OSCODA – The abbreviated high school football regular season is already in the home stretch. With just two weeks left before the playoffs, there is plenty at stake on the field in the final weeks.
Oscoda (4-0 overall, 1-0 NSL) at Alcona (0-4, 0-1)
With just three teams playing 11-man in the North Star League, there are only two conference games this fall. The Owls look to finish off their third straight title on Friday, when they head to winless Alcona. The Tigers have been in each contest this year, but have come up short each time, including last week’s 48-22 loss to East Jordan when they led by 10 at the half.
“We like being involved in games that mean something,” Oscoda head coach Mark Whitley said. “Last week we drove three hours and tried to get off the bus and warm our legs and get our minds set but this week it is just 25 minutes and we will be there. We should be able to get off the bus and be ready to play some football. We just have to concentrate and practice hard all week.”
The Tigers have historically run the full house or ‘T’ offense, but have mixed things up a bit this year as they’ve run a variation of the spread at times. The Owls plan to be ready for either offensive lineup.
“They still run their ‘T’, but they also have put in an offense similar to what we are running,” Whitley said. “We have the kids ready for it, by what we call ‘sudden change’. When something changes real fast, we call that sudden change. If they come out in the ‘T’ formation, we will be ready for it. If they spread it out, we will be ready for that. The kids will be coached up and be ready to go.”
Hale (3-1 overall, 3-1 NSL) Posen (2-1, 2-1)
Hale enters Friday’s game at Posen having won its last three contests. This week’s match-up might have a bit of a playoff-like feel to it as the two sides square off in a big battle for post-season positioning.
“This game is huge and I think we are really excited about it,” Hale head coach Grant Kortman said. “This is a really big game and it is late in the season. It would be huge for us to go up there and get a win and prove we can play with teams like Posen and that we are a team not to be messed with.”
The Vikings lost to hillman last week, 26-16. Lucas Stone and Chase Dubie appear to be the athletes to stop for the Vikings, as they have adopted a new spread-like offense this year. The Vikings won last year’s meeting between the teams, 48-20.
“They made the playoffs last year and are really well-coached,” Kortman said. “The teams we have played the last couple of weeks have been spread so we have that look already. We’re looking forward to going up there Friday night to try and get a win.”
Tawas (0-4) at Frankfort (1-3)
Tawas Area’s gauntlet of a schedule takes a bit of a breather this week, as the Braves head to Frankfort. To be fair however, the Panthers are no slouches either, as they have averaged 20 points a game in their annually potent spread offense. The Panthers lost to Harbor Springs last week, 57-22 and had their lone win back in week two, in what was a 40-12 win over St. Ignace.
“Our schedule does not get any easier, every team we face is a good team and Frankfort is no exception,” Tawas head coach Aaron Hazen said. “Their quarterback is a runner and they have a couple bread-and-butter plays. We need to make them call things they are uncomfortable with.”
With the regular season winding down, Hazen feels a victory could be a huge shot in the arm to his team.
“A win would be a huge boost for our kids,” he said. “They continue to work hard every single day and if they keep working hard, we will come out with a win.”
Whittemore-Prescott (2-2) vs. ???
Homecoming week for Whittemore-Prescott has arrived. The Cardinals may not have anyone to dance with however, as originally scheduled opponent Onekama (1-2 overall) had to forfeit due to multiple injuries on the team. W-P is actively looking for a new opponent, but had yet to find one as of Monday morning.
“I think this week we start out pretty much the same way we start out most weeks, worrying about what we did well and what we need to improve on,” W-P head coach Tommy Atkinson said. “If we are lucky enough to get a game, we are going to work on (our game plan) to make it relevant to the team we might be able to play. I hope we have a chance to play, I hope we have homecoming and senior night. That is something that is really important to the kids.”
If they are unable to find a game, the school will play its power puff football contest Friday night at 7 p.m. as an alternative. The Cardinals would also receive a forfeit victory, if an alternate opponent isn’t found.
“That’s a silver lining, but with only have six games I am hoping that something will pop up this week and we have a chance to play, I think there are other schools in our boat,” Atkinson said. “For now, we are just kind of in a holding pattern and playing the waiting game.”