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Searching for a new normal

Will we ever experience “normal” again? The All-Knowing-One feels we will, but it will not be overnight. Everyone and everything seems to have been affected over the last several months. People have been stressed and even animal sightings in Swami’s backyard have decreased.

Football is in the same boat. Teams are trying to feel normal about playing, but in some ways the adjustment hasn’t been easy. Swami will have to see if his “normalcy” shows up in time for his first column.

TRAVERSE CITY WEST (0-1) at ALPENA (0-1)–7 p.m.–Saturday–Both West and Alpena, were ground teams last season, but they went to air last Friday.

The Titans opponent was crosstown rival Traverse City Central in the “Celebrate Service” game. The Trojans prepared for a ground attack from West, but made adjustments and came up big in a 53-13 thrashing. The Trojans deflated West’s air attack in short order, picking off three attempts, one of which went for a pick six.

The Titans put together 245 yards of total offense, with a big chunk of it coming on a 65-yard touchdown run by Christian Boivin to open the second half.

Cadillac was a step ahead of Alpena last week. Alpena quarterback Ryan Voltz was one of the few bright spots on offense, throwing 30 times and completing 17 passes for 153 yards. Kadyn Budnik had a break out game for the Green and White, in his first varsity appearance caught eight passes for 66 yards. The Wildcats were held to less than 100 yards on the ground, but one positive might be that Alpena’s defense held a perennial playoff team to just 27 points.

The Titans ran over and through Alpena’s defense last year, 37-6. If the Wildcats want to win, it will have to be through the air, as he is sure the Titans will shore up the defensive line for this week’s action. 

Swami Sez: Traverse City West 20, Alpena 7.

HILLMAN (1-0) at HALE (0-1)–7 p.m.–Friday–Hale had plenty of items to work on to prepare for Hillman. Atlanta took advantage of every error to walk away with a win over the Eagles last week.

In eight-man football, you can get a good idea where your weaknesses are and the Eagles have plenty to work out, not to mention committing numerous penalties and turnovers.

Quarterback Brendan Bernard had a subpar night, passing for just 114 yards. Take away Jesse Francisco’s long touchdown reception and the air attack would have been relatively quiet. The Eagles only other score came out of the backfield as David Wanty dove in, then added a two-point conversion. It may have only been the first game of the season, but team’s need to score more than 14 points to win.

A stunned Hillman football team saw Au Gres score on the game’s opening drive, but it was all Tigers from there. Quarterback Sean Henigan led the way for Hillman with 11 carries for 147 yards, good for three touchdowns and completed two of three passes for eight yards and another score. The Tigers kept the ball on the ground for the majority of the evening, with Owen Moulton leading the way with 81 yards, London Achatz added 69 to go with two scores. Jeff Klein had a touchdown run of 42 yards, while Zack Kazyaka rounded out the scoring with a two yard plunge.

Dawson Ableidinger led the stellar defense with 12 tackles.

Swami feels the Tigers showed enough for him to think they’ll make a run at the conference title. This week, the Tigers will continue their winning ways.

Swami Sez: Hillman 62, Hale 20.

ROGERS CITY (1-0) at OSCODA (1-0)–7 p.m.–Friday–The contest between Alcona and Rogers City proved to be a classic. Trailing at halftime, the Hurons must’ve gotten a Knute Rockne-esque speech. Isaac Hein snuck in from two yards out in the third qyarter and then Dillon Cook tied the game late in the fourth quarter. The Hurons pulled a rabbit out the hat as time expired Hein found an open Matt Newhouse from 21 yards out, for the win.

Hein had two touchdowns through the air and 75 yards and a score on the ground. Cook had two total scores. The Hurons’ defense even showed up to pitch a second half shutout.

Oscoda scored six first quarter touchdowns en route to an easy 58-0 win over Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes last Saturday. With the addition of Drew Hess, quarterback Owen Franklin went to work early with a 90-yard strike. Anthony Ward and Caleb Nagel are two anchors on the rushing game and accounted for three more scores.

Mills made his presence known with six tackles and four sacks. Nagel, Trevor Miller, Chris Thomson, Austin Whisenant and Ian Bobolz were standouts on the Owl defense that allowed on 27 total yards. Swami feels the Hurons cannot rely on heroics to pull this game out.  If Rogers City is going to stay in the game, it has to play every down as if it will make a difference. Swami feels the Owls may have had some big time loses through graduation, but they restocked their team very well.

Swami Sez: Oscoda 48, Rogers City 14.

POSEN (1-0) at AU GRES (0-1)–7 p.m.–Friday–Posen ran out if the tunnel last week and didn’t stop until they secured a 52-22 win over Mio. Chase Dubie led the Vikings ground game with 151 yards on just 14 carries, along with three rushing touchdowns. Lucas Stone was not far behind with 137 yards, in addition to hauling in four receptions for 86 yards and a touchdown.

The Wolverines have lost their main play makers from last season due to graduation. Swami says they are still very competitive, but do not have a real leader that make a difference. The All-Knowing-One just doesn’t see them as a contender for the title this year.

Swami believes there will be remarkable difference in Posen’s play tonight. The offense of the Vikings might be toned down a little as the defense of the Wolverines is not as suspect as the Thunderbolts.

Swami feels that the only way the Vikings will lose is by beating themselves.

Swami Sez: Posen 44, Au Gres 20.

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