By: Wm. Michael Dixon
Tribune Recorder Leader
Marlette hosted Ubly for the start of conference play for both teams. Evan Peruski linked up with Brett Mueller for Ubly’s first score of the night, followed by the Mueller extra point to give the Bearcats the lead by just one point. Marlette hit the ground running with a Tyler Izydorek rushing touchdown in the to cut Ubly’s lead to just one. Ubly managed to rush another one into the end zone with under two minutes to go in the half, followed by another Mueller extra point to bring the score to 14-6. “The touchdown right before the end of the first half was an absolute killer for us.” Stated Head Coach Denny Lester. Ubly started the second half with another touchdown and Mueller extra point before adding a second touchdown and failing the two-point conversion attempt. Ubly led the ball game 27-6 by the start of the fourth. Ubly ran in their final touchdown with 4 minutes to go in the fourth and Mueller put the PAT through the uprights to give the Bearcats a 34-6 lead. The Red Raiders brought the ball down into Bearcat territory and came up with a touchdown off of a 9-yard run from Trey Lester to shrink the deficit, but the Bearcats had built a commanding lead, and the Bearcats won it 34-12. Logan Malloy was the leading rusher for the Red Raiders in the contest, having his number called 5 times, rushing for a toal of 65 yards. Tyler Izydorek had 10 rushes for 49 yards and a touchdown. Trey Lester’s rushing stats were not listed, but he logged at least 9 yards on his fourth quarter rushing touchdown. Trey Lester went one for one on pass attempts, linking up with Quintin Sartin for a 36 yard gain. Sartin only managed to complete 2 of 7 for the night for a total of 10 yards, and rushed for 26 yards on 13 attempts. Sartin led the defense in unassisted tackles, netting 8 solo tackles in the contest. Connor Kelly had 7 unassisted tackles and Logan Malloy had six.
Denny Lester was proud of the effort his boys put in, “I loved the way my boys competed tonight. We played extremely hard. There was not one problem with our effort tonight. Ubly is a great football team that is well coached. They are disciplined and execute at such a high level.” The Bearcats made it all the way to the state finals last year before just being edged out by Ottawa Lake-Whiteford (26-20), and a good chunk of the players returned for this season, including standout quarterback Evan Peruski and their highly scouted kicker, Brett Mueller, who managed to force a touchback on four of six kickoffs in the game. Denny Lester is not wallowing after the loss to such a stacked team and is instead looking forward to Marlette’s annual grudge match with Sandusky. “We have a big game against our rival in Sandusky. They are undefeated. They are playing great football. We have to go out this week in practice and really get after it.” The Sandusky squad started the season with a tough win against Reese but have not had their mettle tested since, so Marlette’s learning experience with Ubly might just be the difference maker.