2018-10-17 / Sports

Pirates force ‘Skins to share East title

Sandusky suffers first loss
BY DALE BALL
SPORTS EDITOR


Senior back Jack Sheridan found some running room on this play in Friday night’s game against Harbor Beach. Senior back Jack Sheridan found some running room on this play in Friday night’s game against Harbor Beach. HARBOR BEACH — After having their way on the football field all season long, the Sandusky Redskins were forced to settle for a share of the GTC-East title on Friday night.

The host Harbor Beach Pirates scored two late touchdowns to earn a 20-0 win over the ‘Skins and a piece of the championship. Both teams finished 5-1 in the division and are 7-1 going into final week of the regular season.

For Sandusky, who had outscored opponents, 290-65, in their first seven games, it was a disappointment to not clinch the outright champion.

“Harbor Beach is a good team, a physical team, and we are, too. It was just their night,” said Craig Jacobson, Redskins’ coach.

“We played against a team that got better and better as the season went, and we did, too,” Jacobson added.


Sandusky’s Zach Franzel (left) and Caleb Heberling bring down a Harbor Beach running back in Friday’s GTC East contest. Sandusky’s Zach Franzel (left) and Caleb Heberling bring down a Harbor Beach running back in Friday’s GTC East contest. Still, it was a title share. Harbor Beach had lost early in the season to Marlette in overtime.

“I don’t think we’ve had a lot of teams that have done this,” added Jacobson, on a share of the East title. This is a great group of kids, and I,’ really proud of them.”

With two grind-it-out teams, there were only two possessions in the first 12 and a half minutes.

Sandusky took the opening kick-off and slowly marched from their own 31 to down inside the Pirates’ 30. But, the ‘Skins went backward from their because of penalties and some minus yardage, forcing a punt.

Harbor Beach then went on a 94-yard drive and scored on a two-yard run from Devin Pfaff to go up, 6-0, with 11:24 left in the second quarter.


Adam Scott (77), with help from teammate Zach Franzel, tackles a Harbor Beach running back in last Friday night’s GTC East game. Photos by Dale Ball Adam Scott (77), with help from teammate Zach Franzel, tackles a Harbor Beach running back in last Friday night’s GTC East game. Photos by Dale Ball Each team had one possession after that in the first half and both ended with a punt.

The Redskins thwarted an early Pirates’ threat in the third quarter. The defense dug in and stopped Harbor Beach, which advanced to the Sandusky 17, but a penalty and a quarterback sack ended the drive.

Still, the Sandusky offense, which has ran the ball at will its first seven games, stalled again.

The Pirates, then, responded with a long, 62-yard drive. Devin Finkel capped it off on a six-yard TD run, for a 12-0, lead with just under 10 minutes left in the game.

The ‘Skins showed some life on the next possession. A 37-yard pass play from Trenton Lee, in his first start at QB, to Jack Sheridan took the ball to the Harbor Beach 33.

Sandusky eventually reached the 18-yard line, but the drive ended when the Pirates’ Michael Anderson intercepted a pass.

Harbor Beach went on to add a late touchdown to cap off their share of the East title.

“We drove the ball in the beginning of the game and we were winning the match-ups. But then, we got in the red zone and…… we get stopped,” said Jacobson, whose team could not find much momentum the rest of the night.

“We had penalties and just shot ourselves in the foot,” added Jacobson. “We kept it close. But, Harbor Beach is a good team, a physical team, and we are, too. It was just their night.”

The Redskins finished with just 103 yards rushing – 66 yards on 16 carries from Braxton Washe – and 37 yards passing.

The Pirates had more time of possession with 46 carries for 279 yards.

Three Sandusky defenders were involved in double-digit tackles – Zach Franzel with 12, Ben Kreger with 11 and Caleb Heberling with 10.

The ‘Skins will close out the regular season this Friday night with a GTC crossover game at Bad Axe (4-4).

No matter the outcome, Sandusky has clinched a spot in the post-season and will be waiting to see the MHSAA Division 7 playoff pairings, which will be announced on television, Sunday, Oct. 21 at 7 p.m. on Fox Sports Detroit.

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