ST. IGNATIUS – It was one heck of a show Friday night, in more ways than one.
The Mission Bulldogs outlasted the Flint Creek Titans 50-36 in St. Ignatius in Week 8 of the 8-man football season. The win keeps the Bulldogs in the hunt for a second-place berth into the MHSA postseason, while the Titans must beat Victor in their season finale to enter the bracket as a #4 team.
That show began with Flint Creek showing that they were on their game early, scoring on their first two possessions. Quarterback Kade Cutler ran the ball in from five yards out at 10:10 in the first, followed by a rushing score from Preston Metesh just five minutes later. The Titans forced a fumble on Mission’s first drive to secure the second score.
Mission answered on their second possession with freshman Kellen McClure hitting Layne Spidel on a 30-yard scoring pass with 2:42 to play in the period.
Flint Creek was moving to try and score before the end of the period, but came up short on a fourth and long. Mission took over and scored as time expired – McClure hitting Charley Adams with a 29 yard pass – that gave the Bulldogs a two-point lead, 16-14.
The Titans kept it rolling in the second, scoring on their third straight possession when Cutler snapped off a 27-yard scoring run around the end and through traffic. The score gave the locals a 20-16 lead, which proved to be their last.
Mission quickly answered with another McClure to Adams touchdown pass to take a 24-20 advantage. The ensuing kickoff looked more like a chip shot from the rough, as it hit just behind the Flint Creek second line and dug into the turf. Mission managed to get to the ball first and score on the following drive. The Bulldogs added another score just before halftime to hit the locker room with a 38-20 lead.
“The kids are playing hard. We made some mistakes on defense, but it was more me than the kids because we weren’t in the right coverage. So it’s on me,” said Titan Coach JC Holland. “The kids were doing what they were supposed to do, but I wasn’t ready for them to be throwing to their wing. I just wasn’t prepared for that.”
Mission held a 44-20 edge after the third quarter, but Flint Creek wasn’t done. They mounted a pair of scores as the clocked ticked down, but it proved to be too little, too late.
“I’m okay with what we got tonight,” said Flint Creek Head Coach Mike Cutler. “We came in with nothing to lose. We did some things to get us ready and I’ll tell ya what, some people are not going to want to play us.”
What was uncharacteristic was the way that the Titans broke from their traditional veer offense, showing some unique offensive and defensive sets and even attempting a fake punt.
“They’ve got a lot of older players and we were down a few guys so we wanted to try and prepare some stuff for the playoffs and kind of take what they gave us,” added Holland.
For Flint Creek the stakes could not be any higher. They need a win October 25 against Victor to secure a fourth-place finish and advance to the postseason. That game will be played in Drummond at 7 p.m. with Titan seniors Wyatt Rigby, Daniel Brabender and Conley Wagner all being honored in pregame ceremonies.
NOTES – The win by the Bulldogs in the first over the Titans in four tries since the 2017 season, the first in which Mission played 8-man football. … Flint Creek is 5-3 on the year, with all three losses coming on the road where they are 1-3. Should they make the postseason bracket they will be on the road against a No. 1 team from one of the other three conferences. … The Titans have won 20 consecutive home games dating back to September 30, 2016 when they started the streak by beating Victor 44-36. Their last home loss came September 6, 2016 against Charlo, 54-6. … Flint Creek has made the playoffs in each of the five previous seasons that they have been in existence. 2019 would make it six straight years.
Flint Creek 14/6/0/16 – 38
Mission 16/22/6/6 – 50
10:10 FC Cutler 5 yd run TD. Conversion run Cutler.
5:12 FC Metesh 2 yd run TD. Conversion pass failed.
2:42 MI McClure to Spidel 30 yd pass TD. Conversion pass McClure to CAdams.
0.0 MI McClure to CAdams 29 yd pass TD. Conversion pass McClure to CAdams.
8:08 FC Cutler 27 yd run TD. Conversion run failed.
6:58 MI McClure to Adams 29 yd pass TD. Conversion pass McClure to Christy.
6:23 MI McClure to Killorn 26 yd pass TD. Conversion run Matt.
1:00 MI Dumontier 9 yard run TD. Conversion run failed.
8:53 MI Dumontier 3 yd run TD. Conversion run failed.
10:44 FC Cutler 2 yd run TD. Conversion run Cutler.
4:01 FC Cutler to PMetesh 9 yd pass TD. Conversion run Cutler.