Shelby Township — A relentless Clinton Township Chippewa Valley offense led by senior quarterback Tommy Schuster and wide receiver David Ellis responded with poise at every crucial moment of Friday night’s 45-24 road victory over Utica Eisenhower at Swinehart Field.
The win snapped a five-game losing streak in the series for No. 4 Chippewa Valley and will presumably play a major part of the Macomb Area Conference Red Division championship race come late October.
“We’ve had some great games with them, but they kind of had our number,” Chippewa Valley coach Scott Merchant said. “It’s nice to kind of get that monkey off our back.”
Revenge was on Schuster’s mind entering Friday’s contest against No. 13 Eisenhower, too.
“We lost 42-0 here two years ago,” Schuster, a three-year starter, said, “so it feels great.”
Schuster was 11-for-16 passing with 160 yards and two passing touchdowns, Myren Harris rushed for 74 yards, and Ellis had 210 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns.
Merchant said this might be the most skilled team he’s ever had.
“We were really good last year. We had some really good skill kids last year, but I think we’re a little bigger. Our running backs are really, really good,” Merchant said. “When you got a three-year starter at quarterback back there, it makes everything else a lot easier.”
The Schuster to Ellis combo got Chippewa Valley (3-0, 1-0) going from jump. On third-and-12 from their own 45, Schuster scrambled away from pressure and found his favorite receiver wide open, who got down to the Eisenhower 11 to keep the opening drive alive. Three plays later, Ellis caught a pass over the middle and fought into the end zone to complete the 72-yard drive and take a 7-0 lead.
“They called me up to be a team captain. I’ve got to perform,” Ellis said. “At the end of the day, I might have had a good game, but it was still definitely a team performance.”
Ellis, who’s committed to Central Michigan, had high praise for his quarterback.
“Tommy was on point the whole night,” Ellis said. “He balled out.”
With the score tied at 7 and four seconds remaining in the first quarter, first-year Eisenhower quarterback Blake Rastigue made his first mistake of the game, fumbling a handoff that was recovered by Alex Gibson to give Chippewa Valley the ball deep in Eisenhower territory.
The Eisenhower defense stood strong at first, but on fourth-and-8 from the 22, Schuster dropped back and dropped a dime to Daniel Stout deep in the end zone to give Chippewa Valley a 14-7 lead.
On the next play from scrimmage, Eisenhower's Ian Kennelly burned his defender and caught a 63-yard touchdown pass from Rastigue to once again tie the game.
Eisenhower (1-2, 0-1) held Chippewa Valley’s three-headed backfield of Ja’Von Kimpson (Miami-Ohio), Andre Chenault and Harris to just seven yards rushing in the first half.
Chippewa Valley bet on its running game to start the second. Five different rushers carried the ball on an eight-play, 74-yard drive capped off by a 2-yard touchdown run by Ellis to make it a 10-point game with a little under six minutes remaining in the third quarter.
Schuster said that what makes this Chippewa Valley team special is its resiliency.
“(We’re) just a confident team. We never let anything get too down on us,” Schuster said. “We’re always looking for the next drive, next play.”
The Chippewa Valley defense didn’t have the easiest time stopping Rastigue and the Eisenhower offense, but it came up with timely stops.
Kimpson made two huge plays at cornerback in the end zone that stopped a marching Eisenhower offense with 1:49 left in the third to force a field goal.
Ellis took the ensuing kickoff to the house to make it a 31-14 game.
Then, with Rastigue leading his team down the field late in the fourth, Courtney McGarity picked off a pass with 5:25 remaining to seal the deal.
Nathan Pettypool had 75 receiving yards, Caleb Oyster had 65 yards on the ground, and Rastigue threw for 224 yards with a passing touchdown and two rushing touchdowns for Eisenhower.
Pershing forfeits in first quarter
No. 6 Detroit King (3-0) climbed out to a 27-0 lead with approximately five minutes left in the first quarter when Detroit Pershing forfeited.
