Tigers face Vikings, Red Devils seek to clip Eagles
Tri County at Grant Friday 7pm
It was the first game of a long delayed season complete with new rules requiring masking limited crowds, and a plethora of procedures and protocols.
And the offenses sputtered a bit as turnovers and missed opportunities played leading roles in this tight contest but much of this was the result of outstanding defensive performance by both teams.
The Tigers pulled it out by virtue of a barely missed extra point attempt and came home with r the rivalry’s traveling trophy known as The Hammer.
From there each team had their share of challenges as the season grinded on. Grant missed the next 2 games when COVID shut down school activities while the Vikes defense continued to shine and the offense picked up some steam in wins over Fremont and Newaygo.
The Tigers returned to action after just a single practice and fought hard before falling to Big Rapids. The following week they put a whipping on highly regarded Central Montcalm before ending the season with a tough loss to conference champion Reed City.
TC lost their next three coming within one score in each game.
Then came tourney time and a rematch with the Hornets. This time the Vikings offense was on full sail producing their most points of the season.in a relative rout of a good Hornet team.
In the meantime the Tigs went to Cardinal Country where they shook off an early gaffe by the special teams and had the game in control by halftime 34-8.
If the teams play like they did in their tourney opener it should be a competitive and entertaining contest.. Grant is at home which helps regardless of the crowd size and they are a good team that could easily have added 2-3 wins to their record in a ‘normal’ season.
While a good team,TC has been sporadic but their win over a solid team like the Bees after being shut out by them 3 weeks earlier shows how difficult it is to beat a good team twice.
And the Vikings lost their first meeting with these Tigers.
Winner will take on the Big Rapids/Oakridge survivor
Holton at Fowler Friday 7pm
Coach Jados has gotten a lot out of his team. In the regular season they played Morley tough, stayed with Hesperia and beat White Cloud and Lakeview.
They drew WC in the first round and shook off a whupping by Catholic Central (Muskegon variety) to edge the Cloud at home and move on to the next level.
And believe me, Fowler is the next level.
The Eagles, from the always tough Central Michigan Athletic Conference, have a lengthy football lineage often easy to trace because the names of current players are much the same as the ones that dotted the roster of Eagle teams (see Koenigsknecht, Simon, Thalen, etc.) who have missed the playoffs just 5 times since 1985 and own a trio of state titles.
But the Red Devils aren’t playing against history.
Fowler dropped their last two in the regular season. One to their primary rivals, the perennial powerhouse Pirates of P-W and one to a solid Nouvel team before dispatching their conference cellar dwellers in the first round. From what we have heard their defense can be susceptible to a good passing game while remaining strong on stopping the ground game.
The qb who will face Fowler?
Still, this will be an uphill climb that begins after the 2 hour bus ride to Eagle country.
The winner gets the victor of the Saranac/Carson City/Crystal game.