Teams eager for wins as playoffs draw near
With only two weeks left in the regular season, several area football teams are still in the playoff hunt and are looking for any way they can to earn wins.
With that in mind, here’s a look at this week’s local matchups:
This is, undoubtedly, the game of the year for the North Star League as the last two undefeated teams battle for bragging rights. Both teams are already the chamipions of their respective divisions (Big Dipper for Whittemore and Little Dipper for Hillman).
The Cardinals and Tigers have faced three common opponents this year-Rogers City, Mio and Oscoda- with Whittemore garnering the slight edge in points (130-31) over Hillman (110-70).
Alcona vs. Manton
Although Alcona undoubtedly enjoyed last week’s 61-0 victory over Hale, it can’t afford to rest on its laurels this week against Manton. The Rangers record (5-2) is slightly better than the Tigers’ (4-3), but one of its win was a forfeit against Marion, a team which has forfeitted four straight games.
While Alcona’s point spread (217-115) is more impressive than Manton’s (191-162), Manton has faced toughter teams, including perenial state title contender Beal City (6-1) a team that beat the Rangers 63-0.
Mio vs. Hale
It’s official: after last week’s last minute 34-31 loss to Au Gres, the Thunderbolts will suffer their first losing season since 1992 and miss the playoffs for the first since 2001. The fact that Mio has only dropped its last three games by a combined 23 points isn’t likely to make the team feel much better.
However, this week’s match up against Hale should give Mio a little boost before its last game against Alcona. Hale hasn’t won a game all season, has scored no more than eight points in a game and has been shutout four times.
Rogers City vs. Oscoda
The Hurons 48-12 loss against Whittemore-Prescott abruptly ended a two-game win streak and once again pushed them under .500.
Rogers City now has to win its last two games to have a shot at the playoffs. This week’s matchup against Oscoda looks tight, but could be a win for the Hurons: the Owls sport a 3-4 record with a point spread (187-187) slightly less impressive than the Hurons (171-152).
Onaway vs. Pickford
The Onaway football team is likely looking for a little light at the end of the tunnel after two consecutive routs (46-0 Johannesburg-Lewistion and 56-0 Saint Ignace).
Onaway’s last two games, starting with Pickford tonight, are winnable scenarios though. Pickford has the same record as Onaway (2-5) and while the Panthers may have a slightly better point spread (150-247) than the Cardinals (74-266), many of Onaway’s points were given up in the last two weeks.
Posen vs. Brimley
The Vikings likely enjoyed a little rest after Rock Mid-Peninsula forfeitted last week’s game. However, they aren’t likely to need a whole lot of break time against Brimley this week. The Bays’ only win of the season was a Rock Mid-Pen forfeit and its point spread (36-331) is much more uneven than Posen’s (81-181).
A win against Brimley would given Posen a 4-4 record and a real chance to make it back into the playoffs.
Eric Benac can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5690. Follow Eric on Twitter @EricBenac.