Chippewa Valley football remains undefeated after win against rival Macomb Dakota

By: Mark Vest | C&G Newspapers | Published September 22, 2018

 Clinton Township Chippewa Valley senior Andre Chenault carries the ball as Jeremiah Major of Macomb Dakota attempts to tackle him Sept. 21. Chippewa beat Dakota 24-17 to improve to 5-0 on the season.

Clinton Township Chippewa Valley senior Andre Chenault carries the ball as Jeremiah Major of Macomb Dakota attempts to tackle him Sept. 21. Chippewa beat Dakota 24-17 to improve to 5-0 on the season.

Photo by Erin Sanchez

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MACOMB — When Clinton Township Chippewa Valley and Macomb Dakota met Sept. 21 at Dakota, the game was an example of why so many people enjoy high school football.

 

Both Chippewa and Dakota came in undefeated, there was a big crowd, there was pageantry, and it was a battle between two Macomb Area Conference Red Division rivals.

 

But aside from the atmosphere, Chippewa supporters got to enjoy a win, as the Big Reds improved to 5-0 overall and 3-0 in the MAC Red with a 24-17 victory.

 

After recovering an onside kick and trailing by a touchdown, the Cougars (4-1 overall and 2-1 in the MAC Red) had the ball at Chippewa’s 16-yard line with approximately a minute remaining on the game clock in the fourth quarter. An incomplete pass on fourth down ended their chance of completing a comeback.

 

Having been through his share of MAC Red contests, another tough divisional game didn’t shock Chippewa coach Scott Merchant.

 

 “Every game in the MAC Red is, not to use a cliché, but I mean, it’s a battle,” Merchant said. “Every team is good. Eisenhower is 1-3; they’re one of the better teams in the state of Michigan. So, there’s plenty of 5-4 teams that come out of the MAC Red and do things in the playoffs because (of) how tough our conference is.”

 

Chippewa never trailed in the game and led 24-7 at one point.

 

After getting a field goal in the first, Chippewa quarterback Tommy Schuster connected on a pass with running back Ja’Von Kimpson for a 22-yard scoring play.

 

The Big Reds led 10-0 after the first quarter.

 

The only touchdown scored in the second quarter came on a 4-yard run by Dakota running back Dustin Solomon.

 

Chippewa led 10-7 at the half.

 

After getting a 37-yard touchdown run from Andre Chenault in the third and a short one from Kimpson in the fourth, Chippewa led 24-7.

 

Dakota made things more interesting than Chippewa fans wanted after getting a 6-yard run from sophomore De’Javion Stepney, which was followed by a field goal.

 

Although his team only led by seven with Dakota on offense late in the game, Schuster didn’t seem too concerned.

 

“I knew we had it,” Schuster said. “We have so many great players on defense. I was so confident.”

 

Dakota coach Greg Baur expressed confidence his team has the character to bounce back from the loss.

 

“It’s (going to) hurt, it should hurt; should sting,” Baur said. “But if I know this group, we’ll regroup and we’ll be right back where we should be.”

 

Chippewa’s success has impacted more than just the team’s players and coaches.

 

“It’s a good win for our school,” Merchant said. “Happy for all these guys out here, our fans, all of our alumni who stuck by us. There was a long time where we didn’t beat them. We’ve beaten (them) three years in a row now. So, I’m really happy for our school, our community and all our alums.”

 

As disappointing as the loss was, Baur suspects the teams could meet again in the playoffs.

 

“The probability of seeing this team again is very good, and we would welcome that opportunity,” he said.

 

Up next, Chippewa plays at 7 p.m. Sept. 28 in a homecoming game against Warren Mott.

 

Dakota plays at 7 p.m. Sept. 28 at home against Utica Ford II.

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