By Andrew Johnson
MONTAGUE – In high school football, it’s rare to see offensive fireworks in season openers.
But the Montague Wildcats, who lost a lot of starters from last year’s state finalist team, came out firing on all cylinders in a 42-0 victory over an always strong Reed City squad at home on Friday night.
The explosive attack was sparked by junior quarterback Drew Collins, who threw for 116 yards and three touchdowns on 10-of-16 passing, while also rushing for 82 yards and a touchdown on three carries.
Senior receiver Brennan Schwarz was also outstanding, finding the end zone three times on receptions of 10, 16 and 48 yards.
“It was the most preparation we’ve put in,” said Collins about team practices heading into the opener. “Even guys who don’t get excited, got excited.”
Montague head coach Pat Collins was quick to praise the Wildcat defense.
“I was happy with the defensive effort,” the coach said. “I thought the coaches did a good job preparing the guys. Offensively we weren’t hitting on all cylinders early and reaching for big plays, but then our offense kind of took control in the second quarter.”
The win provided a measure of revenge for the Wildcats, who fell to Reed City in the 2018 season opener, 34-13.
“It feels really good,” said Schwarz, who finished with 75 yards receiving on four catches. “Everyone is doubting us because we lost a lot from last year. Shutting them out felt amazing. We were preparing all offseason to make sure we wouldn’t lose again.”
The two teams were competitive in the first quarter, with the lone score coming on an 18-yard pass from Collins to Schwarz. The PAT kick gave Montague a 7-0 lead.
Montague blew the game open in the second quarter, with Collins finding Schwarz for touchdown passes of 16 and 48 yards, Collins scoring on an 80-yard run and Johnny Monette finding the end zone from 27 yards out. The Wildcats led 35-0 at halftime.
The lone score in the second half came when Montague sophomore running back Dylan Everett posted a 28-yard TD run.
Montague will open up West Michigan Conference play next Friday at Mason County Central.