DAMION ANDREWS got behind the Corunna defense a number of times for the Trojans on Friday, Aug. 24, resulting in two long touchdown runs and 133 rushing yards for the senior running back. His two scores both came in the second half, with his team trailing on the road against their rival. At that point in the game, fatigue was beginning to become a factor, but Andrews dazzled the crowd with his speed and explosion, nonetheless. Andrews can be seen attempting to evade Corunna linebacker Kail Stratton during the second half of the Aug. 24 game.
(Independent Photo/Graham Sturgeon)
by Graham Sturgeon, co-editor
The Corunna Cavaliers varsity football team hosted the Owosso Trojans on Friday, Aug. 24, in the 18th meeting between the cross-town rivals. The Trojans overcame an 11-point third quarter deficit to win, 23-18, behind two impressive touchdown runs by Damion Andrews, a 73-yarder in the third quarter and the deciding 34-yarder with just over a minute remaining in the game.
Corunna’s Nick Annese Athletic Field was packed for this season-opening rivalry game, and the stadium full of passionate Trojan and Cavalier fans witnessed a classic, from beginning to end. Owosso’s Hunter Blaha put the Trojans on the board 12 seconds into the game, taking the opening kickoff 80 yards for a touchdown. Corunna’s Logan Gehringer answered 24 seconds later with a 95-yard touchdown run. The Cavaliers could not convert the point after try, but after only 36 seconds of play, Owosso led, 7-6.
After the flurry of points to start the game, neither team was able to add to their scoring total for the better part of two quarters. Gehringer ended the scoring drought with a six-yard touchdown run with 27 seconds remaining in the second quarter, giving Corunna a 12-7 lead at halftime. Corunna then added to their lead in the third quarter, with Ethan Hollister’s 12-yard touchdown pass to Trent Sizemore making the score 18-7 with 3:30 left in the third quarter.
Owosso responded on the ensuing possession, as Damion Anderson took a handoff and scampered 73 yards for a touchdown, trimming the Corunna lead to 18-15 with a successful two-point conversion run by Hunter Blaha. That is how the score remained for the next 14 minutes, until Andrews delivered again for the Trojans. On his eighth carry of the game, Andrews burst through the Corunna defense and accelerated away from his pursuers to score the deciding points with 1:11 to play in the game.
Owosso had not won a varsity football game since the opening game of the 2014 season, a 33-22 victory over Corunna, and the Trojans came out on Aug. 24 with the intensity of a team trying to snap a 35-game losing streak. Throughout the off-season, Owosso head coach Devin Pringle emphasized accountability to his players, and he challenged them to make the game against Corunna a rivalry again. His players responded against Corunna, following through on blocks, finishing tackles and not giving up when they fell behind by 11 points in the second half.
Owosso running backs Damion Andrews and Hunter Blaha had tremendous games to lead the Trojans. Andrews totaled 133 yards on his eight rushes and scored two pivotal touchdowns, while Blaha recorded 124 yards on his two kickoff returns, with his 80-yard touchdown on the first play of the game setting the tone for his team. Defensive back Colton Blaha led the Trojans with 7.5 tackles and 1.5 sacks, followed by defensive lineman Dylan McCallum with five tackles and one sack.
Logan Gehringer led the Corunna offense with 163 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries. Quarterback Ethan Hollister added 65 yards on 18 rushing attempts, and he hooked up with wide receiver Trent Sizemore, who made a spectacular leaping grab for a 12-yard touchdown in the third quarter. On defense, linebacker Porter Zeeman recorded seven tackles and one sack, linebacker Peyton Norton added five tackles and defensive lineman Nick Steinacker contributed four tackles and two sacks.