Saginaw Twp, MI:
The Saginaw Nouvel Catholic Central (4-3) football team rolled to its second straight Tri Valley Conference West division win with a 43-21 victory over visiting Valley Lutheran (0-7) high school on Homecoming at Boyd Field on the NCC campus in Saginaw Township tonight.
Nouvel CC jumped out to an early lead when senior Josh Kuligowski returned the opening kickoff 76-yards down to the Valley 2-yard line, setting up a 2 yard rushing touchdown by senior QB Michael Ehlman, while the 2-point try failed, giving the Panthers a 6-0 lead just 16-seconds into the game.
The Panthers would strike again toward the end of the first quarter when Kuligowski scored on a 2 yard rushing TD, then carried in the 2-point try to give NCC a 14-0 lead with 2:30 left in the first quarter.
Valley Lutheran answered just 13-seconds later when junior Michael Billingsley fielded the ensuing kickoff and returned it 78 yards for a touchdown, while senior place kicker Will Bismack nailed the extra point to cut the Nouvel lead to 14-7 with 2:17 remaining in the first quarter.
Nouvel answered by capping a 67-yard ball-control drive with an 11-yard TD run by Ehlman, while Kuligowski slipped across the goal line for the 2-point try, extending the NCC lead to 22-7 just 1:55 into the second quarter.
The Panthers padded its lead midway through the second quarter when Ehlman hit Kuligowski with a 45-yard passing touchdown, but the 2-point try failed, giving Nouvel a 28-7 lead heading into halftime.
Valley Lutheran struck first in the second half when Chargers senior QB Zach Marotzke hit senior wideout Jacob Fordney with a 22-yard passing touchdown, but Bismack's extra point was blocked, as the Chargers managed to cut the Nouvel lead to 28-13 with 7:30 left in the third quarter.
The Panthers would extend the lead when junior Zaiden Mitchell scampered 22 yards for a TD, while Kuligowski carried in the two point conversion for a 36-13 NCC lead just 1:48 into the fourth quarter, before Nouvel sophomore Ashton Wright put the game out of reach with a 9-yard TD run, as sophomore Brady Alverson kicked the extra point, giving the Panthers a 43-13 lead with 5:19 left in the game.
Valley added a 4-yard TD run by Marotzke, as Charger sophomore Darius Ott hit Marotzke with a pass for the two point conversion to make it a 43-21 game with 1:25 left.
Marotzke completed 6 of 30 passes for 75 passing yards, with 1 passing TD and 1 rushing TD to lead the Chargers offense.
Valley sophomore Scott Smith carried the ball 4 times for 44 rushing yards, followed by senior Brett Daenzer with 8 carries for 9 rushing yards, and Ott, who had 6 carries for 5 rushing yards.
Fordney led the Valley Lutheran receivers with 3 catches for 43 receiving yards, including 1 TD reception.
Billingsley led the Chargers special teams with the 78-yard kick return for a touchdown.
Daenzer led the Chargers defense with 10 tackles, while Ott and Valley Lutheran junior Jacob Hecht each had 1 interception for the Chargers.
Ehlman paced the Panthers, completing 11 of 27 passes for 217 passing yards, including 1 passing TD, adding 11 carries for 26 rushing yards and 2 rushing TD's on the ground.
Kuligowski led the NCC offense with 179 all purpose yards on 18 carries for 97 rushing yards and 1 rushing touchdown on the ground, along with 3 catches for 82 receiving yards and 1 TD reception through the air.
Mitchell followed with 106 total yards, carrying the ball 3 times for 45 rushing yards on the ground with 1 rushing TD, adding 4 catches for 71 receiving yards, while Wright carried the ball 3 times for 26 yards, adding 1 rushing TD.
NCC junior Samuel Buckingham (23 yard rec), senior Jonah Wright (18 yard rec), junior Harrison Dwan (15 yard rec), and junior John Paul LeFevre (8 yard rec) each added 1 catch apiece respectively.
Nouvel junior Kieran Schultz and LeFevre led the Panther defense with 2 tackles apiece respectively, while Dwan had one interception.
Valley Lutheran (0-7) will head to Hemlock for a 7 pm TVC West matchup at Hemlock HS next week, while Nouvel (4-3) welcomes Pinconning (2-5) who beat St. Charles 13-8 tonight, for a 7 pm TVC West home game right back here next week.