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Swami happy to return to football

You never miss anything until it’s gone. Swami found that out last weekend when he missed just his second Alpena game in 40 years. The reason? His youngest daughter got married on Saturday, which coincided with Alpena’s football game. The All-Knowing-One hated to see his string come to an end, at least it was for a good reason.

When you get down to it, you can’t have a game without officials. But in these parts, the officials are getting older and the numbers are dwindling. Swami hates to see it, but it’s just the way things are as a small number of officials try their best to cover as many games as they can.

Here are Swami’s thoughts on this week’s games:

CADILLAC (2-1) at ALPENA (1-2)–Friday–A week ago, Cadillac and Alpena were searching something that would help them turn things around.

Alpena’s growing pains put it a bit behind the eight ball, but last week Alpena put any negatives behind them and just played ball.

A 30-6 win over Gaylord showed exactly what the Wildcats are capable of producing. The 1-2 punch of Jordan Schultz and Eli Winter has carried the load in the backfield and Charlie Williams made his presence known last week with 61 rushing yards and a touchdown. Now the Wildcats have a triple threat in the backfield.

Cadillac opened conference play with a dominating win over Petoskey. The Vikings, despite having a winning record, had difficulty putting together four solid quarters. The Vikings played a ball control game amassing 359 rushing yards with only 12 yards in the air. Most of the praise goes to the offensive line for the big turn around. Noah Cochrane, Cadillac’s leading rushing, did nothing to lower his standards, grinding out 183 yards and two touchdowns. Julian LaMonde complimented the ground game with 72 yards. LaMonde kept the defense off balance by tossing a 14-yard TD pass to Collin Johnston.

Alpena defense has been up and down so far this season and Swami is wondering how it will fare tonight. Does Cadillac’s offensive line hold the advantage or will Alpena have a leg up?

Swami Sez: Cadillac 28, Alpena 20.

OGEMAW HEIGHTS (2-1) at ALCONA (1-2)–Friday–Scheduling difficulties for the Tigers brings Ogemaw Heights to town.

The Falcons won the rushing war last week against Detroit Edison, rolling up 418 to Edison’s 18. Tyler Walters was the main cog that led the Falcons to a 34-14 win rushing for 230 yards on 27 carries, Calvin Beck was close behind with 116 yards. 

Alcona has a small roster, but is hardly a pushover. Last week against Oscoda didn’t do so well, but Mason Clark and Michael Basner were bright spots for the Tigers, gaining 76 and 74 yards respectively on the ground.

This game will come down to defense. The Falcons looked solid last week and Alcona will have to match that intensity and hope they can get their offense rolling too. The Tigers do not want a repeat of last week.

Swami Sez: Ogemaw Heights 21, Alcona 14.

PELLSTON (3-0) at ONAWAY (2-1)–Friday–Pellston is halfway to a playoff spot and has been winning close over the last two weeks. Credit to the Hornets, they’ve gotten the job done.

The Hornets use every player on their roster to pull out wins, including quarterback Glenn Bonter or running back David Jamroz. Pellston has other rushing threats in Isaiah Crawford, Lakota Worthington and Garrett Cameron that can put points on the board as well. Bonter can loft the ball to Chase Zink and Ian Reimann to move the ball down the field too. Pellston’s defense can be exported, but the offense is potent.

Onaway was doubled up by Posen last week. The Cardinals had their way in the early going, but Posen eventually seized momentum. Swami thinks the Cardinals can’t do that again tonight. Austin Nash and Brendan Fenstermaker are among Onaway’s playmakers, but the Cardinals have to play a more complete game.

Swami Sez: Pellston 42, Onaway 28.

CHARLTON HESTON (0-3) at MIO (2-1)–Friday–The Thunderbolts are hoping to continue their winning ways, continue their march to the playoffs and don’t look to have missed a beat since switching to eight-player football.

Charlton Heston has been competitive in some games, but can’t piece everything together for a win. In Week 1 against Atlanta, the Patriots stayed close for a while, but couldn’t hold it for four quarters.

As Swami sees it, the Thunderbolts will soften up the secondary and open up holes in the defensive line. At that point, the Patriots will have to depend on the reinforcements to keep the Thunderbolts in check.

Swami thinks the Thunderbolts quarterback Brendon DeFlorio can pass with the best of them and can also run the ball. Brennon Mills, Drew Hess and River Waisanen all have been on the receiving end for touchdowns. All have been used in the backfield as well. Mio’s defense is a little concerning, but they should have more than enough offense to get the job done tonight.

Swami Sez: Mio 56, Charlton Heston 8.