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Swami in utter disbelief

Swami thought he would never write an opening about sportsmanship, but he feels compelled to after last week’s Alpena football game.

The All-Knowing-One witnessed what he thought was a very uncalled for victory celebration after Sault Ste. Marie beat Alpena. At first, Swami did not take to heart as the Blue Devils were just yelling, but when he saw their flag with a giant ‘S’ on it being pounded into the center of  the field, he thought the team was going to do some damage to Alpena’s new field.

In Swami’s estimation, this was a poor exhibition of sportsmanship. After postgame handshakes, the Blue Devils could have expressed pleasure in their win and simply left the field.

With that aside, here are his thoughts on this week’s games:

GAYLORD (1-1) at ALPENA (0-2)–Saturday–Too many mistakes hurt Alpena’s chances to win last week and the road only gets tougher from here.

Gaylord may be only a .500 team, but had a valiant effort against a perfect Gladstone team. The Blue Devils put themselves ahead in the first half with a 73-yard strike from Corey Deer to halfback Jacob Cleaver and Gaylord managed to get into the red zone several times in the second half.

Cleaver led the Blue Devils’ offense with 96 receiving yards to go along with 21 yards on the ground. Quinn Schultz was a force on offense with Deer throwing to him on critical down and yardage situations. He was a defensive leader as well with an interception and a nose for the ball.

Gaylord’s passing game is still a work in progress, but Alpena might get stung by it if the Wildcats aren’t careful. Alpena’s rushing duo of Eli Winter and Jordan Schultz has been solid and the two running backs will need strong performances again to lead Alpena’s offense.

Swami will unfortunately miss just his second home game in 30 years, but he feels Alpena will make defensive adjustments to stifle Gaylord’s passing attack. Will it be enough for the Wildcats to win? Time will tell.

Swami Sez: Gaylord 28, Alpena 20.

HARBOR SPRINGS (1-1) at ROGERS CITY (0-2)–Friday–The Hurons have been on the wrong end of the scoreboard by the slimmest of margins for the first two weeks of the season.

The Hurons are banged up on offense, but the defense has kept them in both games, limiting the opposition to just two touchdowns in each game.

With playmakers like J.D. Ellenberger, Isaac Hein, Rogers City has plenty of options to keep defenses guessing, but the Hurons need to find offensive formations that work consistently.

For the second straight week, Rogers City couldn’t muster enough points to pull out a win. Rogers City had chances to tie or pull ahead, but drives stalled before the Hurons could cross the goal line. The offense just has to come up with a plan that will keep the Hurons on the field longer. When they do, they could be a force to be reckoned with.

Swami has to say the Rams are in the same position as the Hurons. Harbor Springs was able to dig out of a hole in Week 1, but couldn’t do it again in Week 2. The Rams attempted a comeback, but fell short as Jeep Damoose plunged in from three yards to cut the deficit to 10, but that was as close as the game would get.

The Rams are predominately a pass orientated offense. For Harbor Springs to be effective, Swami says they have to have completions. Don’t get the All-Knowing-One wrong, rushing is part of the Rams’ offense, but the pass is what sets them aside from the competition.

Swami Sez: Harbor Springs 18, Rogers City 14.

ONAWAY (2-0) at POSEN (0-2)–Friday–Onaway is riding high and Posen is reeling from a game they felt they should’ve won.

Everything worked to perfection for the Cardinals in an easy win over Charlton Heston. On the flip side, the Vikings were breezing along with a comfortable lead, before their defense wilted against a revived Pellston offense.

Momentum is a big factor in 8-man football; it can change in one series or one big play. It seems like the pendulum swings in the opposite direction for Posen this far in the season. For Posen to succeed, it can’t give up big plays.

Onaway’s got the numbers this season and plenty of depth. Cardinal quarterback Austin Nash has three fresh faces that can run the ball: Kevin Pearson has been splitting time between the slot and halfback, while Brendan Fenstermaker and Daniel Price have been alternating at fullback. Defensively, the Cardinals have limited the opponents to a single touchdown in both games.

If the Vikings are to return to the playoffs, the journey starts tonight. Their margin of error is slim. The All-Knowing-One says the offense will have to outplay the defense if the Vikings are going to begin to make that push.

Swami Sez: Onaway 36, Posen 30

ALCONA (1-1) at OSCODA (2-0)–Friday–After squeezing out a win in Week 1, Alcona had its roar taken last week. Meanwhile, Oscoda scored in every which way in a lopsided win over Coleman. The Owls put on their best offensive showing and probably won’t hit this high water mark again this season.

The undermanned Tigers will be no match for the high flying Owls; the All-Knowing-One just feels Alcona doesn’t have the personnel to match up against Oscoda one-on-one. For Alcona to pull off the upset everything would have to fall in place perfectly. Swami feels this will not happen. Alcona make a run at a win, but will eventually run out of steam.

Alcona ran into a juggernaut in Merrill, which exposed the Tigers’ defense. The Tigers’ rushing game was the highlight of the night as Dominic Howe rushed for 99 yards and Mason Clark added 68 yards. If the Tigers’ offense can stay on the field and play a ball control game, that would cut down on the amount of reps the Owls’ offense will get. 

This might be an easy pick on paper, but who knows what this game will bring? On any given Friday night you never know who will rise to the top of their game.

Swami Sez: Oscoda 42, Alcona 20.