By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
Despite missing the majority of his senior season in 2003 with an injury, John Plumstead graduated from Benzie Central the following spring among the top rushers and scorers in Michigan high school football history – and those accomplishments now are reflected in the MHSAA record book.
Plumstead ran for 5,595 yards over 40 games and four seasons, and also scored 72 touchdowns. The career rushing yardage still ranks 15th all-time. He went on to play linebacker for Army at West Point.
See below for more recent additions to the football record book, and click the heading to see the listings in full.
Berrien Springs senior Faith Kittleson drilled all nine of her extra-point attempts in her team’s 63-0 win over Parchment on Oct. 4. While that missed the list for most extra points in one game, it made the list for most consecutive extra points made in one contest. Kittleson also has been a standout on the school’s girls soccer team.
Mattawan senior Noah Janssen became the sixth player to return at least two kickoffs for touchdowns in the same game Sept. 28, when he scored on a pair against Portage Northern. Both run-backs also made the list for longest kickoff return touchdown, at 98 and 96 yards.
A pair of impressive defensive performances earned Breckenridge’s first football record book entries last fall. Sophomore Luke Saunders had four interceptions during a 49-0 win over Muskegon Heights Academy on Sept. 6, including tying a record with three in one quarter. Breckenridge as a team also was added for holding Coleman to only two first downs during a 56-0 victory Sept. 20.
Warren Fitzgerald sophomore Trey West showed in the fall he was capable of scoring offensively, defensively and on special teams – and his kickoff return prowess especially stood out. He became the latest to tie the record for longest kickoff return when he scored on a 99-yarder Oct. 25 against Port Huron Northern. He tied for second-most kickoff return touchdowns in one game with two against Warren Woods-Tower on Oct. 12, and also tied for second-most kickoff return TDs for a season with four total in 2019.
Eastpointe senior Davion Watkins also joined that list for longest kickoff return, bringing one back 99 yards against Warren Fitzgerald on Oct. 18.
Quarterback Vaughn VanTil led the way for Coopersville against Fruitport during a 62-50 win Oct. 12, 2018. The then-senior made the MHSAA record book in multiple categories with seven rushing touchdowns, and was part of 431 of the 607 total yards that earned Coopersville an entry in the team record book. The seven rushing touchdowns are tied for third-most on the rushing scoring list.
Pewamo-Westphalia has had a number of individual standouts in winning MHSAA Finals titles three of the last four seasons, and not to be forgotten was kicker Alec Thelen. He made the single-season extra point list twice with 55 in 2017 and 71 in 2018, and his 154 (in 171 attempts over 31 games from 2016-18) are tied for 10th most on the career list. He’s playing at Siena Heights University.
Griffin Milovanski kicked the last two seasons on Saugatuck’s varsity and finished on the career extra point list with 83 made in 86 attempts. He also made the single-season PAT list as a junior.
Ogemaw Heights advanced as far as the Regional Finals during the last decade, doing so in Division 4 in 2012. A powerful rushing offense led the way – and led to four record book entries. The Falcons were added for 4,220 rushing yards and 5,604 yards of total offense that fall, plus 631 total yards in a Week 9 win over Alpena and 74 rushing attempts in a District Final win over Remus Chippewa Hills.
PHOTO: Benzie Central running back John Plumstead turns the corner on the way to some of his 5,500 career rushing yards. (Photo courtesy of the Benzie Central Gridiron Club.)