Swami learns important lessons from football

There’s a lot of life lessons you can learn from football. For instance if you keep working hard, good things will happen. The five area teams playing in the playoffs this week stand as proof of that. The All-Knowing-One will keep his opening short and end with this quote from the legendary coach Vince Lombardi:

“Football is a great deal like life, in that it teaches that work, sacrifice, perseverance, competitive drive, selflessness and respect for authority is the price that each and everyone of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile.”

CEDARVILLE (5-4) at HILLMAN (8-1)–Friday–The switch to 8-man football hasn’t stopped Hillman from making the playoffs and the Tigers are in the postseason for the 13th straight year.

Hillman ended the regular season running over Charlton Heston 71-0. Caleb Sanders led the Tigers rushing attack with 233 yards on just nine carries with three touchdowns. Gunner Mellingen also wasted little time in gathering 106 yards and finished the game with a pair of rushing touchdowns and a touchdown catch. Sean Henigan and Gage Steinke also got in the scoring parade.

The Tigers’ defense continued their excellence, keeping Charlton Heston on their own end of the field. Swami says Hillman’s defense has been exceptional, especially in the red zone. The Tigers’ defense should stand tall against Cedarville too. The Trojans do have four losses, but all of them came against playoff teams.

The Trojans took it on the chin against Pickford 48-8 last week and the lone bright spot was a 1-yard plunge by Chase Fisher, who only ran for 46 yards. Grant Fountain, who caught the 2-point conversion, was one of the two completions Tristan Masuga was able to complete in 14 attempts.

Swami feels the Tigers have the advantage, even if the Trojans have four losses against playoff teams. Cedarville has to travel, but Hillman’s coaching staff won’t allow the Tigers to look past the Trojans.

Swami Sez: Hillman 42, Cedarville 28.

KINDE-NORTH HURON (5-4) at POSEN (7-2)–Saturday–The Warriors only won three regular games in the regular season, but still made it in with two forfeit wins.

Posen took care of business against Manistee Catholic Central, gaining a home playoff game and knocking Central out of the playoffs.

The Vikings needed a big night on the ground and Sam Brunet led the rushing attack with 207 yards and three touchdowns, Mark Wisniewski contributed 122 rushing yards and a score. George Kroll was 4-of-8 passing for 52 yards and a touchdown to Jeremy Misiak.

Defensively the Vikings depended on Ben Delekta and Kyle Kensa to make the stops a critical juncture of the game to preserve the win. Swami feels the matchup for the Vikings is perfect and they should be the team to beat.

The All-Knowing-One believes the Warriors will not be able to stop the excellent ground game of the Vikings. Posen won’t run away with it though; the Warriors have some talent and did beat three very good teams.

Swami Sez: Posen 48, Kinde-North Huron 21.

ONAWAY (5-4) at SUTTONS BAY (8-1)–Friday–Wyoming Tri-unity Christian were the only team that stood in the way of Suttons Bay having a perfect season. Onaway needed a win to get into the playoffs and they got it with a 36-8 win over Bellaire.

The Norsemen ran it up on Mesick, 44-6. Lucas Mikesell led a rushing attack that totaled more than 400 yards, with 185 and two scores. Caleb Smith was close behind with 152 yards, but took scoring honors for the night with three touchdowns. Quarterback Bryce Opie was only 6-of -13 for 54 yards, but still managed to find Mikesell for a 40-yard touchdown.

Suttons Bay’s defense played flawlessly, only giving up kickoff return touchdown for Mesick’s only points of the evening. Cesar Ramirez and Michael Loucks were in the backfield all night long, leading Suttons Bay in tackles as well.

After two weeks, Onaway looked like a lock to make the postseason, but they’ve had to battle for several weeks to keep their playoff hopes alive.

The opposition has found ways to contain quarterback Gavin Fenstermaker and Dawson Hilliker. Now the Cardinals must get their offense going, especially with Fenstermaker to establish the ground game.

The Norsemen will definitely have the advantage. For Onaway to make noise, the Cardinals will have to get into the heads of the Norsemen.

Swami Sez: Suttons Bay 40, Onaway 14.

OSCODA (8-1) at IRON MOUNTAIN (7-2)–Saturday– Oscoda topped Farwell 49-0 last week and now the Owls have to travel north. It’s a long trip to Iron Mountain, but Swami says the Owls should be fresh in going against a very talented Iron Mountain team.

The Mountaineers have a knack for creating turnovers and had a handful of them last week against L’Anse. Marcus Johnson scored on seven-yard run and on the ensuing kickoff Caleb Burklund recovered a fumble. Zach Herrick put Iron Mountain on the board again some 17 seconds later.

Johnson also put together a dream game on defense, recording two interceptions and returned the second one 60 yards for a touchdown.

Iron Mountain had a modest game in terms of offense: 208 yards on the ground and 67 through the air. Herrick led the ground attack with 101 yards on seven carries.

The defense of the Mountaineers might present the biggest challenge to the Owls’ air game. The Brayden Mallak to Owen Franklin connection has kept Oscoda’s opponents off balance.

The All-Knowing-One says if the air attack is grounded, Oscoda can use the ground to its advantage.

Swami Sez: Oscoda 18, Iron Mountain 1 4.

IRON RIVER WEST IRON COUNTY (7-2) at ROGERS CITY (8-1)–Friday–The Hurons are back in the playoffs for the first time since 2009. When the season first started, Swami knew Rogers City had the talent, but did not think they would gel as quickly as they did under first year coach Jesse Fenstermaker. They certainly proved the All-Knowing-One wrong and wrapped up the season with a 14-0 win over Manton.

Iron River West Iron County gave Norway enough chances with turnovers on the first five possessions, to produce a win, but the Wykons rebounded to win a 28-14 game. Did the Wykons coast a bit after wrapping up a playoff spot? Are they prone to turnovers? If they are, Rogers City will be chomping at the bit and the Hurons’ offense will be looking to cash in.

Nathan Thomson has led the Wykons ground attack and is effective at finding the end zone. Quarterback Trey Bociek has shown the ability to make plays as a dual-threat player.

Caleb Bade and Jeff Ellenberger each had a rushing touchdown in Rogers City’s win over Manton and the Hurons’ defense gave the Rangers fits all game long.

With both defenses tending to be stingy, the All-Knowing-One says this will not be a high scoring game.

Swami Sez: Rogers City 14, Iron River West Iron County 6.