Chippewa Valley football keeps win streak alive with win against Romeo High

By: Mark Vest | Fraser - Clinton Township Chronicle | Published October 18, 2019

 Clinton Township Chippewa Valley junior Quillen Howze carries the ball earlier this year against Saline High. With a 21-17 win against Romeo High Oct. 18, Chippewa won the program's second consecutive Macomb Area Conference Red Division championship.

Clinton Township Chippewa Valley junior Quillen Howze carries the ball earlier this year against Saline High. With a 21-17 win against Romeo High Oct. 18, Chippewa won the program's second consecutive Macomb Area Conference Red Division championship.

Photo by Donna Agusti

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CLINTON TOWNSHIP— With a 21-17 win against Romeo High Oct. 18 at home, Clinton Township Chippewa Valley football clinched the program’s second consecutive Macomb Area Conference Red Division championship.

Chippewa is 8-0 overall on the season and 5-0 in MAC Red play.

“We never won it outright before last year in the history of the school, so, obviously, to win it outright two years in a row, our guys made history,” Chippewa coach Scott Merchant said following the game. “That’s something special.”

The Big Reds have now won 22 consecutive games, with their last loss dating back to 2017.

Merchant is in his 11th season as Chippewa’s coach. He recalled when the program went 2-7 in 2010.

“Those early years were lean,” Merchant said. “That 2013 team, we (went) 9-2, and we really turned the corner at that time. … Now there’s this expectation. … It wasn’t quick, it wasn’t easy, and it’s taken us a long time to get to this point.”

Although Chippewa entered this season as the defending Division 1 state champions, given some of the talent the team lost, not everybody necessarily expected the program to come back as strong.

That is something Merchant doesn’t think has been lost on his team.

“I think they’re pretty low-key,” he said. “They’re very humble and talented. I think they got a little chip on their shoulder. Everybody kind (of) expected us (to) take a big step back this year.”

The Big Reds’ 22nd straight win was not an easy one.

In the fourth quarter, Romeo (6-2 overall, 3-2 MAC Red) took a 17-14 lead via a field goal.

It didn’t take Chippewa long to answer back, as senior Myles Harris returned the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown, helping the program preserve its long winning streak.

Romeo scored the first touchdown of the game when senior Ryan Czapski ran the ball into the end zone in the first.

Following that score, after Chippewa took possession of the ball, senior Myren Harris helped get his team right back in the game with a touchdown run of his own.

The score was tied 7-7 after the first.

The two teams went on to trade scores in the second.

After Chippewa quarterback Josh Kulka hit receiver Darrel Hawkins for a touchdown pass, Romeo later came back with a score of its own when junior Fabrizio Raciti reached the end zone on a run from inside the 10-yard line.

Up next, Chippewa plays at 7 p.m. Oct. 25 at home against Utica High in its last regular-season game of the year.

Romeo plays at 7 p.m. Oct. 25 at home against Grosse Pointe South.

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