiefs.
“He had a great game, but he also had some adversity; threw a couple of picks, but he stepped back in the second half,” said Red Devil Coach John Bodner. Huron couldn’t find an answer for the quick, no-huddle offense, but only found itself down 15 -3 at halftime.
“We constantly moved the ball all night,” said Chiefs Coach Dan Kalbfleisch. “Unfortunately they don’t keep track of yards on the scoreboard, they keep track of points, and we couldn’t put it in the end zone.”
The only points on the night for the Chiefs came on a 33-yard field goal from junior kicker Marco Marchiondo in the first quarter.
The Chiefs looked powerful early. An eight-minute opening drive resulted in that field goal, but easily could’ve been more.
On the first possession of the game for the Red Devils, Mitroka threw an interception in the end zone.
Following an interception by junior Jon Wellman, the Chiefs drove the ball from their own 25-yard line, deep into Red Devil territory, where senior quarterback Eli Scott and his offense were set up on the Red Devil 33-yard line.
On a third-and-11, Scott dropped back for a pass, but instead of finding his receiver, he instead found Red Devil senior Danny McCarty, who returned the interception 47 yards to the Huron 43-yard line.
That interception would cost the Chiefs seven points.
As soon as the second quarter started, Mitroka found the end zone just three seconds in, with a 1-yard touchdown run.
This game was just heating up, and a trick play from the Red Devils caught the Chiefs off-guard.
On the kickoff, sophomore kicker Tim Beach fooled the Chiefs by way of an onside kick. It was recovered by the Red Devils at the Chiefs 35-yard line.
It only took Mitroka six plays to find the end zone from the Huron 34-yard line against the tired Huron defense.
The score came when freshman wide receiver Justin Moores broke free of his defender and Mitroka found Moores in the end zone for a 34-yard touchdown reception with 9:16 to go in the first half.
An offside penalty by the Chiefs had them rattled, and the Red Devils went for the two-pont conversion. Mitroka found McCarty for the two points, which put them up 15-3 at halftime.
Huron tried to answer throughout the rest of the first half, but despite getting deep into Grosse Ile territory, the Red Devil defense stood up to the task in their red zone three times, with a turnover on downs, as well as two interceptions thrown by Scott and fellow Chiefs quarterback, sophomore Matt Hartwick.
Despite being down just 15-3, the Chiefs definitely had a chance in the second half to try and gain control, but couldn’t make it into the end zone.
Grosse Ile even went four-and-out on the first possession of the second half, but Huron turned it over on downs after a quick four-and-out as well.
The Red Devils once again had a shot to put the game out of reach of the Chiefs, but they couldn’t get it past their own 40-yard line with 5:30 to play in the third quarter. Huron looked to capitalize. Starting on their own 21-yard line, they made it all the way to the Red Devil 40-yard line, before being pushed back because of a penalty.
But after the GI defense held on downs, it took Mitroka just six plays to find the end zone, with a 34-yard touchdown run.
A failed two-point conversion put the Red Devils lead to 21-3 with 1:19 left in the third quarter.
Time was running out for the Chiefs, but Scott threw three more incomplete passes early in the fourth quarter, only to be intercepted on his fourth pass by junior Derek Judd.
A six-minute drive for the Red Devils put the game way out of reach at this point, as Mitroka found McCarty again in the end zone for a seven-yard touchdown reception.
It wasn’t all bad for the Chiefs though, as junior running back Ian Robinson had eight carries for 50 yards, senior wide receiver Tyler Olson had four receptions for 21 yards and junior wide receiver Devin Collins had five receptions for 40 yards along with three carries for three yards.
Hartwick had the bulk of the running game for the Chiefs, while senior Joe Vollmerhausen handled that duty for the Red Devils.
Bodner said he was pleased with his team’s success against and up and coming Huron team.
“Huron is a very improved football team and they gave us all they had. We kind of hurt ourselves with two picks, one real low and then one in the red zone,” said Bodner. “The kids played really well, we’re rolling 20 guys, going no huddle.
“They’re coming out running spread, I’m just proud of the way that our guys played. It was a big win for us, (our) first Huron League win, it goes a long way.”
Grosse Ile (2-0, 1-0 Huron League) hosts Flat Rock Friday.
Huron (1-1, 0-1) hosts SMCC.
To read the original post that appeared in The News-Herald, on September 7, 2013, go to www.miprepzone.com/thenewsherald