OVID, Mich. (WLNS) – The Ovid-Elsie football team upset No. 4 Constantine 38-25 in last week’s regional championship game to advance to the state semifinals for the first time since 2008.
It’s been an improbable run for the Marauders, who held just a 3-4 record with two weeks to go in the regular season. Head coach Travis Long said the goal at that time was just to finish with a winning record and see what happens in the playoffs.
The Maruaders have since reeled off five wins in a row and are one win away from matching the best run in program history.
“Ever since [that meeting] we’ve just been winning,” said senior Jamison Custer. “We’ve got our guys back and everyone is healthy and we’ve just been playing the best ball we’ve [played].”
“I haven’t seen a group this confident before,” said Long. “They belive in themselves. They believe in each other, and I think the sky is the limit.”
The program’s best-ever postseason run came in 2008. Led by running back Chris Robinson, who would go on to have a standout career at Grand Valley State, the Marauders reached the state championship game that year before falling short to Muskegon Oakridge.
The Ovid-Elsie community is quick to get behind its athletic teams, and signs and t-shirts reading ‘Corn field to Ford Field’ were a rallying cry for the farming town during that 2008 run.
This year’s Marauder squad said they’ve felt similar support the last few weeks.
“The community is really excited about this,” said Custer. “In 2008 when we had Chris Robinson and that’s when everyone was behind them and so I just hope that it’ll happen again, you know, ‘Corn field to Ford Field’ signs start coming back. When we came back from our last game against Constantine it was dark out but we went right through Ovid and there was a bunch of people standing out on the sides applauding us and stuff. So it means a lot to the community and I’m glad that they’ve been backing us. I thank them.”
Ovid-Elsie will face Almont in the MHSAA Div. 6 State Semifinals on Saturday at 1 p.m. at Grand Blanc High School.