MHSAA Division 2 pre-district football: Midland running back Williams too much for Marquette

MIDLAND – They stayed with No. 9 state-ranked Midland for one half Saturday, but the Marquette Senior High School football Redmen couldn’t do it for a full game.

The host Chemics (9-1) outscored the Redmen (5-4) by a 24-0 count in the second half to take a 41-10 MHSAA Division 2 pre-district playoff win Saturday.

“At halftime, it was a one-score game,” MSHS head coach Dave L’Huillier said, noting his team trailed just 17-10 at intermission.

“But give Midland credit. They ran the ball better in the second half.”

Will Williams led the Chemics with 266 yards rushing on 31 carries and three touchdowns.

“He’s remarkable,” L’Huillier said. “We contained him early, but he’s very quick and sees things well.

“It looks like he’s going left and he cuts back to go right. He’d find a small crease (in our defense) and get through.”

The Redmen scored first on a 25-yard field goal by Max Bednarek in the first quarter.

After Williams notched TD runs of seven and 14 yards to make it 14-3, Marquette got back to within three points on a 14-yard scoring strike from quarterback Brett Place to wide receiver Kurt Burmeister.

But two Midland field goals were then followed by three TDs, one on a 34-yard scamper by Williams, as the Chemics won going away.

MSHS got just 50 total yards rushing in 27 attempts, with Paul Smith collecting 21 yards in 11 carries.

“We tried to run the ball and keep (Midland’s defense) honest, but it didn’t work out,” L’Huillier said. “The kids competed hard, but we just ran into a very good football team.”

Place completed five passes for 83 yards, but also suffered three interceptions.

“We’re getting to a point where we’re competing,” L’Huillier said of his team’s fourth straight playoff appearance. “We just have to find a way to be more successful in the playoffs.”