ITHACA — Sometimes it seemed as if Hunter Hogan should have been wearing a Superman cape over his Ravenna football jersey.
The super senior did it all again in Saturday’s Division 7 district final at Ithaca Community Stadium. And, as they have all season, the scrappy pack of Bulldogs followed his lead.
But in a matchup of traditional powers that have combined for nine state championships, Ithaca had too much firepower and a counter of its own in senior quarterback Bronson Bupp en route to a 63-27 victory over Ravenna.
The Bulldogs, who finished second behind North Muskegon in the West Michigan Conference Rivers Division but knocked off the Norsemen in the playoff opener, end the season with a 7-4 record.
Ithaca (10-1) advances to the regional finals against Traverse City St. Francis (11-0) next Saturday at 1 p.m. at Thirlby Field in Traverse City.
Photos by Scott DeCamp | CatchMark
Here are notables and more details from the Ravenna-Ithaca game:
- It was a track meet in the first half, which ended with Ithaca leading 35-27. As it turned out, Ravenna scored all of its points in the first two quarters. The Bulldogs scored on the final play of the half when Hogan lofted a perfect strike to junior Blake Homoly, who made a great adjustment on the ball in front of the goal line and fought his way into the end zone on a 25-yard connection.
- Ithaca outgained Ravenna in total offense, 592-249. The Yellowjackets passed for 318 yards and rushed for 274.
- The game was a marathon, lasting nearly three hours.
- Hogan dazzled as he has so often this season. The 5-foot-9, 175-pounder impacted the game in every way. The elusive, fast and hard-hitting Hogan ran for two touchdowns, threw for another, returned a kickoff 89 yards for a score, notched a game-high 13 tackles from his free-safety spot and booted three extra points. On the day, the quarterback ran 18 times for a team-high 82 yards, including TDs covering 1 and 10 yards, and he was 11-of-26 passing for 146 yards with one TD and one pick.
- Ravenna junior Blake Homoly made seven receptions for 98 yards, including the aforementioned scoring reception. Two plays before his TD catch, Homoly made a grab for a highlight reel — SportsCenter Top Plays-type stuff. He went up near the Ithaca sideline and made an acrobatic, one-handed reception for 18 yards. It was an unbelievable play.
- Ravenna sophomore Derek Finlay made 6.5 tackles, while junior Drew Mabrito notched five stops. Homoly and junior Caleb Forsythe added four tackles apiece for the Bulldogs.
- Not to be outdone by Hogan, Bupp played an outstanding game from his signal-caller position. The 6-3, 209-pound senior completed 14 of 23 passes for 318 yards with four TDs and no interceptions. If that weren’t enough, Bupp ran 23 times for a game-high 183 yards with four more TDs.
- Ithaca had two 100-yard receivers: Ethan Hull (9-186, 2 TDs) and Ryley White (3-110, 2 TDs).
- Nathan Mikesell added 99 rushing yards and a TD on 14 carries for the Yellowjackets.
- Defensively, Mikesell and Kaleb Peska paced Ithaca with seven tackles apiece.
- Ithaca has won five state championships in its program’s history (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015), while Ravenna has four (1994, 1996, 1997, 2003).
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