Milan Big Reds at Redford Union Panthers

By Frank Vajcner

It’s the first ever meeting between Milan and Redford Union on the gridiron, with a district championship on the line. The Panthers are making only their second appearance in a district championship, while Milan is making their fifth district championship appearance in the last six seasons.

Milan Big Reds (7-1, 18th playoff appearance, 18-19 playoff record)


Won by forfeit vs Adrian

Defeated Airport 34-8 in District Semis

Much like with Tristen Hines last year, QB Cole McElvany does it all running and passing for Jesse Hoskins and company. The junior has a strong supporting cast in RBs Jett Isaacs and Ethan Griffin, as well as WRs Kendrick McBride and Connor Dessellier. Names to watch on defense are Dylan Beck, Noah Cartwright, and Kaleb Monahan up front, as well as JJ Stines, Griffin, and McElvany.

Isaacs is also an ace on special teams as the kicker and return man.

Redford Union Panthers (7-1, 7th playoff appearance, 3-6 playoff record)


Defeated Dearborn Heights Annapolis 52-7 in First Round

Won by forfeit over Livonia Clarenceville

Ian Iler has the Panthers at 7-1 for the first time since 2005, and in their first district championship game since 2016. Offensively, the Panthers will make hay running the ball with sophomore RB Dawaune Strickland (706 yards, 11 TDs) and junior Curtis Keels (511 rushing yards, 5 TDs). Keels also leads the team in passing (201 yards, 3 TDs). Freshman Parker Kennedy has caught 5 touchdowns this season.

Youth leads the way on defense for the Panthers in the form of sophomore DL Jamir Hall (60 tackles, 15 TFLs, 6 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, 3 fumble recoveries), freshman safety Michael Myles (45 tackles, 11 pass breakups, 5 interceptions), and Kennedy (25 tackles, 4 sacks, 4 interceptions, 3 forced fumbles).

The Panthers could be building toward something in the years to come, given the underclassmen who contribute in big ways. But when the rubber meets the road later in the postseason, experience is what tends to be the difference maker. Milan has that experience, and while it will show on Saturday, I would expect the Panthers to hang tough.

  • Chris: Milan
  • Gary: Milan
  • Frank: Milan

13 thoughts on “Milan Big Reds at Redford Union Panthers”

  1. Touchdown Redford Union. This time the 2pt conversion is good. The Panthers cash in again, but it took them a very long time to do so. With just 1:55 remaining, Milan now leads 22 – 14. Big onside kick attempt coming up.

  2. Touchdown Milan. Cole McIlvanney runs QB sweep right for a 6-yard touchdown run. Milan counters Redford Union’s meticulous scoring drive with one of their own. The key play on the drive was a successful conversion on 4th and 4. The Big Reds used some trademark trickeration for their successful 2-point conversion, this time on a fake PAT kick that Redford Union never saw coming. Milan leads 22- 6 with 9:02 remaining.

  3. Redford Union gets on the board, finally capping off one of their long drives. Nothing fancy, just stringing together short runs and driving down the field. 2 point try is no good. Milan 14 – Redford Union 6. 5:03 left in the 3rd.

  4. Touchdown Milan. QB Cole McIlvany takes it to the house himself on the first play of the second half. About a 70-yard run on the scoring play. McBride runs it in for the two-point conversion. 14 – 0 Milan with 11:40 to go in the third.

  5. Touchdown Milan. Big play of the drive was McIlvanney to McBride over the top. McBride got past the Redford Union secondary and hauled in the pass. Milan punches it in to get on the board. 2 point attempt is no good. 6-0 Milan.

  6. The Gofan app is not selling tickets for this game.

    What’s the deal for fans watching this district championship in person?

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