Rudyard Football Prepares for First State Semifinal Since 1982

RUDYARD — The Rudyard football team has had an impressive postseason, bouncing back from losses to Newberry and Munising in the regular season to beat them in the playoffs.

The Bulldogs defeated Newberry for a regional title, 28-0, after losing to the Indians by six in the regular season. They defeated Munising in the first round of the playoffs, 38-14.

Rudyard now prepares for its first state semifinal since 1982 when they lost in the state championship to Mendon. The Bulldogs will meet Suttons Bay on Saturday.

The Norsemen are no strangers to this stage in recent years. They won their third straight regional title last week, defeating Inland Lakes, 53-18, in the Sports Overtime Game of the Week.

They now seek their third straight trip to the state championship. They have finished as the runner-up the last two years. They have scored 512 points this year in 11 games, which is already a program best.

The Bulldogs know that they will have their hands full in this semifinal matchup.

“Suttons Bay, they’re 11-0. They’re undefeated for a reason. They have big kids up front. They have speed. They have skill. They’re well-coached,” Rudyard head coach Jim Suggitt said. “Man, it’s great just to go down there. They have a great complex down there. We’re looking forward to going down Saturday and playing a ballgame.”

But the Bulldogs have been equally as impressive recently. Their 28-0 win over Newberry marked the fourth time in five games that they have beaten teams by 24-plus points.

Our defense and (offensive) line have improved tremendously throughout the years. When we played Newberry, there were lots of holes for me to run through,” Rudyard senior E.J. Suggitt said. “Our D-line’s been eating it up. I think if we keep doing that and we go against Suttons Bay like that, I think we’ll have a shot.”
The two teams will meet on Saturday at 2 p.m. in Suttons Bay. The winner advances to the 8-player Div. 1 state championship next Saturday in Marquette at 11 a.m.
Categories: Football