Week Three High School Football Preview

Jeffrey Cottrell

Now it’s on to Week Three. A third of the season will be finished after Friday’s games! Can you believe it? Will your favorite team have three wins and a very good shot at the playoffs or will they drop to zero and three, needing to win out in order to make it? Contenders are starting to emerge from the pretenders and within the next couple of weeks; we should begin to have a clear picture of who should make the playoffs. The others will be able to go out for a Halloween party on Friday October 31st (first day of Districts). There are some interesting matchups this week and three of the four games are against conference teams. So I bring to you, without further ado, Spartan Nation’s Prep Football Preview for Week Three.
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Sunset Side

Grandville at Rockford (September 12, 7pm)
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Coach Ralph Munger and his Rockford Rams squeaked out a close game last week against Davison. The game started well with a long return for a touchdown before both teams settled in. Special teams have helped in both wins for the Rams this year. Kicker Paul Mudgett has played a significant role in both the win over Lake Orion and last week’s win over Davison through his field goals. Running back Jordan Morren has led his team running the ball, but he hasn’t put up huge numbers. The same goes for quarterback Tim McGee. I think their big thing is the ability to find a way to win against quality opponents.
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Last week against Traverse City West, Grandville allowed far too many yards. They did win 57-35, but gave up 469 yards. One of the keys to that win was field position on kick returns. Going against a team like Rockford, a squad that prides themselves in special teams, they won’t be able to rely on that. I’m sure they’ll try to run the ball with Chase Sherrod (who racked up 167 last week), but will he have the same success? Grandville also had an opening kickoff return for a touchdown (97 yards by Seth Hanenburg). The defense will need to stop Rockford and get off the field or they may tire out like in their first game against Grand Ledge.
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Hockeytown
Detroit Cass Tech at Detroit Crockett (September 12, 4pm)
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Detroit Cass Tech is playing well this season. In their first two games against other Detroit Public School League teams, they won by a total of 57-7. That shows what a great defense this team has. They are led by defensive tackle Will Campbell (who has been in the news this week after de-committing from Michigan) and quarterback/safety Thomas Gordon. Their strong defense will lead the way. They will have to play a good game if they want to shut down a pretty good offense in Detroit Crockett.
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Crockett has a good team as well.  After a last second meltdown in the first game, they stormed back to beat up on Detroit Central. Ricardo Matthews Jr. played for the injured Khyran Major and had a great day running the ball. Quarterback Tony Lippett found his groove in the game and will absolutely have to find it against a tough Cass Tech defensive secondary.
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Middle of the Mitten
Flint Carman-Ainsworth at Flint Powers Catholic (September 12, 7pm)
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Powers may have lost their star running back Ronnie Lark to graduation, but they are still tough. In the season opener, they beat a good Detroit Crockett team after trailing in the first half. A safety in middle of the fourth quarter last week allowed Saint Johns to pull off a win. The offensive line is inexperienced and they may have some problems keeping quarterback Mark Metz off the ground. Metz had a decent outing last week against St. Johns, going 10-15 for 155 yards and two touchdowns (also had one ball intercepted). On the other side of the ball, senior linebacker Kevin Beer leads the way. He had 14 tackles and two sacks against St. Johns.
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Carman-Ainsworth had their share of difficulty in the past year. Jason VanDerMaas left the program after one season and they hired Nate Williams to replace him in late May. They went to a more traditional power running offense as opposed to the flashy spread offense they ran last season. The Cavaliers won their first game of the season against Belleview but lost to a very good Warren DeLaSalle team. There was a running clock in the second half of this game last week before Carman-Ainsworth scored twice in the fourth quarter. In their Big Nine league game this week, sophomore quarterback Nick Hill will need to show his maturity and moxy on the field to beat a tough Powers team.
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Say ya to da U.P., eh!
Iron Mountain at Iron River West Iron County (September 12, 7pm)
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The Mountaineers are looking good so far this season. They opened up with a 35-16 conference win over Ishpeming and blanked Gwinn 44-0 last week. Now they take on an out of conference opponent in Iron River West Iron County. Running the ball is how they have done most of their damage so far this season. No particular back has stepped up and through performance demanded to be the feature running back. Iron Mountain seems to be taking a team approach to running the ball. Quarterback Corey Runsat had a nice game last week, hooking up with Pat Flood for three touchdowns and 163 yards. Runsat finished 8-13 for 196 yards on the night.
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West Iron County is looking good this year as well. They beat L’Anse 40-7 last week behind a strong offensive performance, scoring five times on their first six possessions. BJ Scalcucci, quarterback for the Wykons, has played well in his first two games. In last week’s game, he went four of seven for 152 yards and three touchdowns. Todd Sabotto led the rushing game for the Wykons with 71 yards and led the defense with seven tackles. It seems like Iron Mountain is the team that West Iron County has a hard time beating. They have one win over the Mountaineers (an 8-6 victory in 2005) in the past 15 years (20 games). Last season it came down to a failed two point conversion.  They hope to get a win over a quality opponent that seems to always have their number.

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