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Coldwater hangs with St Joseph in football season opener, Union City falls to White Pigeon, and Quincy shuts out Bronson

COLDWATER, MI  (WTVB) - In Branch County high school sports, the 2013 varsity football season kicked off last night and for Coldwater, it started with a 33-14 loss at St. Joseph that featured the host Bears breaking open a close game in the fourth quarter. Elsewhere, at Quincy, the Orioles blanked cross county rival Bronson 36-0 while at Union City, the host Chargers were stopped by White Pigeon 23-12.

In the Coldwater contest, the visiting Cardinals scored all of their points in the second quarter with the first half ending in a 14-14 tie. The scoreless third quarter was followed by the Bears putting up 19 points in the final quarter to pull away for the victory. Cooper Murphy scored both of the Cardinals' touchdowns on a one yard run and on a 66-yard pass from quarterback Luke Beckhusen. Blaze Watson was good on the conversion kicks after each of the touchdowns. Beckhusen led Coldwater in rushing with 14 carries for 61 yards while through the air, he was 6-for-14 for 149 yards and the one touchdown along with 3 interceptions. On defense for the Cardinals, Chris Vandenhout had 5 tackles with four each for Luke Stempien and Zach DeMeester. Our McDonald’s Player of the Game honors for Coldwater went to the Cardinals' defensive line with starting ends Joel Jepson and Sawyer Murphy and tackles Darrien Bradley and Logan Targgart along with subs Shawn Reincke and Randy Brown. Coldwater returns to action a week from tonight with their home opener against the Portage Northern Huskies, who last night shutout Gull Lake 33-to-0.

At Quincy, the Orioles took control right away in the first quarter when they put 30 points on the board and then added 6 points in the second quarter to finish the scoring on the night. Jimmy King had a big night on the ground for Quincy with 4 touchdown runs with the Oriole’s other TD coming on a 7-yard pass from Chase Cook to Jordan Cekander. For Bronson, Scotty Wyant had 84 yards rushing on six carries. Next week, Quincy hosts Concord while Bronson plays its home opener against Concord.

It was Parent’s Night last night at Union City where the Chargers fell behind 23-to-0 to White Pigeon after three quarters and then scored 12 points in the final quarter to finish with the 11-point loss. Union City looks to bounce back next Friday in their Big 8 opener at Homer. In a few other selected scores from around the area last night:

Portage Central 55 Sturgis 0                                                                                                                   Reading 22 Sand Creek 0                                                                                                                       Climax-Scotts 34 Athens 0                                                                                                                   Stevensville-Lakeshore 56 Marshall14                                                                                                   Harper Creek 27 Mattawan 7                                                                                                                 Battle Creek Lakeview 28 Niles 0

Also in high school sports yesterday, in volleyball, Coldwater played at the Tecumseh Invitational with the Lady Cardinals advancing to the Gold bracket semi-finals before losing to Haslett. Kenzie Galloway had 27 kills with 26 for Shelby Bowers. Ashley Chase had 47 assists with 41 for Carlee Smoker. And Meghan Schorfhaar led the way in digs with 21. Coldwater’s season record is now 5-2-4.

Now it’s break time on the local high school sports scene for the Labor Day Holiday weekend with the action picking up again next Tuesday. Today on the Coaches Corner, it’s Quincy boys soccer coach Tim Hart.