Chippewa Valley football breaks losing streak against Utica Eisenhower

By: Mark Vest | C&G Newspapers | Published September 8, 2018

 Clinton Township Chippewa Valley quarterback Tommy Schuster looks to make a play against Utica Eisenhower Sept. 7. Chippewa improved to 3-0 with a 45-24 victory.

Clinton Township Chippewa Valley quarterback Tommy Schuster looks to make a play against Utica Eisenhower Sept. 7. Chippewa improved to 3-0 with a 45-24 victory.

Photo by Erin Sanchez


UTICA — Clinton Township Chippewa Valley’s football team broke a five-game losing streak against Utica Eisenhower with a 45-24 victory against the Eagles Sept. 7 at Swinehart Field.


It was the first Macomb Area Conference Red Division game of the season for both squads.


With the win, the Big Reds improved to 3-0 on the season.


Although any win in a nine-week regular season can be big, there was something different about beating Eisenhower (1-2).


“Last time we beat (them) was 2013,” said Chippewa coach Scott Merchant. “We’ve had some great games with (them), but they kind (of) had our number, so it’s nice to kind (of) get that monkey off our back. … This is what the MAC Red’s all about. They’re (a) great football team. They’re well coached, they got good players.”


After the Eagles scored to trim Chippewa’s lead to 31-24, senior running back Ja’Von Kimpson helped give his team a 14-point lead with a 2-yard run into the end zone.


Senior Andre Chenault helped seal the victory for his team with a 5-yard touchdown run late in the quarter.


Chippewa also scored the first touchdown of the game when quarterback Tommy Schuster connected with receiver David Ellis on a 9-yard scoring play in the first.


The Eagles answered back on a 4-yard touchdown run by quarterback Blake Rastigue.


The score was 7-7 after the first quarter of play.


In the second, Chippewa re-gained the lead on a 22-yard pass play from Schuster to Daniel Stout.


Eisenhower followed that up with its biggest play of the game when Rastigue connected with receiver Ian Kennelly on 63-yard scoring play.


The Big Reds led 17-14 at the half.


Ellis accounted for both of Chippewa’s touchdowns in the third, with one coming on a short run and the other on a kickoff return.


Chippewa took a 31-17 lead into the fourth.


Eisenhower’s last touchdown came on a 4-yard run by Rastigue.


Merchant said his team has “played pretty well in every single second half that we’ve had this year,” and he liked what he saw again on Friday.


“I thought our kids played hard, really physical on both sides of the ball,” Merchant said. “We came out in the second half (and) I felt we really got after it. We cleaned up some of our mistakes. We played good football.”


Schuster said it was a game Chippewa was targeting.


“Feels great,” Schuster said. “We’ve been looking forward to this one all offseason.”


What caused issues for the Eagles on Friday night is what helps make Chippewa perhaps one of the best teams in the state.


“We couldn’t keep up with their playmakers; that was the problem,” said Eisenhower coach Chris Smith. “But we’re (going to) be OK. We got a lot (of) positive things that our team did out here, and a lot (of) things that we did wrong.”


There are some specific things Smith would like to see from his team going forward.


“Improving in our playmaking areas, tackling; just growing,” he said. “Being a young team you got (to) grow. That’s part of what we’re trying to do. So, hopefully, every day we get better, and we’re better next week than we were this week.”


Up next, Eisenhower plays at 7 p.m. Sept. 14 away against Romeo High.


Chippewa plays at 7 p.m. Sept. 14 at home against New Baltimore Anchor Bay.