Vikings win league opener 48-22 at Kingsley

The Grayling Vikings defeated the Kingsley Stags 48-22 in a Northern Michigan Football Conference Legends Division game hosted by Kingsley on Friday night. It was the first league contest of the year for the varsity team, and the victory improved the squad’s overall season record to 3-0.
After the game’s opening kickoff, Grayling started at its 29-yard line. Quarterback Justin Nicholas threw to Nick Hunter for a gain of 31 yards on first down. One play later, on 2nd and 10, Kingsley forced a fumble and the Stags recovered the ball at their 42-yard line. The resulting series ended with a punt on 4th and 9.
Grayling drove 60 yards on seven plays, scoring on a two-yard TD run by Nicholas. The series also included a 14-yard run by Nicholas, a 26-yard catch by Hunter, and a 13-yard run by Nicholas.
After a failed two-point conversion attempt, with 8:06 left in the first quarter, Grayling led 6-0.
On 4th and 12 for Kingsley, the Stags fumbled on a punt attempt, picked up the loose ball, tried to kick it, and Jaden Gauthier blocked it for the Vikings. Logan Joseph picked up the football and returned it to Kingsley’s 44-yard line.
Grayling turned the ball over on downs following an incomplete pass on 4th and 10.
On 3rd and 9 for Kingsley, Hunter intercepted a pass attempt by the Stags, giving the Vikings possession of the ball at their 36-yard line. After two penalties – including one that nullified a 50-yard touchdown pass – Nicholas threw to Joseph on 1st and 43. Joseph made a one-handed catch near the sideline for a gain of 31 yards. After a sack and a 12-yard reception by Ken Dutton, the Vikings went for it on 4th and 4 and came up short.
On 2nd and 27 for Kingsley following a penalty, Justin Youngblood intercepted a pass attempt by the Stags. The resulting series for Grayling, which started 24 yards from the goal line, ended in a turnover on downs.
On the next play from scrimmage – 1st and 10 at the 20-yard for the Stags – Joseph intercepted a Kingsley pass attempt.
Grayling started 34 yards from the end zone after the takeaway. On 3rd and 1, a toss to Jacob Macfalda gained enough for a first down. A catch by Hunter gained 11 yards. Later, on 4th and goal, Nicholas ran the ball into the end zone for a five-yard TD. Nicholas ran the ball across the goal line for the two-point conversion.
The Vikings led 14-0 with 9:13 left in the second quarter.
Kingsley recovered Grayling’s on-side kick. On the sixth play of the drive, 1st and 10 from the 26-yard line, the Stags fumbled and Grayling recovered the ball. The resulting series for GHS ended with a punt.
The Stags drove from their 31-yard line to Grayling’s 10-yard line. On 4th and goal from the 15-yard line, the Stags tried a field goal and the Vikings blocked the attempt.
Grayling took over at its 35-yard line with 24 seconds left in the first half. After an incomplete pass, Nicholas completed a throw to Hunter for a 30-yard gain. Time-out, Grayling. A catch by Zack Osga picked up 30 yards. The Vikings called another time-out, leaving one second on the clock. On 1st and goal, Nicholas powered his way into the end zone for a five-yard rushing TD on the final play of the second period. Nicholas completed a pass to Hunter for the two-point conversion.
At halftime, the score was Grayling 22, Kingsley 0.
The Vikings opened the second half with an on-side kick and Joseph recovered it for Grayling. The possession ended with an interception.
Later, on 4th and 4 for the Stags, Joseph intercepted a Kingsley pass attempt. He returned the ball to Kingsley’s 20-yard line.
Osga rushed for 18 yards on 2nd and 9, setting up a one-yard TD run by Macfalda on 1st and goal. Two-point conversion attempt, no good. The Vikings led 28-0 with 7:05 left in the third quarter.
Kingsley scored on a 33-yard TD run. The Stags kicked the extra point. Grayling led 28-7.
The Vikings drove 67 yards on six plays, scoring on a 35-yard TD reception by Rickey Heavner. The series also included a 16-yard run by Nicholas and a 10-yard run by Osga. The two-point conversion attempt was unsuccessful.
GHS led 34-7 with 3:52 left in the third quarter.
Kingsley fumbled on 3rd and 14 and the Vikings recovered the ball 48 yards from the goal line. Osga rushed for six yards on 1st and 10. A pass to Hunter picked up 17 yards. A pass to Joseph gained 11 yards. On 1st and 14, Hunter caught a pass in the end zone for a 14-yard TD. Nicholas threw to Hunter for the two-point conversion.
