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Gladwin football's stellar defense defeats Frankenmuth in Division 5 state championship

The Flying G's complete an undefeated season with the win over the Eagles

DETROIT – The Gladwin Flying G’s (14-0) outlasted the Frankenmuth Eagles (13-1) 10-7 in a nail biting Division 5 football state championship game. 

Gladwin recorded its first undefeated season in program history, along with its first finals appearance and state title.

The first half was a defensive fist fight. Each offense was held under 70 yards, and Gladwin had just one first down.

After each team scored its first and only touchdowns in the third quarter, the final quarter was once again a back and forth battle of defense. With under three minutes to go in the game, senior Gladwin quarterback Nick Wheeler found senior wide receiver Lucas Mead for a 43-yard catch and run.

Following Mead’s play, Gladwin handed the ball off to senior slot Earl Esiline five straight times to get them down to Frankenmuth’s four yard line. 

With five seconds on the clock and the game on the line, junior kicker Treyton Siegert came up clutch and put his team up three, all but ending the game. Siegert said he was focusing on his technique prior to taking the field.

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“I was just trying to focus on making good contact with the ball, and hoping they would score a touchdown,” Seigert said. “I knew it would probably come to me, but I wouldn’t have that opportunity without a team behind me, so it was really a great moment.”

Neither starting quarterback was able to find much success through the air. They both finished with a completion percentage under 50. 

Senior Frankenmuth quarterback Aidan Hoard finished with 77 passing yards. Hoard said his defense kept them in it, but the offensive output just didn’t cut it.

“I just couldn’t be more thankful for the defense that I have on this team,” Hoard said. “They kept us in it throughout the entire thing, and as the quarterback, seven points is just not really acceptable. We should’ve done a better job of that but the defense is really what kept us at it. That was our identity right there -- strong defensive team.”

Gladwin head coach Marc Jarstfer, in his fourth year at the helm of the program, said Saturday’s game couldn’t have been much closer.

“I’ve been coming down here (to the finals) a long time, and that’s one of the better games that I’ve seen down here,” Jarstfer said. “Tough players all the way across the board, and really a stylistic matchup. We talked about that a lot in the media stuff leading up to it. The fact that they’d only given up 64 points all year, and we were closing in on scoring 1,100 through the last two years. We have great players that are just a play away from making enormous plays and I think that’s what you kind of saw throughout the game.”