Mt. Pleasant tops Petoskey, advances to district finals

(Photo by Evan Petzold)

By @EvanPetzold

On Petoskey’s final drive of the third quarter, quarterback Josh Rowe threw a pass intended for tight end Enos Bacon.

The result – an interception by Mt. Pleasant’s Jackson Ostrowsky.

Ostrowsky held the ball high, running off the field in celebration with his teammates. Running back Zach Mogg made Ostrowsky’s interception count on the next play. The senior found a hole in the defense and went 39 yards for a touchdown.

The tandem of Ostrowsky and Mogg led Mt. Pleasant to a 35-6 victory against Petoskey in the Division 3 Pre-District game in the MHSAA Playoffs on Oct. 26 at Community Memorial Stadium, securing the Oilers (10-0) their first playoff victory since 2015.

“Momentum was huge to start the game,” said Oilers coach Jason McIntyre. “Petoskey is a physical team. When the momentum shifted a little bit, we had to get it back.”

Ostrowsky finished 7-of-11 for 71 yards and two touchdowns, adding six carries for 29 yards.

Mogg opened the scoring with 8:54 remaining in the first quarter on a 10-yard run, and a forced turnover put the ball back into the hands of Mt. Pleasant.

Ostrowsky dropped back in the pocket and immediately threw left to his younger brother, Jo Ostrowsky. Jo made the catch, split two defenders and scored from nine yards out for a 14-0 edge just two minutes following the first score.

“They are both tremendous football players,” McIntyre said of the Ostrowsky brothers. “They are two different personalities, but Jo is just as good and competitive.”

To open the second quarter, Rowe heave was intercepted by Jo and returned for 75 yards. On the ensuing play, Jackson dropped a 20-yard touchdown strike to junior receiver Carter Nostrant.

“I was just reading it and made a play,” Jo said of his interception. “After that, I just followed my blocks for a big play.”

Mogg scored twice more in the game – touchdowns from three yards and 39 yards – to pace Mt. Plesant to a 35-6 victory. The running back carried the ball 17 times for 181 yards and three trips to the end zone.

“I have to give all the credit to my line,” Mogg said. “We go out there and play as a team and it feels good when it pays off.”

Petoskey’s only score was a rushing score by junior Kaleb Kindsvatter, but the kicker missed the extra point. Rowe, the starting quarterback, was 3-of-11 for 30 yards. He only managed six yards on three carries.

Mt. Pleasant’s final defensive stop of the game was a forced fumble, which the Oilers recovered to end the game and secure a playoff win.

The Oilers’ next test is Cedar Springs, a 9-1 team from the Ottawa Kent White football league in the Grand Rapids Area. The Red Hawks lost in Week 1 to Saginaw Swan Valley but have gone unblemished for the remainder of the season.

McIntyre knows the Division 3 District Finals will be a test at Community Memorial Stadium.

“That’s going to be the toughest game we’ve played all season,” he said. “This will be the biggest challenge. They’ve won nine games in a row.”