WATERVLIET — Coloma finished a difficult football season with a second-straight strong performance on Friday.
The Comets routed Watervliet 56-6 in the 108th meeting between the two rivals. Coloma won its second straight Southwestern Athletic Conference Lakeshore Division game after upsetting Delton Kellogg 22-20 last week.
“Our kids went through a lot of rough stuff this year, but they love football,” Coloma coach Joe Stephens said. “They never stop playing, they come to practice every day. It’s a group to be proud of. They wanted better end results than our end record, but they finished the season strong and played Coloma football.
“Some teams would throw in the towel and want it to be over. These kids never are like that.”
Coloma (2-3 SAC Lakeshore, 3-6) entered Friday’s game with just 64 points scored on the season, but nearly doubled that total in the season finale.
“We played some really tough defensive teams, and we struggled with turnovers even when we were moving the ball,” Stephens said. “Early in the year, we couldn’t put it in the end zone, but at the end, they played hard and didn’t quit and got rewarded.”
Watervliet (0-5, 2-7) scored its lone touchdown on a 3-yard run by Jordan Abney that cut the Coloma lead to 22-6 with 2:43 left in the first half.
Coloma managed to score three times in the final two minutes of the half to take total control. Quarterback Michael Case ran three straight times for 46 yards on the Comets’ next drive, the last run a 3-yard touchdown.
Watervliet turned the ball over on each of its next two plays. Jackson Hodges intercepted a pass and took it 15 yards for a score, and after the ensuing kickoff, James Clay recovered a Panther fumble. Case then threw a 26-yard touchdown pass to Nick Santarlas that made the halftime margin 42-6.
“The kids answered right away,” Stephens said. “We played with a ton of energy.”
Kenyon Boyd led Coloma with 17 carries for 83 yards and three touchdowns, including the Comets’ first two scores. Noah Schwanke added 57 rushing yards on seven attempts.
Standout lineman Cole Alsup moved into the backfield and ran in the two-point conversion after Boyd’s final touchdown.
“He’s played 37 varsity football games,” Stephens said. “We’re going to miss him.”
Watervliet played without a pair of key juniors on offense in Evan Hutchins and Don Smith.
“I’m just proud of the guys we had out here tonight,” Watervliet coach Josh Tremblay said. “We battled a lot this year, we’ve had a lot of injuries. I give the guys credit, we battled, sometimes it just doesn’t go your way.”
Freshman quarterback Tyson Williams completed 12 of 20 passes for 112 yards, one of several young players to take on a key role for Watervliet.
“We definitely have a lot to build on,” Tremblay said. “Most of the guys that played a lot of downs were underclassmen this year. Give these seniors credit for kind of laying the foundation for kind of a new program here. We’ve got a lot of young guys coming up to build on that and some good JV kids coming, so the future looks pretty bright.”
Coloma 56, Watervliet 6
Coloma 14 28 8 6 — 56
Watervliet 0 6 0 0 — 6
C — Kenyon Boyd 13 run (Boyd run), 8:48.
C — Boyd 1 run (run failed), 1:09.
C — Noah Schwanke 14 run (Michael Case run), 6:57.
W — Jordan Abney 3 run (run failed), 2:43.
C — Case 3 run (pass failed), 1:43.
C — Jackson Hodges 15 interception return (Nick Santarlas pass from Boyd), 1:33.
C — Santarlas 26 pass from Case (pass failed), 50.5.
C — Boyd 2 run (Cole Alsup run), 6:24.
C — Case 2 run (run failed), 4:17.
First downs 13 11
Total net yards 266 122
Rushes-yards 36-189 25-10
Passing yards 77 112
Comp-att-int 4-4-0 12-20-2
Fumbles-lost 1-0 2-2
Penalties-yards 10-88 11-68
Punts-avg 1-29 1-(minus-5)
Rushing — Coloma: Boyd 17-83, Schwanke 7-57, Case 4-48. Watervliet: Jerry Unger 6-18.
Passing — Coloma: Case 4-4-0 73. Watervliet: Tyson Williams 12-20-2 112.
Receiving — Coloma: Michael Dancer 2-30, Santarlas 1-26, Boyd 1-21. Watervliet: Abney 5-43, Austin Wilmoth 2-37, Nick Polaskey 2-18.
Records — Coloma 2-3 SAC Lakeshore, 3-6; Watervliet 0-5, 2-7.
Contact: bsanders@TheHP.com, 429-1294, @HPBenSanders