Posen aims to stay perfect vs. Cardinals

POSEN-Like most coaches, Posen football coach Greg Pietsch takes games on the schedule one at a time, not looking past anyone or taking anyone lightly.

This week might be a little different however.

Posen (6-0, 4-0 Bridge 8-Man Football Alliance) will host Onaway (4-2, 3-1 Bridge 8-Man Football Alliance) at 7 p.m. tonight during its homecoming in the first matchup between the two schools since 1989.

While Posen is looking to get off to its first 7-0 start since 2002, both teams admit the county rivalry between the two schools adds a little more incentive to win.

“We treat every opponent with respect, no matter who it is, but there’s definitely that rivalry thought,” Pietsch said. “They’ve got good athletes, tough kids and we’re expecting a tough game out of them.”

Onaway has won both previous meetings between the two schools-a 52-0 win in 1989 and a 27-6 win in 1988-both this year’s game pits two pretty evenly matched teams against one another. Both teams are averaging more than 40 points a game offensively and allowing less than 20 points a game on defense.

Both teams have dynamic playmakers and tonight’s winner could be determined by whichever team clamps down on them. For Onaway, Brad Brewbaker has been a one-man wrecking crew for the Cardinals. In six games, Brewbaker has 1,067 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns and 258 receiving yards and three scores. His skill isn’t just limited to offense however as he leads the area with 75 tackles.

“He’s really come a long way from the last couple of years. He’s doing his job well,” Onaway coach Jim Cleaver said. “He’s running the ball well and once he gets going, he’s hard to bring down.”

A win tonight for Onaway could go a long way for the Cardinals as they attempt to make the playoffs in their first year of 8-Man football. The Cardinals are currently 17th in the state’s playoff point rankings and face a tough schedule in the last three weeks of the regular season. After tonight’s game, the Cardinals have games with Bellaire and Pickford in the last two weeks.

“We’re playing really well right now. We’ve transitioned to (the 8-Man game) well and the kids love it,” Cleaver said. “(Tonight’s) a real tough game and we’re hoping to hand them their first loss.”

Posen has relied on the three-pronged attack of Travis Sharpe, Evan Schuch and Skyler Tulgestke on offense and its paid off in spades as the trio has combined for 33 touchdowns and more than 2,300 rushing yards alone. Posen is also battle-tested having beaten Cedarville in a 28-26 tug-of-war last week.

It’s worked well so far as Posen is averaging nearly 50 points per game and gained a little bit of statewide recognition this week with the No. 5 ranking in the Associated Press’ 8-Man poll.

Despite the recognition, Pietsch is keeping his team’s focus on the here and now and that means executing the basics if the Vikings want to win.

“It’s really a simple game of blocking and tackling. We just keep practicing the fundamentals,” Pietsch said. “That’s what we do, compete daily at practice and then compete on Friday night. When you make practice competitive, you make Fridays competitive.”

James Andersen can be reached via email at sports@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5694. Follow James on Twitter @ja_alpenanews.