Saginaw Swan Valley completes 9-0 season with 47-20 win over Bangor John Glenn at Saginaw Valley State University
10/25 – 7:00 PM Football FinalBay City John Glenn 20Saginaw Swan Valley 47
UNIVERSITY CENTER – Behind a ground game that averaged over 10 yards per rush, Saginaw Swan Valley capped a perfect 9-0 season with a 47-20 win over Bangor John Glenn Friday night.
The Vikings were led by an average performance from star running back Alex Grace. Of course, average for him was still 243 yards rushing and four touchdowns. Grace finished the regular season with 2,267 yards on the ground, an average of 251 yards a game, and 30 touchdowns. Just a junior, it is his second consecutive 2,000 yard season.
“Their kids played really well, that’s a very good team,” said John Glenn coach Jeremy Werner. “(Grace) is a very special running back, I’d say that’s the best back we’ve seen all year. And we’ve seen some really good backs.”
Overall, Swan Valley, ranked No. 2 in Division 4, accumulated 364 yards on the ground on 36 carries in a game that was played at Saginaw Valley State University. Swan Valley was the home team but its field is under repair.
“It’s pretty nice to have a kid like Alex,” said Swan Valley coach Ken Bourbina. “But he’s got a good lineup in front of him, he’s got a good fullback blocking for him, so it’s a total team effort.”
John Glenn ends its season at 2-6 with three of its losses coming to teams ranked in the top six in the state in Division 4, and another coming to a 7-2 Midland Dow squad that finished third in the Saginaw Valley League.
“We were aware of their schedule so we knew that they weren’t going to just sit back and hand us the game, which they didn’t,” Bourbina said. “They came out and played well, we made some adjustments and shut them down pretty well once we adjusted.”
Down 21-7 at the beginning of the second quarter, the Bobcats fumbled the ball away at the Swan Valley six-yard line. The Vikings drove for a touchdown and a 28-7 lead.
“We played a lot of good teams and I believe that’s going to make us better in the long run,” Werner said. “What we learned this season is that when we play teams of this caliber we can’t make those little mistakes. Because little mistakes can snowball into big mistakes.”
Swan Valley was dominate on offense, scoring on seven of its eight possessions. The Vikings didn’t punt all evening and were winning 47-7 before John Glenn scored a pair of touchdowns late.
“(Being undefeated) is not as important as just playing well, that’s what we’re looking for,” Bourbina said. “This season is a credit to the kids and my assistant coaching staff, they put a lot of time in and they work hard.”
The Vikings scored on their first two possessions to take a 14-0 lead halfway through the first quarter. Swan Valley quarterback Nick Call hit Brock Notter, who made the catch one-handed, on a quick hitch that turned into a 32-yard touchdown reception. After a John Glenn three-and-out, Grace raced up the middle from 52-yards out to extend the Vikings lead.
The Bobcats got a 24-yard touchdown run from Austin Bublitz on the ensuing possession but Swan Valley scored the game’s next 33 points.
Grace, who took some snaps as quarterback out of a Wildcat formation, hooked up with Call, who was lined up at wide receiver, for a 39-yard pass play that put the Vikings on the one-yard line mid-way through the second quarter. On the next play, Grace lined up at his normal position and rushed for his second TD of the game. He would add two more rushing touchdowns, from eight and 39 yards respectively.
Call tossed a 37-yard TD pass to fullback Ben Finzel and Josh Flores finished the Vikings scoring with an eight-yard run.
John Glenn scored a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns, on a 28-yard scoring strike from quarterback Derek Clyde to Connor Bluhm, and a 15-yard TD pass from backup quarterback Garret Charbonneau to Ryan Alexander.
Tempers flared after an inside kick with a few minutes left in the game that led to some pushing and shoving which resulted in 30 yards worth of unsportsmanlike conduct penalties on John Glenn.
Grace carried the ball 21 times to get his 243 yards, Finzel rushed for 74 yards on six carries and was 5 of 7 on extra point attempts. Call completed 4 of 5 passes for 104 yards, two touchdowns and one interception while Notter had three catches for 67 yards.
Bublitz had 62 yards on 11 attempts and Clyde completed 9 of 15 passes for 126 yards and one TD for the Bobcats. Bluhm caught four passes for 81 yards. Kicker Connor Windiate knocked through both of his extra point attempts.
John Glenn finished the game with 160 yards rushing and 160 yards passing. The Vikings accumulated 466 total yards.
Swan Valley will host a playoff game next weekend with the opponent being announced during the playoff selection show Sunday at 7:30 p.m. on Fox Sports Detroit.