Swami trying to make sense of season
Something does not add up for Swami, Labor Day and high school football went hand-in-hand for decades. It used to mark the beginning of football season and here we are in week three already.
Some teams with dreams of the postseason are already in trouble and they need to pick things up in short order. Three teams have been a surprise to Swami so far: Alpena and Rogers City and Hillman. Alpena and Rogers City have struggled in recent years to win consistently and now they are both 2-0. Hillman, playing its first eight-player football season is off to a 2-0 start too.
Swami’s grades from week one have improved, but he needs to ace this week’s column to move to the head of the class. Let’s see if he can make the leap.
ALPENA (2-0) at GAYLORD (2-0)–Game two of a three-game road trip could trip Alpena up. In the Big North Conference opener for both teams, a win could go along way toward a run to the postseason. The All-Knowing-One doesn’t want to put a hex on either school, but the bubble could burst, sending them back to reality in short order.
The Wildcats were heavy favorites to knock off Sault Ste. Marie, but it proved to be a little more difficult. The Blue Devils pushed Alpena before the Wildcats took the lead in the third quarter. The combined rushing attack of Logan Guthrie with 133 yards and Jordan Schultz with 81 helped the Wildcats. Stellar defense helped too as Alpena stopped Sault on a crucial fourth down attempt.
For the second straight week, quarterback Ryan Stefanski led Gaylord to victory. But Gaylord’s offensive line should get plenty of praise as it opened for for Stefanski, who rushed for 194 yards and two touchdowns, including the 42 yarder that put the game on ice.
A win tonight could be monumental for Alpena. The running game is more than capable, but for the Wildcats to win they must find a way to control the line from the defensive side of the ball and limit Gaylord’s aerial attack.
Swami Sez: Gaylord 18, Alpena 14.
ROGERS CITY (2-0) at MIO (0-2)–Outside of Alpena, the Hurons may be the best kept secret on the football field. Rogers City needed someone to step up big to offset the passing game of Tawas last week and that person was Jeffery Ellenberger. The junior was a force on offense with three rushing touchdowns and had an interception to go with several big tackles on defense.
Ellenberger finished with just 97 yards on 14 carries, but short yardage situations made the difference in going in for three touchdowns that tipped the game in Rogers City’s favor. The defense also contributed in the win, keeping Dillion Mochty under wraps after a passing frenzy against Alcona in week one. The Hurons limited the Braves passing attack to only 74 yards on five completions.
Mio has been limited this season and dressed just 16 for its season opener. The Thunderbolts lost to Saginaw Michigan Lutheran Seminary and forfeited to Mendon last week.
Swami says this should be an easy pick, since Mio is playing its last season of 11-player football.
Swami Sez: Rogers City 36, Mio 6.
POSEN (2-0) at ONAWAY (2-0)–The Vikings have won their first two games for the first time since 2015 and the Cardinals remain perfect for the first time since 2012. Judging by the scores each has put up, this contest could produce a high-scoring game. The Cardinals put up 70 on Charleton Heston, a team that has a good defense. The Vikings contest may have had a little closer final, but any time you put up 50 points you are doing something right offensively.
Mark Wisniewski continues to make headlines and scoring four touchdowns for Posen on 33 carries for 132 yards. George Kroll was accurate on 6-of-9 passes for 105 yards and a score. Chase Dubie and Sam Brunet also found the end zone.
Onaway gave up an early touchdown, but controlled the game the rest of the way. Dawson Hilliker gave Onaway a lead as the result of a 16 yard scamper. Brendan Hilliker would give the Cardinals all the points they would need to salt the game away before the end of the first quarter. In all, six different Cardinals scored.
The Cardinals have caught Swami’s eye in the scoring department, but the Vikings can’t be counted out either. This is a hard one for Swami to pick.
Swami Sez: Onaway 52, Posen 45.
CHARLTON HESTON (1-1) at ATLANTA (0-2)–For the second time in three games, these two teams will meet; this time in Atlanta. The outcome may be different this time since both teams have learned things on both sides of the ball since then. Swami felt the Huskies’ did extremely well offensively the first time as Aaron Cuzzort rushed for three touchdowns. What was missing was that extra playmaker to get them over the hump.
Defensively, Atlanta gave up two or three big plays against Charlton Heston in week one. If Atlanta can limit that tonight, they have a better chance to win.
Charlton Heston found it also have some things to fix too, following a thumping by Onaway. The Patriots connected on a 33-yard pass play from Brandon Austin to Devin Schwemle and another later score, but the Cardinals controlled the majority of the game.
The All-Knowing-One is thinking the first game could have been a fluke. But the Patriots looked convincing against Onaway and its up to Atlanta’s defense to stop them if the Huskies want to win.
Swami Sez: Charlton Heston 40, Atlanta 33.