Sacred Heart dominates in first home 8-man game

Written by
Zackary R. Boyer
Photo Credit
Jeff Corrion

Mt. Pleasant Sacred Heart Academy welcomed 8-man football to Memorial Community Stadium for the first time with a dominating 22 to 6 victory over Deckerville. Sacred Heart is in their first season of playing 8-man football as the former division eight school made the change this past offseason.

“We have really tried to use these last few weeks to use these games as a measuring stick,” head coach John Ruggles said. “Deckerville was a finalist the last few years and beating them really kind of shows us where we are at as a team.”

Mt. Pleasant Sacred Heart moves to 2-1 on the season following the victory Thursday night.

Chomchai fills stat sheet

Evan Chomchai came to coach Ruggles before last season and asked if he could just be a kicker.

“Evan came out last year and just wanted to kick,” Ruggles said. “He was down almost every kick making plays and we talked him into trying more things besides kicking.”

With the switch to 8-man football, Chomchai has been called upon to play running back, quarterback, linebacker and kicker.

“I really came out as a kicker,” Chomchai said. “I like doing everything though, I’m not standing on the sideline waiting for five plays a game.”

Chomchai showed his talent on Thursday night with very big plays. Chomchai completed one pass to Brendan Zeien for 57 yards and touchdown. Chomchai also carried the ball 13 times for 114 yards and a touchdown and a two-point conversion.

On defense Chomchai had 18 tackles, a forced fumble, two fumble recoveries, a blocked punt and recovered the block punt for a touchdown.

“I just try and go out and play hard and fast like my coach says,” Chomchai said. “It’s not all me, a lot of what I am able to do comes from what my teammates do.”

Sacred Heart dominates after disaster start

There were clearly nerves before the opening kickoff for Sacred Heart as Derek Snyder returned the kick 78 yards for a touchdown for Deckerville.

“The kids were nervous,” Ruggles said. “It is the first home 8-man game in school history, they really didn’t know what to expect.”

After the opening kickoff the Irish would rattle off 22 consecutive points.

“I told them that they know the scheme and that need to execute it,” Ruggles said. “After that kick they really responded well.”

The Irish defense would force multiple punts, turnover on downs and turnovers. In total Sacred Heart forced five turnovers.

The Irish would break late in the game when Isaac Keinath would find Snyder for a 21-yard touchdown pass to cut the Irish lead to 10. Following a fumble by Sacred Heart, the Irish defense would hold Deckerville out of the end zone to end the game.

“We really played well on defense,” Ruggles said. “We allowed the one touchdown late and held them out of the end zone late”

What’s next

The victory moved Sacred Heart above .500 as they improved to 2-1 on the season.

“We aren’t really focused on winning a state title right now.” Chomchai said. “We just want to take this season one game at a time.”

Meanwhile for Deckerville, the Eagles fall to 1-2 on the season. Deckerville will travel to Genesee next Friday night.

Sacred Heart will also hit the road as they travel to take on Dryden on Sept. 14.