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Posted on Fri, Oct 12, 2012 : 11:55 p.m.

Before the brawl, Pioneer wins share of SEC Red title with 35-6 win over rival Huron

By Matt Durr


Pioneer senior linebacker Chad Reed moments before tackling Huron quarterback Josh Jackson on Friday. Pioneer won 35-6.

Daniel Brenner |

Lost in the chaos of a game that will be remembered for an ugly brawl after the contest was over, the Pioneer High School football team clinched a share of the SEC Red Division championship and moved one game closer to a playoff berth with a 35-6 win over rival Huron Friday night at Riverbank Stadium.

Marquise Thomas ran for 163 yards and three touchdowns as the Pioneers racked up 233 yards rushing on the night.

“I was proud of the boys and the way we played against a cross-town rival,” said Pioneer head coach Paul Test. “They (Huron) had nothing to lose and everything to gain and we beat them 35-6.”

Pioneer scored on five of its six possessions, only failing to score on the game's final possession when it took a knee to run out the clock.

“The running game was good, we threw play action well tonight,” Test said.

More coverage: Boxscore | Photo gallery | Post-game brawl erupts following coaches confrontation | Friday football roundup

The Pioneers opened the game with a 12-play 71-yard drive that lasted 7:55. The drive was capped by a 14-yard touchdown run by Thomas.

It was more of the same on the next two drives as quarterback Brandon Bertoia added touchdown runs of one and three yards giving the Pioneers a 21-0 lead at the break.

Bertoia started the game for the Pioneers because the regular starter, Aedan York, is out for at least the next three weeks after breaking his left hand last week against Monroe.

“(Bertoia’s) execution and ball-handling was great. He was able to throw the ball a little bit too,” Test said. “The kids believe in him.”

Of the 24 minutes of clock used in the first half, Pioneer possessed the ball for 17:32. Huron ran just nine offensive plays in the half.

As the second half started, Pioneer recovered an onside kick. Seven plays later, Thomas punched it in from one yard out.

As they have for most the season, the River Rats didn’t go down quietly as they responded with a 13-play 78-yard drive of their own that ended with Josh Jackson hitting Demetrius Sims for an 11-yard touchdown pass.

The Rats would then recover an onside kick of their own. However they would eventually turn the ball over on downs ending any chance of a comeback.

With the win Pioneer clinched a share of the SEC Red title and is now 5-3 overall (5-1 SEC Red) on the year and can clinch a playoff berth next week when they visit Livonia Franklin. While he isn’t happy is team needs to win to secure a spot in the playoffs, he says his team is ready for challenge.

“I told my wife this, I’m trying to enjoy for at least a day, this victory. We’re city champs, we’re SEC league champs and we have a chance to get in the playoffs next week,” Test said.

Huron is winless on the season falling to 0-8 (0-6 SEC) on the year.

After the game there was a brawl on the field involving players and coaches from both teams. One player was taken to the hospital for stitches, but no arrests were made. Ann Arbor Police are investigating the incident.

Matt Durr covers sports for



Sun, Oct 14, 2012 : 5:22 p.m.

No arrests? Ann Arbor and Michigan will now be in the national spotlight, and it is critical that the legal system operates swiftly and holds everyone accountable to the maximum penalties provided by law. This is equivalent to domestic violence action/law, except that those responsible are the coaches, staff, and leaders/athletes. Each and everyone involved (the students/athletes and staff/coaches) should be identified on video, arrested, charged and processed according to the law. This is way beyond the policy jurisdiction of the superintendant, administrators, board, principal, athletic director, and staff. This is plain and simple an act of assault and battery, to be dealt with by the law, with the maximum penalties applied up to and including criminal penalties and jail/prison time. You can be sure that our zero tolerance policy and law for domestic violence is a model here. If we do anything short of charging and prosecuting everyone involved, then we will see this again in the future. If everyone who was guilty of fighting is charged with criminal assault and battery, without any "easy judgements" we are sure this kind of thing won't happen again. This is way beyond an AAPS or MHAA issue. This is a legal issue of the highest priority, involving criminal acts of violence. Ann Arbor and Michigan is now in the national spotlight, and it is critical that the legal system operates responsibly and holds everyone accountable to avoid a repeat. If Ann Arbor schools hired responsible staff and coaches, then the staff and coaches need to stand up to the challenge and admit their guild and accept the maximum penalty provided by law. This will ensure Michigan schools and the rest of the country will not see this kind of incident again.

Claudio Petrovic

Sat, Oct 13, 2012 : 9:14 p.m.

"Running up the score" This was getting reps for the bench. If your VARSITY team can't stop a bunch of JV kids that's Huron's problem. These kids worked hard through the whole week and didn't get a chance to play because Huron doesn't have a JV. They got in with a minute left and were allowed to run a few plays. Pioneer could've beat this Huron team by 80, they were very, very kind to them(Pioneer watered down their playbook). That Huron coach has a loooooooooooong history of being a malcontent. He put his hands on Test, he went too far and created this whole conflict.


Sat, Oct 13, 2012 : 10:40 p.m.

@claudio I can't respond on your comments regarding the Huron coach. However, I think Test had plenty of time to put his 2nd team in before one minute remaining. Even then, the proper thing is to run the ball, not throw long passes. Test has no class and is really the person that started the conflict simply by his play calling. His apology was pretty weak.


Sat, Oct 13, 2012 : 6:23 p.m.

Interesting that Pioneer is now accused of running up the score against Dexter and now Huron. The head coach says he is sorry he did not call the play. My question is who is running the asylum?f


Sat, Oct 13, 2012 : 6:17 p.m.

Pioneer should not be allowed to be in the playoffs, nor should they be SEC Red Champs. Paul Test should be fired. Bottom line.

darre james

Sat, Oct 13, 2012 : 4:15 p.m.

I am so glad my son was not a part of this travesty


Sat, Oct 13, 2012 : 3 p.m.

Is there some sort of governing board for the SEC? I think some sort of sanctions are in order for both teams, a decision probably best made by someone other than the schools' principals.


Sat, Oct 13, 2012 : 12:43 p.m.

It is very interesting that no one is commenting on the football game, but only on the post-game brawl ! The game must not have been that interesting. The Pioneer football team is a pretty good team, but unfortunately the coaching staff forgot their real mission is set examples for the students first, then win games with class. The Pioneer head coach is the person most responsible for what happened on Friday night regardless whether he apologized afterwards. I am curious to see what AAPS does about this. However, I am sure they will defer the decision to the Pioneer principal and nothing will really come about. This is similar to what happened in the past when the students in 2011 caused damage during a senior prank, but were allowed to play in the playoffs. An example needs to be set.

kathy coles

Sat, Oct 13, 2012 : 4:32 p.m.

The sad part is that the theme of this game was Rivals tackle Cancer, and so all the good these teams were doing in raising money for the American cancer society and all the hard work that was put in by the Real Rats Wear Pink group was overshadowed by this mess.

Susie Q

Sat, Oct 13, 2012 : 2:56 p.m.

Right now Pioneer has an interim principal......the job has just been re-posted (for the third time).