The Grayling Viking Football team beat Negaunee 56-26 on Saturday to win the programs first ever regional title. The game was originally set to be played back in mid-November but was halted three times before the Vikings were finally given a chance to make history. The game was Grayling’s 6th straight victory after starting the season 1-3.
Grayling kicked off the scoring by marching down the field and scoring in just 3 plays on a 37 yard rushing touchdown by David Millikin to take a 7-0 lead with just over a minute off the clock. After forcing a punt the Vikings were back at it methodically marching down the field scoring on a 2 yard rush by David Millikin to take a 14-0 lead with four minutes left in the first quarter. Negaunee was able to put up a scoring drive on their next possession to bring the score to 14-6 but the Vikings would quickly strike again on their next possession off a 42 yard run by David Millikin to take a 21-6 lead. Not to be outdone, Negaunee would answer with their own scoring drive to bring the score to 21-12 halfway through the second quarter. The teams would trade possessions to end the half with the score remaining at 21-12.
After forcing Negaunee to punt to start the second half the Vikings were back at it moving down the field and scoring on a 22 yard pass from Hunter Ventline to Drew Kanary to take a 28-12 lead halfway through the third quarter. After forcing a turnover on downs the Vikings would score on just the second play of the drive off a 40 yard run by David Millikin to bring the score to 34-12 near the end of third quarter. After another turnover on downs the Vikings would score again on just four plays off a 10 yard run by Hunter Ventline to bring their lead to 41-12 with about ten minutes left in the game. Negaunee was finally able to answer the Vikings scoring drives with one of their own to bring the score to 41-19 with seven minutes left in the game. Grayling quickly answered Negaunee by scoring yet again, this time coming off a 52 yard run by David Millikin to take the score to 48-19. Negaunee was able to answer right back and score again to bring the score to 48-26 with just over two minutes left in the game. In a quarter that seemed to keep going back and forth Grayling answered Negaunee’s score with Anthony Fisher taking the ensuing kickoff 70 yards to the house to bring the final score to 56-26.
On offense, David Millikin finished the game with 257 rushing yards and five rushing touchdowns. Hunter Ventline threw for 58 yards, rushed for 25 yards and had one passing and one rushing touchdown. Drew Kanary lead all recivers with 30 yards and one touchdown. On defense, David Millikin had 11 tackles, Anthony Fisher had seven tackles, Drew Kanary had six tackles, Reid Cvitkovich had four tackles, and Sparty Skillern had three tackles.
Grayling now moves on to face Montague in the MHSAA Division 6 State Semifinals on Saturday, January 16 at 1:00pm in Montague.