The Millington Cardinals and the Montrose Rams will meet on the gridiron for the 12th time this coming Saturday, November 9. The game will mark the fifth time that the Cardinals and the Rams have met in a district championship game and the eighth time in playoff history.
The first playoff matchup happened in 1992. Despite senior quarterback Matt Hoard’s 235 yards passing and a touchdown to Brian Rowley, Millington fell to Montrose by the score of 35-14 at Bob Hayes Field in Montrose. Millington’s trap heavy running game was hampered by the ankle-deep mud in Montrose, and the passing game was slowed down when All-Conference wide receiver Cory Cobanovich suffered a bruised kidney, spleen, and ribs when he was clotheslined by a wire surrounding Bob Hayes Field early in the game. Hall of Fame head coach Time Furno was quoted saying. “That’s one of the worst facilities I’ve seen.”
The defending state champion Rams stormed into Millington in early November of 1999 looking to defeat the Cardinals in their first-ever district championship game. Millington quarterback Mike Sampson made sure his Cardinals would not be defeated in their quest for a district as he accounted for five touchdowns in the Cardinals 43-35 victory. Sampson threw for 286 yards and four touchdowns and ran for another 48 yards and a touchdown. Matt Jacque rushed for 118 yards and a touchdown. Millington would go to defeat Croswell-Lexington the following week for their second regional championship before losing a close game to Detroit Country Day 10-7 in the semi-finals at Atwood Stadium in Flint, MI.
Millington would turn the ball over six times as Montrose avenged 1999’s loss when they defeated Millington 48-20 at Bob Hayes Field in the two teams’ first matchup of the new century. The Cardinals were led by running back John Carl’s two rushing touchdowns and Chris Durso’s touchdown pass to Joe Kid.
The calendar would flip seven times before the two teams would get to meet in the playoffs again. Montrose came to Millington in late October of 2007 during Week 10 of the season. Dustin Griesing and Corbin Stewart combined for four touchdowns to knock the Rams from the playoffs. Quarterback Griesing ran for 121 yards and two touchdowns to go along with his 73 yards passing and nine tackles defensively. Stewart ran for 94 yards and two touchdowns. Millington would lose another close game to Chesaning the following week in Millington 29-28 to close out their season.
On a Saturday in November of 2012, Millington traveled to Bob Hayes Field attempting to win a district championship from the 9-1 Rams. After surrendering only 42 points in the first 10 weeks of the season, Millington allowed 33 to Montrose including 28 straight after having the lead in a 33-28 loss. Chase Maxon accounted for 209 yards and two touchdowns in the loss. Millington quarterbacks continued their success against the Rams as Dakota Sebert threw for 118 yards and three touchdowns and also ran for 85 yards.
In 2016, Millington would defeat Montrose 28-9 on the Cardinals home field. Bryce Bearss threw for 159 yards and a touchdown to Shane Horton. Jared Roehl scored two touchdowns on 58 yards rushing to help the Cardinals to their sixth district championship. The Cardinals went on to defeat Detroit Central the following week 22-20 (after being down 20-0 at halftime) to secure their fifth regional championship before falling to Jackson Lumen Christi in the semi-final.
Millington soared high into Montrose last year on the back of a first-round defeat of state powerhouse Ithaca only to be beaten 29-6 in the district final. The short-handed Millington offense looked to quarterback Drew Germain to lead them. He ran for 67 yards and a touchdown and threw for another 91.
In non-playoff action, Millington lost to Montrose 19-14 on September 17, 2010. Millington and Montrose also faced each other three times in the 1930s with the Cardinals winning two of the games including 1936’s 67-7 victory on Alumni Field in Millington.
Because of poor field conditions in Montrose, this Saturday’s district championship playoff game will take place at Claude Cranston Field on the campus of Linden High School. Kickoff is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. Admission is $6 per person and passes will not be accepted.
If you are not able to attend the game there are a few ways for fans to follow along. Firstly, Millington Athletics will have quarterly updates on our Facebook page. We will have play by play action on our Twitter page @MillingtonCards.
For radio fans, WIDL Classic Rock I92 will have all the action on the FM dial at 92.1 and also on-line at the Classic Rock I92 website. Join play by play announcer Scott Bolsby and color announcer Christian Selich as they bring you all the action and also recaps from Friday night’s district action from around the Thumb Area.
If you would like to watch the game, direct your browser over to the Montrose Digital Media website. Just click on the “Click Here to Watch Us Live” button and follow the prompts. The Michigan High School Atheltic Association does charge a fee of $10.95 to watch the game live.