Chippewa Valley football gets big MAC Red win against Romeo

By: Mark Vest | Fraser - Clinton Township Chronicle | Published August 31, 2017

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CLINTON TOWNSHIP — Clinton Township Chippewa Valley football got a big early-season win, as the Big Reds beat Romeo High 34-14 in a Macomb Area Conference Red Division contest Aug. 31 at home.

After scoring just one touchdown in the first half, the Big Reds (2-0 overall, 1-0 MAC Red) outscored Romeo 28-7 in the last two quarters of play.

“I give all the credit in the world to the kids,” Chippewa coach Scott Merchant said. “At halftime, we challenged (them) to come out and play clean, mistake free, and I think that’s what you saw in the second half. … We had guys making plays not only on the defense, then our special teams came through in the second half with some huge plays. And then I thought offensively we were a lot more consistent in the second half, and we ran the ball well.”

After Chippewa quarterback Tommy Schuster connected with receiver David Ellis for a touchdown in the third quarter, the Big Reds went on to score three more times in the fourth.

Ja’Von Kimpson accounted for two of Chippewa’s touchdowns in the last quarter, with one coming on a 1-yard run and the other after he blocked a punt and returned it for a touchdown.

After running back Andre Chenault ran the ball in from 2 yards out, Chippewa was up 34-7.

Chippewa’s lone first-half touchdown came on a pass from Schuster to Jon’Naize Owens in the second quarter.

Romeo quarterback Brandon Hicks followed that up with a 1-yard touchdown run to help give his team a 7-6 lead going into the half.

The final touchdown of the game came when Romeo quarterback Jack Wendt hit Nathan Goralski for a score from 2 yards out.

This was no ordinary Week 2 win for Chippewa. The Bulldogs won a Division 1 state championship in 2015 and made it to the semifinals last year.

“They’re well coached; their kids play great,” Merchant said. “When you’re playing a team that’s won a state title and been in the final four the last two years, this is a measuring stick for us. For us, every game in the MAC Red is a tough football game. We know we have to play our best to win. To beat Romeo, I think that gives some validity to our team.”

Romeo coach Curt Rienas thinks the game is a great opportunity for his team to get better.

“I think we got very scrappy kids,” he said. “I’m not worried about that. I told (them) in our huddle that even going into this week, I was really curious to see how we, win or lose, respond on Monday."

With the loss, the Bulldogs are 1-1 overall and 0-1 in the MAC Red.

Chippewa plays at 7 p.m. Sept. 8 away against Warren Cousino.

Romeo plays at 7 p.m. Sept. 8 in a road game against Grosse Pointe North.

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