By N3 Sports
Newaygo at Chippewa Hills
For any of the players from last years Lions squad the previous matchup with CH might still sting a bit. The loss to the Warriors, marked by a controversial ending, put them in a 0-2 hole and it took winning 6 0f their last 7 to make it into the postseason.
This time they’re heading for Remus to take on the Warriors and again enter the game having dropped the opener. And no one wants to be on that bus coming home with an 0-2 mark.
It took the Lions a half to get going last week and they will likely need to score some points early to come out on top here. The Warriors are coming off a low scoring loss to Gaylord.
If the Lions are to contend for what looks to be a pretty wide open title race they need this one and I like their chances even on the road.
A long road.
Grant at Central Montcalm
The Tigers stomped Shelby last week and now they hit the highway again with a matchup against Central Montcalm. They controlled the trenches and stifled the Shelby offense while Brendan Keelean looked really good behind center and Jarrett Railling displayed a nose for the ball and some bone crunching tackles.
The Hornets beat Morley last week. The victory gave them one more than all of last year but make no mistake, the Bees weren’t that bad last season they just seemed to not know how to win or even hold a lead.
The Tigers should win but Stanton is a tough place to play and the win over the Mohawks likely won't be the last one the Hornets gather this season.
Fremont at Reed City.
Since joining the CSAA Gold Fremont has faced Reed City, an old WWAC foe, three times.
The Coyotes have captured all three by a total score of 141-13.
But this is not the Coyote team that has dominated the decade in the CSAA.
There are schools that lose some key players to graduation and then there are programs that send off not one not two not three but 6 that’s s-i-x players to play college ball.
A half dozen starters good enough to continue their football careers past the high school level leave a school the size of Reed City and there is major rebuilding to be done.
Granted the 6 haven’t been there since the program started their 8 season playoff run but that is indeed a lot of talent to replace.
Can the Packers compete with the Yotes? Well they didn’t get on the board last week but neither did Reed City. The Wildcats made certain the game was not going to be a repeat of last year and took care of business in that efficient Montague fashion by closing the door on RC.
The Packers offense will have to move the sticks early and often and more importantly get the ball into the endzone when they get a chance. The Coyotes may be a bit tamer than the juggernaut of last season but they are always dangerous and rebuilding year or not they will be looking to show their fans they still have some bite. If Fremont falls behind early it could be something less than pretty.
Hesperia at Ludington
The Panthers are heading north to take on an Oriole defense that simply took apart the Packers last week.
Ludington is in the Lakes 8 conference which no longer has 8 schools (5) but hey, the Big Ten has 14 teams and the Big 12 has 10 and those are colleges so despite the apparent lack of math majors making these decisions…
Coming off a playoff season the O’s looked pretty polished in Fremont last week and their Friday visitors struggled a bit in the opener albeit against a likely playoff bound Norsemen squad.
The Panthers got on the board in the 4th courtesy of Logan’s (Pearson) run, not to be confused with the mid 70’s sci-fi movie classic, and another Logan td when qb Balkema hit Majersky who took it home for 6, so they know how to score. Getting deep enough to make it happen looks to be a challenge so a big play here and there might help a lot.
Of course the Orioles might be looking into next week when they face forever rival Manistee in Chippewa country. Last year the Chips pounded out a 3 touchdown win on the O’s home turf and no one has forgotten that.
But this is a good team playing on their beloved turf so a lot will have to go Hesperia’s way for Coach Bolles and his team to enjoy their bus ride home.
Carson City Crystal at Holton
Now that was indeed a heartbreaker last week.
This team is peppered with players who recall last season’s rise from disappointment so having the Pirates pilfer the win will not likely stay with them.
The C3 Eagles lost their raptor rivalry opener to the Eagles of perennial powerhouse Fowler (a school known for graduating such notables as Newaygo Superintendent Peg Mathis as well as the recently retired RN who oversees day to day operations at N3 World Headquarters and Butterfly Sanctuary and allows this reporter to live there as well).
The Red Devils will be ready and so will their fans who are waiting to see this years version of the team that ignited a town’s spirit last year.
This team wants another shot at the post season and with a tough schedule ahead to win at home would be a great start down that road.
And also number one for Coach Jados.