OSCODA – Believe it or not, but we are already one-third of the way through high school football’s regular season. After losses last week, Hale, Tawas Area and Oscoda are hoping for bounce back wins, while Whittemore-Prescott hopes to build on last week’s victory and return to the .500 mark.
Oscoda (2-1 overall) hosts Frankfort (2-1)
Oscoda doesn’t have to wait long for a chance at revenge for its loss to Frankfort last week, as the same Panthers who topped them 32-16, come to town Friday.
“Our players will respond this week in practice and will be extremely motivated this week in practice and in the game,” head coach Mark Whitley said. “This is homecoming week and the players have a lot to play for. We look forward as a team and staff and want to take on this challenge.”
While last week’s meeting was considered a conference match-up, this will be considered a non-league contest.
Hale (1-2 overall, 0-1 NSL) at Atlanta (0-3, 1-2, 1-2)
After facing some rugged non-conference competition in the last two weeks, Hale returns to North Star League action on Friday, when it heads to Atlanta. The Eagles are coming off back-to-back losses, but those have no impact on their conference championship hopes.
“The first thing I mentioned this year was our number one goal was to win the conference championship,” Hale head coach Grant Kortman said. “We came so close to winning it last year and we feel like it is ours to lose this year.”
Of course the team that kept Hale from winning the league last year was Atlanta. The Huskies topped the Eagles 26-14 in the first week of the season, and eventually won the NSL. While Atlanta has struggled a bit out of the gates this fall, and are coming off a 50-6 loss to Hillman, Kortman knows his squad can’t take a week off as they look for the program’s first league title since 1999.
“Going up to Atlanta, it doesn’t matter what their record is or the score of their last game, we are going to go up there and play like it is a playoff game,” he said. “We want to go up there and play our best game for 48 minutes and hopefully not turn the ball over and hopefully get a big win.”
Tawas (0-3 overall, 0-2 NMFL Legends) at Ogemaw Heights (1-2, 0-1)
It may sound like a broken record, but Tawas Area faces a tough opponent this week when it heads to Ogemaw Heights on Friday. The Falcons are coming off a loss to Traverse City St. Francis last week, but considering the quality of the Legends Division, the Falcons will be another test.
“Ogemaw is a tough team, they have their quarterback back from last year, he plays tough and their running back is pretty quick,” Tawas head coach Aaron Hazen said. “They have some good pieces there for sure.”
The Braves came up short to Ogemaw 42-0 last year and despite the looming difficult schedule, the coach feels the Braves are staying together well.
“(We’re focusing on) positivity, finding plays that work and finding positive yards,” he said. “We’re keeping the kids positive and we’ll just keep on grinding. We are in a gauntlet of a schedule right now and we have to find the little things to keep our kids positive, our coaches positive and everything positive because it is tough.”
Whittemore-Prescott (1-2 overall, 1-2 NSL) hosts Charlton Heston Academy (0-3) Saturday 7 p.m.
Fresh off their first win of the season last week, the Whittemore-Prescott football team knows that with a win over a struggling Charlton Heston Academy team on Saturday, they can return to the .500 mark.
“We are hoping to build on the win from last week, this will be our first home game so we are excited about that,” head coach Joe Murphy said. “It should be a pretty good game and we are going to do a salute to the 13 fallen soldiers (from the Kabul airport attack).”
The Patriots are on a 22-game losing streak, and have yet to score a point yet this season; including last week’s 66-0 loss to Alcona. Regardless, Murphy won’t let his team take Charlton Heston lightly.
“I think our message right now is we are in a dog fight every week, and we are not going to underestimate any team that we play,” he said. “I think any game that we win is going to be a dog fight, that is the way our offense is built and we are not a super high scoring machine. We still have plenty of work to do on our defense too, we are kind of young on that side of the ball. I think a lot of them grew up last week and I hope they continue that.”