Previews of Week VIII area high school football games
By Ken DeLaat, N3 Sports
Newaygo at Reed City
80-0? In these days of running clocks how does a team score 80 points?
The Coyote offense is hard to stop, to say the least. 80 might seem like an aberration the reality is, this team is averaging 52 points a game. That’s about a couple of touchdowns a quarter….every quarter,....all season long.
The Lions are a good team. A solid team that has gotten better since the season began. A whole lot better. Minus a few mistakes in the Kent City opener or the perplexity of the loss to the Warriors they could already be sitting playoff bound as are the ‘Yotes.
Then there is the rivalry that spawned in 2012 when a Lion team that had been whipped in their first CSAA matchup with Reed City went to one of the most challenging venues in the region and ended the Coyotes perfect season.
They stunned a team that had handled them easily the first go-round. They did it to them at their place and on their turf and it stung the Coyote faithful.
Since then Reed City has a 4-1 edge. Their program has produced winners and they will be playing beyond the regular season for the ninth straight time.
This one would be huge for the Newaygo team.
A playoff spot assured by virtue of a win over the undefeated Coyotes on their home field in front of their very vocal fans?
Oh and a share of the conference crown tossed in as well?
Yeah, how big would that be?
If the Lions ever needed to execute a near perfect game plan, this would be the time. Reed City has the ability and talent to exploit any weaknesses and they thrive on causing opponents to make mistakes.
It looks to be a cool crisp football kind of night with no strong indication of rain. Perhaps the Lion passing game can find a little magic and the defense can create a couple of turnovers.The Lions will likely need to get on the board early and not allow their hosts to jump ahead because the Coyotes are well acquainted with how to hold a lead.
They’ve had lots and lots of practice.
Grant at Big Rapids
A lot of teams might have a bit of a hangover coming off an emotional game like the Tigers loss last week to their rivals from the north. Coach Geraghty’s team likely shook that one off before the next practice and will be ready to do battle in Big Rapids.
Both schools need this one to have a shot at post season play and Grant will be facing Kent City in a road finale while BR heads to Alma to take on a playoff bound Panther squad.
The Cardinals can score a lot and quickly. Grant employs a ball control offense that grinds out yardage and keeps the opponent offense off the field.
The Cardinal season has truly been up and down with a win-loss-win-loss run through seven games.
They won last week so…….
Fremont At Chippewa Hills
This one could be a blowout or even a possible upset win for the Packers because that is how unpredictable the Warrior team has been this year. Their narrow wins over Grant and Newaygo notwithstanding their season has not been what they expected going in and they will likely end a 7 season streak of post season play.
CH has pretty significant weaponry on offense led by the Lowery brothers Koron and Koronte and while the Packer defense has improved markedly the speed of the Warriors would be an overriding concern for the Fremont ‘D’.
The Packers held their own against a Viking team that beat the Warriors and like we said earlier this is a better Packer team than the one that began the season.
Fremont will need to capitalize on the Warrior tendency toward turnovers and untimely penalties to snare an upset and being on the road, a long road to Remus, doesn’t make the task any easier.
Pine River at Holton
The six teams in the Silver Division are knocking heads with the sextet from the ever tough Highland Conference and the Red Devils pick happens to be one of the league’s best, the Bucks.
Both teams are 5-2 so the win is the ticket to the dance.
Outside of their win over a 4-3 Manton team the Pine River victories have been against teams with a 2-25 record this season.
Common opponents? Holton handled Evart quite easily during their win in game 2 of the season. The following week the Bucks needed overtime to beat the same Wildcat team.
The Devils are at home where they love to play and they have an eye on the prize after shaking off the loss to Kent City last week.
This will be a good one to see,
Beal City at Hesperia
The Panthers will bring out their spirited but battered and bruised squad onto their home field to face the Aggies who are also having a down year with just a lone win.
The Black Cats have had a really tough schedule and these last two weeks at home provide a pair of opportunities to end on an up note since after the 1-6 Ags the Shelby team visiting next week has yet to post win number one.
This Panthers team has persevered through a difficult season and deserve support for putting in four full quarters of effort each game despite depleted numbers and too many losses. While Hesperia always turns out big for home games it would be great to see a huge following for the last two in this challenging season.
Evart at White Cloud
Same as above. The Cloud has been beset by the numbers game as well. They play hard but when you need to go the full 48 without a bit of a blow here and there, it wears a team down.
Evart has won one game and they don’t generally score much but the Indians have been shut out four times and tend to be mistake-prone. Should they put mistakes aside they could have a shot here and getting that elusive #1. If not, the players on this team still deserve a lot of respect for enduring an often-punishing season and this is the final home game for the departing seniors.
Come out and enjoy the game and besides, you’ll get to see one of the best halftime shows in the region.
Tri County at Central Montcalm
The Hornets are just trying to finish a dreadful season that culminated with an 80-0 loss last week to reed City.
A Viking win would give them 4 on the season or the first time since 2010.
TC should be able to get this one but never underestimate a team coming off a bad beating. They can surprise anyone taking them too lightly.
Lake City at Kent City
The cream of the Silver meets the top dog in the Highland. Two teams that know how to score, know how to defend, and know how to win.
One comes out undefeated but both have already got their tickets to the dance.
Manton at Morley Stanwood
A freakish season opening win over a strong Johannesburg-Lewiston team aside the Ranger wins haven’t been against any teams with more than a single win and their offense has sputtered a bit against tough defenses,
The Mohawks have a tough defense and a win gives them a 5th straight playoff appearance
McBain at Lakeview
The only team to score more than twice against the Ramblers was a Kingsley squad averaging 40 points a game. The Wildcats are a game group who came into the season with high expectations that have gone unmet. They have talent and play hard but McBain can lock up postseason with a win here.