"I'm really disappointed," King coach Tyrone Spencer said. "I really wanted the kids to play. We subbed our reserves in early too. The league (PSL) has to get better and pair teams up according to strength."
King improved to 3-0 with the win.
Allen Park 35, Melvindale 0: Jakob Marsee scored two touchdowns and had an interception, and Nico Tiberia had two touchdowns and recovered a fumble for Allen Park (3-0). Melvindale is 0-3.
Auburn Hills Avondale 67, Pontiac 0: Kobe Anthony scored touchdowns on a 62-yard kickoff return, runs of 19 and 21 yards and a 15-yard reception for Avondale (3-0, 1-0 OAA Blue). Pontiac is 1-2, 0-1.
Belleville 51, Dearborn 14: Christian Dhue-Reid was 12-for-18 passing for 366 yards and three touchdowns, Darrell Johnson had three catches for 115 yards and a touchdown, and Dylan Zagula had a 22-yard fumble return for a score for Belleville (3-0, 2-0 KLAA East). Dearborn is 1-2, 0-2.
Birmingham Groves 28, Rochester Hills Stoney Creek 6: Markis Alexander completed 8 of 14 passes for 115 yards and two touchdowns, and Demonte Mccurdy scored a touchdown and blocked an extra point for Groves (1-2, 1-1 OAA White). Stoney Creek is 1-2, 0-2.
Canton 47, Plymouth 26: Steven Walker rushed for 306 yards on 24 carries and scored four touchdowns for Canton (2-1). Carson Miller ran the ball 20 times for 122 yards and Nathan Janke caught two receiving touchdowns, and returned another on kickoff for Plymouth (2-1).
Dearborn Heights Robichaud 24, Redford Thurston 20: David Williams was 27-for-32 passing for 534 yards with three passing touchdowns and one rushing score for Robichaud (3-0, 2-0 Western Wayne), which trailed 13-0 going into the fourth quarter. Cameron Underwood added four carries for 104 yards and a touchdown, Kyle Smith had six receptions for 130 yards, Taiwon Williams had nine receptions for 104 yards, and Gary Brookins had 14 tackles and two sacks. Thurston is 1-2, 0-2.
Detroit Cody 14, Detroit Osborn 0: Joseph Thomas had eight tackles, two forced fumbles and a touchdown, and Will Gibson caught a 30-yard touchdown pass from Trajene Williams for Cody (3-0). Osborn is 2-1.
Detroit Community 38, Muskegon Heights 12: Rayvon Williamson threw for 105 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 205 yards two touchdowns, Daron Davis caught two touchdown passes, Kejuan Sanders ran for 185 yards and two touchdowns, and Antonio Bobo-Brown and Cedric Martin combined for six sacks for Community (3-0). Muskegon Heights is 0-3.
Detroit Denby 35, Detroit Central 18: Tyshawn Wilkes had 17 carries for 232 yards and three touchdowns, Jamari Griffin had three receptions for 97 yards and a touchdown, and Jermaine Trammell had an interception for Denby (3-0, 1-0 PSL Black). Orlando Clarkston had 18 carries for 232 yards and three touchdowns, Justiyz Tuggle had an interception and Victor Nelson had two sacks for Central (1-2, 0-1).
Detroit Mumford 45, Detroit Collegiate 12: Martell Byrd had 135 yards receiving, two touchdown receptions and a 45-yard scoring run, Bernard Williams ran for 106 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries, and Jason Singleton had two sacks for Mumford (1-2, 1-0 PSL Green). Collegiate is 0-3, 0-1.
Detroit Public Safety 14, Oakland Christian 13: Christian Smith had 210 yards rushing, 12 tackles and a forced fumble, Maurice Williams caught eight passes for 175 yards and two touchdowns, and Shundeen Bridges threw for 350 yards and two touchdowns for Public Safety (2-1). Oakland Christian is 0-3.
