Week Nine - We Will Survive

Jeffrey Cottrell

MHSAA

The weather has broken and it’s getting colder. Those leaves are falling off the trees and many of us have yard work to do in order to get ready for winter. As hard as it is to believe, the final week of the regular season is here. For many teams, they will play their rival this week. The last week of the season is a perfect time to play in my opinion. For teams on the bubble, they are thinking that They Will Survive.

Mid Michigan

Midland Dow (7-1) at Midland (7-1) (Friday October 22, 7pm)

This is a very interesting game. The Chargers of Midland Dow have not beaten the Chemics of Midland since 2002. In addition to the regular season ending game, they have also met once in the playoffs and lost again. This season is different. Dow has a very good defense and the offense has been able to get the job done. They will come at you with a balanced offensive attack. Coach Jason Watkins is happy with his team’s performance this year. In last week’s 42-14 victory over Bay City Central, they gained 217 yards passing and 265 yards rushing. Quarterback Brandon Sklenar completed 11 of his 13 passes for 217 yards and two touchdowns. Conner Bruns caught four of the passes for 105 and a touchdown. Running back Eric Schwenk ran the ball 13 times for 110 yards and two touchdowns. Sklenar also ran the ball eight times for 68 yards and a score.

Midland High is a very good team. Some people may say they are down a bit this season, but when you’re expectations are as high as the Chemics are; it’s tough to live up to. The lone loss on the season was a 21-20 loss to Mount Pleasant to open the season. First, you need to look at the size of their offensive line. These guys are HUGE! When you have offensive linemen over 6’4” and at a good weight, it’s easy to impose your will on the defense. In last week’s 19-14 win over Bay City Western, running back TJ Wilson ran for 138 yards on 24 carries. They needed that performance because the starting quarterback, Alex Rapanos, was on the sideline with an injury. The defense for Midland is very, very good as well.  It has only given up 75 points on the season and kept five of their opponents to seven points or less. Although they won last week, they will need to clean some things up. Fumbles and turnovers will kill them against Dow.

North-ish, more like middle-west

Morley Stanwood (8-0) at Stanton Central Montcalm (8-0) (Friday October 22, 7pm)

The Mohawks of Morley-Standwood easily won the game against Hesperia last week 35-0. It didn’t help that Hesperia only had 13 total players. All the touchdowns they scored were from running plays by Mr. Havens and Tyler Hanks. Hanks scored on runs of 24 and 39 while Havens scored on runs of three, two, and three yards. After the three yard score in the third quarter, the clock started running. The team is currently ranked fourth in Division 5.

Stanton Central Montcalm is another highly ranked team in Division 5. Currently, they are tied for seventh place. Johnathan Beach caught a 15 yard touchdown score in the first half against Remus Chippewa Hills so the deficit was cut to 14-7. Ryan Emmons ran in a 69 yard touchdown score in the third which started a run of 21 unanswered points. Leo Bellows scored a 20 yard touchdown run in the fourth. Shane Miller scored the final points in the fourth quarter on an eight yard run. Miller and Emmons each racked up 118 yards rushing for the game. Both teams are gearing up for a tough fight. It is quite possible that they’ll meet again next week in the first round of the playoffs.

Detroit

Southgate Anderson (8-0) at Wyandotte Roosevelt (8-0) (Friday October 22, 7pm)

For the first time in school history (opened in 1982), the Titans of Southgate Anderson has started the season 8-0. They have played Wyandotte Roosevelt 12 times (including playoffs) since the 2001 season. In action last week, they blew up Woodhaven 41-6. It would have been a shut-out, but Woodhaven scored with 30 ticks left in the game. Iziel Drew scored twice; he got into the end zone from 24 yards out in the first quarter and scored again from six yards in the second. Senior running back Darius Robinson scored a nifty 46 yard sprint to the end zone. It should be said that the top rusher for the team is Michael Currie who has 617 yards on the season. Currie, Robinson, and Cody Parrish as a unit have gained 1,473 yards and scored 24 touchdowns. Quarterback Devon Bronson has passed for 691 yards and seven touchdowns. The defense for Southgate Anderson is tremendous. They have only given up 54 points on the season and scored three shutouts. Currently, SA is ranked #11 in Division 2.

