SSC remains undefeated after thrashing NEMC foe Tawas
STANDISH-STERLING — Standish-Sterling got its offense untracked Friday against a Tawas Area football team that was fighting to stay in the North East Michigan Conference chase.
Combined with its high-scoring defense and its first special teams touchdown of the year, that made for a surprising 50-14 defeat of the Braves that ensures that when SSC travels to John Glenn on Oct. 10, the winner will get to claim at least a share of the NEMC title.
Tawas took a 7-0 lead on Jesse Siwek's 27-yard run early in the first quarter.
But SSC decided the game in a hurry, scoring 31 straight points in 12 minutes' time to take a commanding 31-7 lead with nearly five minutes still to play in the first half.
SSC's offense got rolling against a quality opponent to the tune of a 4-yard Trevor Trombley run, ad 2-yard run by Austin Collier, Collier's 8-yard pass to Cole Walderzak and Casey Pott's 9-yard run.
Even after Tawas closed the gap a bit on a 73-yard Siwek-to-William Schmidt pass play with four minutes left in the half, the Panthers never let it get any closer.
Tawas fueled the SSC fire with five turnovers, one of which resulted in Alex Schmidt's 33-yard interception return for a touchdown. It was the seventh defensive touchdown the Panthers have scored in their four on-field games this season. And when Mitchell McFarland opened the second half with a 96-yard kickoff return, it meant that SSC had scored two non-offensive touchdowns in each of those four games.
The Panthers added a 43-yard pass play from Collier to Trent Fouchey and a 19-yard Collier run early in the fourth to wrap things up.
Collier finished with 136 yards rushing on 18 carries and 117 yards through the air on 7-of-11 passing.
Fouchey added 86 rushing yards and 44 receiving yards, while Mark Lorence made three catches for 62 yards.
The Panthers held Tawas to 40 yards on the ground, including 24 yards on five carries from Matt Compau.
Siwek was 6-of-13 passing for 126 yards, with Jeff Janis held to 46 receiving yards on four grabs.
Adam Gulvas returned to action after missing two games due to his hand injury and led the Panthers with nine total tackles and a fumble recovery. McFarland and Zach Neid each added six tackles while Collier added two interceptions and Alex Schmidt had two sacks.
Justin Ott had 11 tackles for Tawas.
The Panthers (5-0, 2-0 NEMC) host Pinconning, a 34-7 winner over Whittemore-Prescott on Friday, for its homecoming contest on Friday, Oct. 3.
Tawas (3-2, 1-2) finishes its gauntlet run of four straight NEMC contests as it hosts unbeaten John Glenn (5-0, 2-0), which beat Ogemaw Heights 34-6.