Detroit Renaissance 52, Detroit Douglass 0: Raequan Beal was 11 of 16 passing for 210 yards and two touchdowns, Robert Army caught a touchdown pass and returned an interception for a touchdown, and Justin Whitehorn had 10 carries for 82 yards and two touchdowns for Renaissance (2-1).
Detroit Southeastern 14, Detroit Communication Media Arts 0: Joe Thomas rushed for 101 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries, and Deionte Bartley made 15 tackles, including three for loss, for Southeastern (2-1).
Detroit Western 32, Detroit East English 8: Marcell Cutright had 13 carries for 206 yards and two touchdowns, Mekhi Fortt had seven carries for 102 yards and a touchdown, and Donovan Cole threw touchdown passes of 43 yards to Lamont Parks and 75 yards to Craig Flowers for Western (2-1, 1-0 PSL Gold). East English is 0-3, 0-1.
Grosse Pointe South 38, Warren Mott 0: Ryan Downey had one rushing and one passing touchdown, Conor McKenna had 26 carries for 97 yards and a score, and Nick Fannon had a 7-yard touchdown reception and a 27-yard interception return for a score for South (3-0, 2-0 MAC White). Mott is 2-1, 1-1.
Macomb Dakota 49, New Baltimore Anchor Bay 27: Mark Tocco went 11-for-13 passing for 331 yards and four touchdowns, Brandon Michalak had six catches for 240 yards and two scores, Dustin Solomon rushed for 203 yards and two touchdowns, and DJ Stepney, Ross Lewalski and Richie Dunford each scored once for Dakota (3-0, 1-0 MAC Red). Anchor Bay is 2-1, 0-1.
Macomb Lutheran North 13, Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard 7: Angelo Basilisco rushed for 165 on 23 carries and Jake Mlynarek had a touchdown and 12 tackles for Lutheran North (3-0). Gabriel Richard is 0-3.
Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central 20, Riverview 6: John Ritchie had 13 carries for 60 yards and two touchdowns, and Wyatt Bermoser rushed eight times for 129 yards for Catholic Central (2-1, 1-1 Huron). Ethan Lockhart had seven carries for 51 yards and a score for Riverview (2-1, 1-1).
Southfield A&T 44, Bloomfield Hills 6: Anthony Romphf was 9-for-15 passing for 140 yards, two touchdowns and one interception, Cameron McEvans and Terrel Humes-Kinzler each had a touchdown catch, and Alan McWhorter had two interceptions for A&T (2-1 1-0 OAA Red). Bloomfield Hills is 1-2, 0-2.
Sterling Heights Parkway Christian 61, Rochester Hills Lutheran Northwest 20: Julian Davis had 25 carries for 316 yards, four touchdowns and six two-point conversions, Robert Thompson had 18 carries for 213 yards and three touchdowns, John Stricker had a 38-yard touchdown catch and an interception, and Denarie Sharp recorded 10 tackles and a blocked extra point for Parkway Christian (3-0, 1-0 MIAC). Lutheran Northwest is 0-3, 0-1.
Utica Ford 34, Utica 6: Colin Toon had a 67-yard interception return for a touchdown, Austin Mayer made 10 tackles and Alex Wells scored two rushing touchdowns for Ford (1-2, 1-1 MAC White). Utica is 0-3, 0-2.
Walled Lake Western 43, Waterford Kettering 7: Calvin Brown rushed for 79 yards and two touchdowns, Abur Raaman Yaseen had 161 receiving yards and a touchdown, Chris Harris had a fumble return for a touchdown and Aiden Jennings kicked three field goals (54, 44 and 37 yards) for Western (2-1). Kettering is 0-3.
Warren Michigan Collegiate 54, Riverview Gabriel Richard 7: Darius Love rushed for 122 yards and two touchdowns and Trachon Adams had 132 yards rushing and two touchdowns for Collegiate (3-0). Gabriel Richard is 1-2.
Nolan Bianchi is a freelance writer; News staff contributed.