By: John Raffel
Ithaca off to high-flying start and ready to take on St. Charles
Next up for the Ithaca Yellow jackets this week: St. Charles.
But first, let the defending state champions enjoy their impressive victory on opening day last week over Williamston.
Ithaca won impressively 44-28 over Williamston, the reigning Division 4 runners-up, with an overwhelming ground game that produced 400 yards led by senior running back Garrett Miniard with 253 yards on 28 carries and two touchdowns.
“I thought we did some good things,” Hessbrook said. “There were things we can improve on, that's for sure. I thought overall, the kids accepted the challenge of playing a bigger school and a much larger team, they were just bigger than us. Our team speed helps us, that's for sure.
David Brown at quarterback ran the ball 12 times for 129 yards and three TDs.
Ithaca had a 16-14 halftime lead but scored four times in the second half to put the seal on the victory.
Travis Smith added 11 carries for 45 yards. Brown tried 12 passes and completed five for 53 yards. He had an interception. Charles Schnetzler and Jared Evers caught two passes each.
“Defensively, we were able to get a few stops,” Hessbrook said. “Offensively, I was surprised with our ability to run the football. We were able to run the football when we needed to.”
Hessbrook was happy with his offensive line.
“If they can continue to improve, then we'll have a lot of fun this year,” he said. “All of those offensive linemen graded out extremely high.”
Hessbrook expects another tough battle against St. Charles.
“That's always an excellent battle when we and St. Charles get together,” Hessbrook said. “They lost to an awful good Saginaw Swan Valley team.”