The Bears of Wyandotte Roosevelt are one heck of a team. Last week, they beat Melvindale 31-14 for the closest game of the season so far. Wyandotte plays power football; using punishing blocks from the offensive line to open holes for the backs to run through. Running back Avery Kleist ran for 108 yards and two touchdowns. Quarterback Mitch Kell didn’t throw too much, but when he did, he completed eight of his 16 passes for 62 yards and a score. On the season he has 966 yards. I mentioned Southgate Anderson’s defense, but it appears that Wyandotte Roosevelt has an even better defense. This team has only given up 27 points on the season. 14 of those were last week. So far, they have posted five shutouts. What is so interesting to me is that not only do these two teams play in the same league, but their offenses are almost identical. Both will try to run the ball with their power offense and play tough defense. Currently, Wyandotte Roosevelt is ranked #10 in Division 2, gaining one more vote to put them ahead of Southgate Anderson.

West Coast

Hopkins (6-2) at Allendale (5-3) (Friday October 22, 7pm)

These two teams might not look like top teams, but both are undefeated in Ottawa-Kent Conference Silver Division play. Last week, the Vikings smacked around Wyoming Godwin Heights 62-0. Heck, it was 34-0 after the first quarter! Running back Ben Bregg scored four touchdowns on four attempts for 183 yards. He also intercepted a pass and took it to the house. Quarterback Mitchel Pavlak attempted three passes, but all three fell incomplete. Hopkins is another team that has quite a defense. Even though they lost the first two games of the season, they only lost by a total of four points. They have three shutouts on the season and have only allowed 59 points. Hopkins is unranked at this time.

Allendale is another team who has had a few ups and downs this season. They started out by losing the first two games by almost identical scores (26-6, 24-8). Although Wyoming Kelloggsville made a valiant effort in their comeback bid, they fell short to Allendale. Quarterback Trevor Schulz completed an impressive 13 of 20 passes for 152 yards and three touchdowns. All three touchdowns were caught by Jake Hovingh. He finished with nine receptions for 105 yards. Ryan Seena led the rushing game with 15 attempts for 51 yards. This game is very important for Allendale. If they don’t win, they could end up on the outside when the playoff selections are made this weekend. If they can pull out a win, not only will they be in the playoffs but they will have won the O-K Conference Silver Division

Capital Area

Durand (0-9) at Perry (1-7) (Friday October 22, 7pm)

Sometimes, there aren’t any significant games in an area. In that case, I’m picking a game that has little impact on much…only bragging rights. After a great 2009 campaign in which they made the playoffs for the first time since 1983, the Railroaders have fallen off the tracks. Last week they lost to Flint Beecher 53-14. Quarterback Jake Roddy completed five of his 14 passes for 86 yards and a touchdown. The lone touchdown went to Dan Doyle for 13 yards. Roddy was also the top rusher for the Railroaders with 53 yards and a score on 14 runs. That touchdown came from one yard out. If they want to salvage the season and not go “0-for-the-season,” they will need a strong effort against Perry.

The Ramblers of Perry haven’t been very good as of late. In the past four seasons, they have a total of two wins. The first win after two straight 0-9 seasons came back on September 3 when they beat Whitmore Lake 29-8. The Ramblers very nearly had a second win of the season last week against Ypsilanti Willow Run. The chance came with eight minutes left in the fourth quarter. After a penalty put them in a fourth and goal from the four yard line, they ran the ball and were stopped on the one. Willow Run then took over and marched 99 yards for the lone score of the game. This is a classic battle of bad teams.

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