Boys Varsity Football
Game Summaries & Headlines.
Published 9:14 p.m. ET Sept. 20, 2019 | Updated 12:04 p.m. ET Sept. 23, 2019
Seniors Austin Schweiger and Branden Reuba accounted for two TDs apiece for St. Clair.
CORRECTION: An early version of this story misspelled the name of Branden Reuba of St. Clair.
MARYSVILLE – Austin Schweiger hauled in a 37-yard touchdown reception, and the St. Clair football team was off to a 21-0 lead early Friday night at Marysville.
Then the senior put any chances of a Vikings comeback out of reach by weaving in and out for a tough 31-yard TD with 4:54 left in the third quarter.
The Saints (4-0) went on to win the Macomb Area Conference Silver rivalry game, 35-7. They're just two wins from securing their second straight playoff appearance.
The motivation to keep scoring points was obvious. Two weeks ago, Marysville trailed Madison Heights Madison before rallying to pull out a 14-13 win. St. Clair reminded itself about that throughout the game.
"Don't let up," Schweiger said the Saints were telling each other on the sidelines. "And keep the gas on."
"It's a big rivalry game. We just wanted to come out and capitalize. Our goal was to come out playing fast, and that's what we did."
Schweiger ended with three catches for 86 yards. Both of his scores came on the same route, where Brady Gleason, who was 7 of 13 passing for 126 yards, had Schweiger find a soft spot in Marysville's defense and wait for a wide-open throw. Then a mixture of solid blocking from the Saints and Schweiger's elusiveness got him into the end zone.
"Schweiger is Schweiger, and he's done that for us all season long," coach James Bishop said. "And he'll continue to do that. We'll find him when it's time. He can make plays."
Reuba gets to work early
St. Clair running back Branden Reuba finished with two TDs and 185 yards, and he didn't wait long to get his legs churning.
The senior took the second play from scrimmage 53 yards to put the Saints in the red zone. Shortly afterward, they rewarded him with a 3-yard TD on the ground.
On the next series, St. Clair's Joe Philips pulled down an interception, which set up Reuba with a race down the far sideline for a 19-yard score.
After the game, Bishop said Reuba scoring early was a key to winning but most of the praise should go to the Saints' offensive line.
"We wanted to score early in the game, and it's been a couple of games where we've had to get our feet under us first," Bishop said. "And Reuba did that for us, but It was really our offensive line. They just started coming. We're healthy, and we're getting off the ball."
Reuba, too, thought the O-line played well.
"They make it happen," he said. "I just do the running, and they do all the dirty work. All the credit should go to them."
The Vikings made adjustments to slow down Reuba in the second quarter, but he entered halftime with 101 yards, most of which came on those first two offensive possessions for the Saints.
St. Clair continued to use the bruising runner to kill clock in the second half.
Evan Kruskie capped off the game with a 14-yard TD run for the Saints.
What an acrobatic grab by Basey
Marysville quarterback Zachary Meier and receiver Ryan Basey grew up playing football, basketball and baseball together. Plus, they're neighbors.
So it wasn't a surprise to see the duo connect on the craziest play of the game.
In the second quarter, Meier dropped back and heaved a prayer into double coverage toward Basey, hoping to make some kind of a positive play happen. But St. Clair defensive back Jared Liniarski and another defender went up for the pass at the same time as Basey.
"I saw the jump ball," Basey recalled. "I just went up because you know you've got to become a defender. He tried to box me out, and I kind of went up over him, and that's how the pass got tipped up."
The ball somehow squirted out near Basey, so the senior reacted quickly.
"I saw it, and I dove," he said. "And I somehow came up with it."
While squeezing the ball with both hands, Basey slid forward for the 40-yard first down. Cheers erupted from the nearby Marysville student section.
His grab ensured the Vikings (2-2) wouldn't go scoreless, as Hunter Fite scored a few moments later on a 17-yard carry with 3:27 left in the half.
"I was just trying to make a play," said Meier, a junior. "We were down 21-0 at the time, so I was just throwing my ball to my receiver to make a play.
"He has great hands and a good vertical. He's an athletic kid. I threw it up, and he made the play. ... We've been like best friends growing up so I put my trust in him, and he puts his trust in me as well."
While Basey and the Vikings would have preferred a victory, he said the catch was one of the coolest achievements of his athletic career.
"To do it right in front of the student section right there, that's awesome," he said. "That's up there, for sure."