Pioneer Dominates Over Skyline at Hollway Field


Skyline and Pioneer battled against each other on Sept. 28 at Hollway Field.

Just before the 7 p.m. kickoff, fans filled the bleachers at Hollway Field in anticipation for the Ann Arbor city-rivalry game between Pioneer and Skyline. It was a high stakes game– it would confirm Pioneer’s city championship title, and it was their senior night. Both teams entered facing previous loses.  Skyline lost the previous four games and Pioneer was taken down by Bedford, 29-27. The marching band performed as both teams warmed up in the chilly 65-degree weather.

Pioneer senior, Eric Steinhauer lead the game with a kickoff. Skyline’s returner caught it, but was taken down at the 25-yard line. Eight minutes later, senior, Lael Onifade took a pass from fellow senior, Nate Yuhas to the house, giving Pioneer a 6-0 lead. Pioneer converted the extra point, bringing the score 7-0. Three minutes later, Pioneer scored again as number 12, Logan Jacobs, made a catch and was pulled into the end zone by the defense. Pioneer held a 14-0 lead heading into the second quarter.

The sun slowly set and the air grew colder. Fans bundled up on the frigid bleachers. Three minutes into the second quarter, Skyline got onto the board as senior, Kejon Hunter, ran the ball into the end zone. The Skyline student section, dressed in white as their theme, chanted “I believe that we will win!” to fire up their team.

“Whether we win or lose, I know it’s going to be a great time,” said Ellie Gutmann, a Skyline student and proud fan.

The clock ran as the teams alternated possession. The game got closer. With one minute and 17 seconds left in the first half, Skyline scored again. A penalty was called, moving the spot of the extra point kick back a total of 5-yards, and Pioneer issued a timeout. They kicked the field goal and tied the score at 14-14. Later, Skyline called a timeout with 10 seconds left. Then, seconds after, they call another timeout. As the time hit zero seconds on the scoreboard, quarterback, Nate Yuhas ran it into the end zone. After a 15-yard penalty, Pioneer missed the two-point conversion but remained in the lead. The first half ended with a score of 20-14.

The halftime performance was quite unusual: senior night, dancing, and recognitions.  The Pioneer football seniors were recognized with their families and given white roses. After everyone was announced, the marching band performed two songs while some fans got snacks and beverages. The Pioneer Theatre Guild then came out and performed a High School Musical Hit, “We’re All In This Together,” while the band played the tune behind them. Next, the marching band seniors and cheerleading seniors were recognized as well. After the dancing and music, the teams got back to work as the marching band played “How Far I’ll Go” from the new Disney movie, Moana.

The second half began with a kick off and both student sections tried to get their teams hyped. The possession went back and forth for a while and with three minutes and 48 seconds left, Pioneer scored. Quarterback, Nate Yuhas, threw to Eric Steinhauer for a touchdown and after an extra point, Pioneer led 27-14.

The final quarter began with fumble by Pioneer which was quickly recovered. The teams went back and forth, but with 27 seconds left in the game, Skyline player, Corey Cameron, fell down injured. A few minutes later, he rose up with help from the trainers. When the Pioneer football team recognized their win with only seconds left, they poured a bucket of water on their head coach, Bill Bellers. Pioneer took a knee to run the clock out and win the game.

After shaking hands and exchanging “good games,” the Pioneer players rang the bell in celebration of their win, as they became the 2017 city champions. Pioneer senior, Eric Steinhauer, thought the team didn’t play exceptional in the first half but shut it down in the second. “[My favorite part of the game] was how dominate we were together. [We were] playing as one and not giving up anything big,” Steinhauer said. “We are a family.”

Skyline’s next home game is another city-rivalry against Huron on Friday Oct. 6.