Northern Michigan Game of the Week: Evart, Lake City play for history

Though the school has made five straight postseason appearances, Lake City had never hosted or won a playoff game until last Friday, when they did both against a young but talented Grand Rapids NorthPointe Christian team 35-28. Now the Trojans are 9-1 and will host another postseason game when 8-2 Evart comes to Lake City on Friday for the Division 7 district final. Evart also made history last week with its first-ever playoff win, 16-12 over Carson City-Crystal.

This is the second meeting between the two teams, as Lake City finished second and Evart third in the Highland Conference. When they played October 5, Lake City won 32-21 to clinch its playoff bid. Turnovers were the difference, as Evart gave up three interceptions and two fumbles. Lake City’s 6-2, 185 junior QB Drew Marion was his typical dominant self, running for 167 yards and four TDs and passing for 153 and a TD. As he has been all season, 6-1, 230 senior linebacker Kyler Root was the Trojans’ defensive stalwart, making 21 tackles and recovering one of the Evart fumbles.

Marion was just as dominant in Lake City’s win against NorthPointe Christian, running for 203 yards and four TDS while throwing for 181 yards. Evart counters with a reliable defense, which has shut out three teams while recovering 17 fumbles. Junior linebacker Larry Vanburen is the leading tackler, including nine sacks. He’s part of a tough linebacker core along with junior Robert Young-Burge and senior Austin Grein. It was a defensive back, junior Jared Pattee, who was the hero last week when he stopped Carson City-Crystal on fourth down with 2 minutes left. Offensively for the Wildcats, Grein is the leading rusher while senior John Danley has run for 16 TDs.

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