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Marquette continues grid journey with downstate win in Division 3 football playoffs

MOUNT PLEASANT — When it was all said and done Saturday afternoon, things had gone pretty “pleasantly” for the Marquette football team.

A week after picking up their first playoff win in a decade and their first ever at home, the Redmen traveled downstate and took down Mount Pleasant 21-14 to move on to the MHSAA Division 3 district finals.

They’ll travel back downstate to visit Muskegon this weekend. An official time hadn’t been set Sunday night by the MHSAA, though the MSHS athletics website, www.mqtredmen.com, listed the game for Saturday.

“It was very impressive,” Marquette head coach Eric Mason said about the win at the Oilers, who they lost to in the playoffs in 2014. “Any time you can go on the road and play top teams like Mount Pleasant and come out with wins, it’s just a great feeling and a great effort by the kids. At this point, I’ve learned to never doubt what they can do.”

The Redmen used a balanced attack, getting two passing touchdowns, one a catch by Ty Lotterman as well as a reverse pass that wide receiver Kam Karp threw to Jordan DeMay, along with a rushing TD from running back Brady Wright, who earned specific praise from Mason.

“We ran the ball well and Brady played fantastic,” Mason said. “He ran hard and there was one play where it was 3rd-and-13 on that scoring drive and he ran and literally ran the kid over and got 15 (yards) to keep the drive going. He was just unbelievable.”

Mason was also pleased with the resiliency of his defense after the Oilers scored on their first possession of the game.

“That was tough and as a coach, you’re looking ‘OK, what’s gonna happen from here?'” he said. “The first drive, they just marched down little by little, there was no big plays, they just kept moving the chains.

“And the defense stood up after that. There was a particular drive after we scored in the half, where they were down inside our 10(-yard line) and we stopped them on a fourth down and I think it was 4 (yards to go). It was just an incredible stop and that was when we went on a 90-yard drive the other way and scored.”

When asked what it took to get a win against a very good team after a long trip, Mason said it was simple.

“It just takes belief by the kids,” he said. “At the end of the day, they’re the ones out there playing.

“You tell them over and over that you’re watching these teams on film, and as a coach you know you have a chance, but it’s getting the kids to believe in that. They did and once you have them believing in something and they’ve got some confidence, you never know what you can do.”

Muskegon defeated Marquette 69-7 in the playoffs last year when they were led by Ohio State-bound Cameron Martinez, who as a quarterback ran for seven touchdowns and 293 yards despite not playing the entire second half.

Information compiled by Journal Sports Writer Ryan Stieg. His email address is rstieg @miningjournal.net.

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