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Change can be good

A change of scenery is always said to be good. Swami has witnessed that firsthand, moving from Hubbard Lake to the wide open spaces Northwest of Alpena. The All-Knowing-One thought there would be a lack of wildlife at the new place, but there have been plenty of roaming deer including a trophy.

With the regular season ending tonight, most teams will be looking forward to a change of scenery come playoff time. Some will enjoy long playoff runs and other teams will have a short playoff ride.

ALPENA (0-5) at ST. JOHNS (1-4)–7 p.m.–Friday–Last year, these two teams had a battle and Alpena fell just short of a playoff spot. This year, there isn’t really a sense of urgency.

The Wildcats almost assured themselves of having a rematch with Traverse City Central, following a loss to Petoskey last week after too many mistakes.

After giving up a 7-0 lead to the Northmen, it looked like momentum swung in Alpena’s favor after it put together a 51-yard scoring drive, ending with Kadyn Budnik finding a hole in the right side of the line from 6 yards out. The All-Knowing-One saw that the offense could not take advantage of field position and had too penalties and mistakes. Can the Wildcats learn from this loss? Swami thinks they can.

With a new coach, St. Johns has just one win this season–a Week 4 win over Haslett. The Redwings’ primary offense is Brock Miller, who rushed for 187 yards on 37 carries, for St. Johns only score on the night in a 14-6 loss to Fowlerville last week. Fowlerville’s defensive setup allowed Miller to put up big numbers, but limited everyone else.

The Wildcats’ defense could take a page from Fowlerville, but the way Alpena’s season has gone, that’s not a sure bet for a win.

Swami Sez: St. Johns 28, Alpena 14.

GAYLORD ST. MARY (4-1) at HILLMAN (2-3)–7 p.m.–Friday–Hillman is out of the frying pan and into the fire. After dropping a 46-26 game to Pellston, Hillman takes on another offensive juggernaut in the Snowbirds.

The Hornets held the lead from the get-go last week amassing 20 points before Hillman could get on the board. Jeff Klein led Hillman on the ground with 109 yards rushing, in addition to 41 receiving yards for a touchdown. Quarterback A.J. Jones threw for 106 yards, including a touchdown, besides rushing for another. Dawson Ableidinger had a touchdown catch and Owen Moulton added another rushing.

Hillman’s offense did the best it could, but Pellston had too much in its arsenal.

St. Mary’s rebounded nicely against Bellaire after suffering a double digit loss to Pellston. The Snowbirds put the game on ice with 36 points in the first quarter.

Conrad Korte led St. Mary’s attack on the ground with 111 yards and two touchdowns; quarterback Chris Koscielniak threw a 61-yard bomb to Dom Keister for another score. Tristan Glasby and Brody Jeffers also got into the act with rushing touchdowns as St. Mary rolled up 323 yards of offense.

Swami is using both teams’ losses to Pellston as a measuring stick. The Snowbirds had a chance for the win against the Hornets, while the Tigers fell behind early and clawed their way back to make it a respectable game.

Swami Sez: Gaylord St. Mary 42, Hillman 28.

MANTON (0-5) at ROGERS CITY (2-3)–7 p.m.–Friday–The Hurons could get back to .500 with a win. Rogers City came ever so close to victory last week, but St. Ignace would not oblige, taking a 21 20 win.

Manton put together a solid effort, but it was not enough to overcome Houghton Lake. The Rangers played their hardest of the five games to this point. The majority of the Rangers’ offense came from quarterback Lucas McKernan with 114 passing yards, while Kalab Moore hauled in 96 of those from his split end position. The defense of Manton had their best game led by 15 tackles from McKernan, followed closely by Ben Paddock’s 13, while Luke Puffer contributed seven.

Rogers City quarterback Isaac Hein made the most of an extra play in the first half against the Saints, tossing a 20 yard touchdown strike. The ability to run the ball has been missing from the Hurons’ offense in recent weeks however.

Swami says if the Hurons are to get back to .500, Rogers City will have to be hitting on all cylinders. The Rangers may not have a win to show for their efforts, but they are capable of gaining their first tonight.

Swami Sez: Rogers City 24, Manton 6.

POSEN (2-2) at ONAWAY (5-0)–7 p.m.–Friday–After starting strong, Posen finds itself in need of an upset win to finish on the plus side of the ledger. Meanwhile, Onaway is looking to keep its slate clean.

Hale put a thumping on the Vikings 42-20 last week. The Vikings rolled through the first half of the season, putting 114 points on the board in wins. The Eagles’ defense felt if they could chuck the Viking receivers at the line, then it would give the defensive line the upper hand in stopping the run. Hale’s plan worked to perfection for the most part, with the exception of quarterback Chase Dubie having enough time to complete four passes for 107 yards.

Dubie was able to break out of the pocket to hit Cole Krajniak for a 30-yard touchdown. Dubie also ran for a touchdown, while Lucas Stone had 19 carries for 129 yards and a score.

With a 38-14 win over Forest Area, the Cardinals pushed their season point total to 200 points. The opposition has been aware of Brendan Fenstermaker’s running capabilities, but have not been able to stop him. Kevin Pearson has been able to find his target in Spencer Nash to compliment the offense with a strong passing game.

Defensively, the Cardinals have given up a touchdown per game, as Nash and Pearson have spearheaded the stingy defense in addition to Jadin Mix, Daniel Prince and Jager Mix playing vital parts as well.

The explosive offense has given the Cardinals quick leads only to build on them as the game goes along.

Swami Sez: Onaway 35, Posen 18.

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