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      Ovid-Elsie, Ubly headed to state finals

      Ubly tailback Justin Cleary has his sites set on paydirt, as he cruises past the Reading defense. / Dillon Collier

      Though it was an overall tough day in the high school football state semi-finals for Mid-Michigan schools, both Ovid-Elsie and Ubly turned in dominant performances to punch their respective tickets to next weekend's state title games at Ford Field.

      The Marauders -- who owned a slim 14-13 lead against Standish-Sterling in the early going -- exploded in the second half and cruised past the Panthers by a 55-20 final. Meanwhile, the Ubly Bearcats continued their dream season by demolishing previously-undefeated Reading, 47-8. The Bearcats will face Traverse City St. Francis next Saturday at 10 a.m. for the Division Seven state title, while Ovid-Elsie will battle Muskegon Oakridge later that day at 4:30 for the Division Five crown.

      In other action, the Davison Cardinals were victimized by a stunning comeback at the hands of Muskegon in a Division Two battle at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing. The Cardinals owned a 35-13 lead late in the third quarter, before the Big Reds exploded for 25 unanswered points -- aided by recovering two on-side kicks -- as they earned the 38-35 win. Over in Division Six, Nouvel Catholic Central's dreams of a state title three-peat were squashed in overtime by Montague, as the Panthers fell by a 35-34 final.

      Meanwhile, Croswell-Lexington jumped out to a 6-0 lead over Detroit Country Day in their Division Four semi-final battle, before the Yellowjackets got their act together and rolled to a 48-6 triumph. In Division Eight, the Beal City Aggies were overwhelmed by Muskegon Catholic Central by a 45-20 final.