With 1:03 remaining in the third quarter, Grayling led 42-7.
Kingsley finished a 55-yard scoring drive with a 14-yard TD run. The Stags ran the ball into the end zone for the two-point conversion. The Vikings led 42-15 with 10:34 left in regulation.
Grayling started at its 36-yard line after the kickoff. The Vikings gained 15 yards on a pass interference penalty. A pass from Nicholas to Joseph gained 36 yards. Osga rushed for six yards. On 2nd and goal, Nicholas rushed for a four-yard touchdown. The two-point conversion attempt was not successful.
The Vikings led 48-15.
Kingsley drove 54 yards on 10 plays, converting twice on fourth down, finishing the series with a four-yard touchdown run on 1st and goal. The Stags kicked the extra point.
The Vikings led 48-22 with 4:57 remaining in the fourth period.
Grayling killed the final five minutes of regulation. 
The final score was Grayling 48, Kingsley 22.
“We were very happy with how our guys executed the game plan tonight. Kingsley is a great football team with some big kids and some great athletes. Our defense read their keys and pursued to the ball all night. Offensively we were able to mix in the run and the pass about as well as we can,” Coach Tim Sanchez said.
Nicholas finished with 304 passing yards, two passing TDs, 67 rushing yards, and two rushing touchdowns. Hunter had 132 receiving yards with one TD. Osga had 54 rushing yards and 31 receiving yards. Joseph had 80 receiving yards.
On defense, Joseph had 16 tackles, two interceptions, and two fumble recoveries. Youngblood had 15 tackles and one interception. Eli Jackson had eight tackles and one fumble recovery. Macfalda had eight tackles. Gauthier had 13 tackles.
The Vikings (3-0 overall, 1-0 conference) will host Cheboygan at 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 15.
Northern Michigan Football Conference
The Northern Michigan Football Conference – Grayling’s athletic league for football – has three tiers. Grayling is in the division called “Legends,” according to the Michigan High School Athletic Association’s online Score Center. The “Legends” division, also known as the large school division of the conference, includes Grayling, Kalkaska, Benzie Central, Boyne City, Cheboygan, Elk Rapids, Traverse City St. Francis, and Kingsley.
For the “Legends,” last week was the first round of conference games for 2017. At the end of it, there were four 1-0 teams (all of which were 3-0 overall) and four 0-1 squads. 
Grayling won 48-22 at Kingsley. St. Francis won 35-7 vs. Elk Rapids. Kalkaska defeated Benzie Central 46-22. Boyne City won 14-8 at Cheboygan.
This week, Benzie Central will host St. Francis, Boyne City will host Kingsley, Kalkaska will play at Elk Rapids, and Cheboygan will play at Grayling.
Last week’s scores and current standings for all three tiers of the Northern Michigan Football Conference, courtesy of the Michigan High School Athletic Association’s Score Center, are listed below.
Legends Division
Team, League, Overall
Boyne City .....................1-0 (3-0)
Grayling..........................1-0 (3-0)
Kalkaska........................1-0 (3-0)
St. Francis .....................1-0 (3-0)
Cheboygan.....................0-1 (1-2)
Elk Rapids .....................0-1 (2-1)
Benzie Central...............0-1 (1-2)
Kingsley..........................0-1 (0-3)
Last week’s scores:
St. Francis 35, Elk Rapids
Boyne City 14, Cheboygan 8
Grayling 48, Kingsley 22
Kalkaska 46, Benzie Central 22
Legacy Division
Team, League, Overall
Gaylord St. Mary............1-0 (3-0)
Joburg-Lewiston.............1-0 (2-1)
Inland Lakes...................1-1 (1-2)
East Jordan....................0-0 (1-2)
Harbor Springs...............0-0 (1-2)
St. Ignace.......................0-2 (0-3)
Last week’s scores:
East Jordan 36, Mancelona 28
Gaylord St. Mary 34, Inland Lakes 0
Joburg-Lewiston 32, St. Ignace 0
Tawas 28, Harbor Springs 7
Leaders Division
Team, League, Overall
Frankfort.........................0-0 (2-1)
Charlevoix......................0-0 (1-2)
Glen Lake.......................0-0 (1-2)
Mancelona.....................0-0 (0-3)
Last week’s scores:
Frankfort 58, Mio 6
East Jordan 36, Mancelona 28
Watervliet 52, Glen Lake 26
Charlevoix 14, Waterford 7


Crawford County Avalanche

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Grayling, MI 49738

Phone: 989-348-6811
FAX: 989-348-6806

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