PERKINS - It didn't take long for Superior Central to find an open target down the middle, and once the Cougars did, the rout was on.
SC senior quarterback Trevor Maki looked comfortable as can be dropping back and hitting fellow senior Dan Steward and Bryce Richard as if they were playing catch in the backyard as Superior Central rolled over Mid Peninsula 52-0 Friday night.
Steward was a matchup nightmare for Mid Pen's defense and the Cougars exploited it often in a 20-point second quarter. Steward hauled in six catches for 188 yards and two touchdowns, as Maki was able to find him in stride as well as in traffic.
Superior Central quarterback Trevor Maki delivers a pass to Dan Steward in the second quarter as Mid Peninsula defenders close in Friday at Perkins. (Escanaba Daily Press photo by Keith Shelton)
"You throw him the ball, he can go up and get it as good as anybody," Maki said.
Superior Central coach Chris Messano said Steward wasn't the specific target, but it just happened to work out that way.
"Our quarterback was just freely checking. I talked to the team this week. When Mid Pen was going to pile in the box and stop our running game and they didn't have a safety over the top, we'd check to pass over the middle," he said. "It didn't have to be Dan, but it just happened in our formations and our sets that it was Dan a lot. Bryce had some catches as well, we tried to get him the ball."
Richard hauled in three catches for 54 yards and a touchdown.
Maki's performance gave him 290 yards on 12-17 passing with three touchdowns and one interception.
Mid Pen coach Jeremy Herman was impressed with the SC's polished offense.
"We know Superior Central is a passing team. They just had a little more poise and maturity on the field," he said. "Early on, I really appreciated my team's effort, but Superior Central had poise and discipline, they took it to us."
Superior Central's defense was nearly as impressive as its offense. After allowing 40 points in a win over Posen last week, the Cougars rose to the challenge. Superior Central out-gained the Wolverines 482-162 in total yards.
"We were a little lax last week. They kind of bit on a couple trick plays and it wasn't good enough. It wasn't up to our play as far as defense goes," said Messano. "Tonight they stepped it up and got the job done."
The Cougars also had success in their running game as senior back Tyler Kienitz rushed for 110 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries. Nick Maki also scored on a 41-yard run in the third quarter.
Mid Pen's Brett Branstrom passed for 118 yards and rushed for 20 more, but threw three interceptions, one of which was returned 66 yards by Steward for a Cougars touchdown.