By Bob Gross
EAST CHINA – Marine City football coach Ron Glodich wants his team to concentrate on getting better.
“Just having the self-discipline to say, ‘I have to get better’ at whatever they need to get better at.”
The Mariners looked pretty good Friday, beating Mount Morris 55-0 in the opening round of the Division 5 state football playoffs.
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Glodich said the win was probably the most complete game the now 10-0 Mariners have played this fall.
“I think with the special teams, yeah,” he said. “That was our first special teams score.”
That special teams score opened the second half, senior Ben Wright taking the kickoff out of the starburst formation and running it back about 70 yards, giving the Mariners a 48-0 lead.
The Mariners got their only mistake of the first half out of the way early, losing a fumble on their first possession deep in Mount Morris territory.
But they forced a subsequent Panther punt, and Nick Borunda and Angelo Patsalis took over. They ripped off a couple of tough runs to the Mount Morris 5-yard line. Quarterback Colby Walker scored Marine City’s first touchdown on a keeper from about a yard out at 6:14 of the first quarter.
With the exception of the lost fumble, the Mariners scored every time they touched the ball in the first half. Aren Sopfe had scoring runs of 16 and 25 yards to give Marine City a 21-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Marine City’s most impressive scoring drive came in the second quarter when the Mariners found themselves on their own 5-yard line after two penalties. They then drove the ball 95 yards down the field using a combination of tough inside running and a long pass completion to Charles Tigert.
Borunda scored from 8 yards out to give the Mariners a 28-0 lead following the point after kick by Felix Kapp.
Sopfe followed during the next Mariner possession with a 36-yard touchdown run at 3:34 of the second quarter as the Mariners took a 35-0 lead.
With 1:05 left in the first half, Marine City scored when Tigert took a short pass and turned it into a 69-yard touchdown. That gave the Mariners a 42-0 lead going into the locker room at halftime.
Marine City substituted freely in the second half. Anthony Ruffino closed out the scoring with 1:23 left in the fourth quarter, bringing the total to 55-0 after Kapp’s extra point.
Marine City will next face Almont, which beat Richmond 30-20 on Friday. Marine City has a history with Almont in the playoffs.
“We’re 0-2 against them,” Glodich said. “Once here and once there.
“… We have to continue to look at our film and self-evaluations and get better,” he said.
Bob Gross has been a journalist for 40 years in Michigan and Wyoming. He has covered subjects ranging from agriculture to zoology. He most recently covered courts and police for the Port Huron Times Herald.