Can you believe it?  We are in Week Six!  After Friday, some seniors will only have three games of organized football left.  Everyone is ramping up the intensity and clawing their way to that magical number of six wins.  For the action this week, I am profiling yet another UP game.  It’s not that I don’t love the football in the Traverse City/Straights area.  This season, there are games with more on the line above the bridge.  Come up northern Michigan teams!  MAKE me profile a game because it’s the “can’t miss game of the week!”  I know also that there is at least one newcomer to the preview.  Ypsilanti Lincoln has never been profiled in this column to the best of my knowledge.  They have turned the program around have a HUGE game this week.  Let’s take a peek at what I consider the best games, border to border, coast to coast in our great state of Michigan.

 

North

Calumet (4-1) at Iron River West Iron County (4-1) (Friday September 30, 6:30pm)

It was a decisive victory for the Copper Kings last week in Hancock.  They won 41-20 behind four touchdowns of 50 or more yards in the first half.  Tyler Froberg, the running back for Calumet, ran 10 times for 167 yards and two touchdowns.  The short touchdown run for him was 73 yards (77 was his long run).  Quarterback Steven Torola played very well also.  He completed all three of his passes for 121 yards which included a 62 yard pass to Paul Frantti.  Not to be outdone, Andy Steber also tossed a couple of passes for the Copper Kings.  He completed one of his two passes for 53 yards and a score to Ben Storm.  This is a very important game in the Western Peninsula Athletic Conference.  Both teams are 3-0 in league play and by virtue of winning, they will set themselves apart from the rest of the conference and clear the way for a potential league title.

One of the reasons I find this game so intriguing is that both teams have one loss, both to very good teams (and I profiled that game in Week One – Ishpeming vs. Iron Mountain).  The Wykons of Iron River West Iron County smoked Houghton last week by the final score of 44-0.  They scored the first five times they had the ball and led 37-0 at the break.  QB Andrew Peterson connected on eight of his 10 passes for 151 yards and two scores.  Caleb Pellizzer was his favorite target as he caught three footballs for 106 yards and a pair of touchdown.  Devon Marcell scored on a reception but was more effective on the ground.  He gained 60 yards on 10 carries.  Also, he intercepted a pass that set up a scoring drive and made five tackles.  The Wykons will be looking to get some revenge.  Calumet has won the last two meetings by a combined score of 86-6.

 

Mid-Michigan

Coleman (4-1) at Mt. Pleasant Sacred Heart (3-2) (At Community Stadium, Mt. Pleasant, Friday September 30, 7pm)

The Comets of Coleman are on a roll this season.  They have only lost one game and that was to Blanchard Montabella (who lost to MtP Sacred Heart two weeks ago).  Last week, they beat Vestaburg 14-6.  All of the scoring was done by Tylor Rhynard and all in the second quarter.  He caught a 23 yard touchdown pass and punched in another score from three yards out.  He finished the game with seven catches for 120 yards and also ran for 36 on 17 attempts.  Zack Frazer caught six balls for 110 yards to help the offense.  Quarterback Trevor Jones completed 15 of his 30 passes for 253 yards and a touchdown.  On defense, Rhynard also made nine tackles.  Coach Chad Klopf is really making strides with this team and has a chance to get the first win over the Irish since the 2003 season.  Friday night they have a chance to spoil homecoming, but Mount Pleasant won’t go down easy.

The Irish of Mount Pleasant Sacred Heart Academy came out like gangbusters in the 55-39 win over Manistee Catholic Central.  On the first play of the game, quarterback Mitchell Myler hit Brooks Hyble for a 69 yard touchdown pass.  That wasn’t all the scoring in the first quarter either.  At the end of the first it was 28-6 and they led 42-20 at halftime.  Myler finished with a 72% completion percentage, connecting on eight of his 11 passes for 164 yards and three touchdowns.  He also ran in a score from the 10 yard line.  Running backs Nick Hire and Luke Goenner had nearly identical stats; each ran five times but Hire gained 52 yards and scored twice while Goenner gained 54 yards and scored once.  Brooks Hyble finished with two receptions for 74 yards and two scores.  This is a very important game for Sacred Heart.  With games against Mendon and Muskegon Heights still on the schedule, every game is very important if they want to try and repeat as state champions.  A few losses down the stretch could eliminate them from the playoffs altogether.

 

West Coast

Sparta (5-0) at Grand Rapids West Catholic (3-2) (Friday September 30, 7pm)

This has been a magical season so far for Sparta.  They are 5-0 for the first time since 1978.  Last season, they finished 1-8.  In the 42-21 win, Kory Brown scored three times in the first quarter.  For the game, he ran nine times for 150 yards.  He also completed nine of his 123 passes for 114 yards and one interception.  Nathan VanPatten was the leading receiver with three catches for 47 yards.  Jesse Stamann ran in two touchdowns (11 and 30 yards) for Sparta as well.  This game will have huge implications for the Ottawa Kent Conference Blue Division.  Both squads are 2-0 in league play and the winner could win the conference.

Things didn’t go to plan for Grand Rapids West Catholic last week.  They lost to Muskegon Catholic Central by a field goal, 24-21.  The Falcons had a chance at the end with a 4th down and game form MCC’s 28 yard line, but quarterback Tommy Staskiewicz was sacked.  Staskiewicz completed nine of his 18 passes for 223 yards and two touchdowns.  Kyle O’Hearn caught both of them, the first from 71 yards out and the second from 55 yards away.  Running back Jalin Faison ran the ball 18 times for 147 yards which included a 24 yard touchdown run in the third quarter which gave GRWC their first lead of the game. 

 

Detroit

Ypsilanti Lincoln (4-1) at Chelsea (4-1) (Friday September 30, 7pm)

This has been an amazing turnaround for the Railsplitters of Ypsilanti Lincoln.  The four wins this season have matched their total win record since 2004.  Last year, they went 0-9.  It’s been 16 years since Lincoln last beat Chelsea.  In the 18-13 win over Dexter last week, the game wasn’t decided until the last half of the last minute of the last quarter.  A one yard touchdown run by George Miller with 21 seconds remaining gave the Railsplitters a huge come from behind victory.  Quarterback T.J. O’Bryan completed eight of his 18 passes for 114 yards.  He also ran 13 times for 47 yards.  George Miller was the hero though.  Besides his last second touchdown, he ran 17 times for 53 yards.  Although Dexter had momentum going into halftime, it was killed quickly when Rare Williams returned the second half kickoff 89 yards for a score.  Williams also caught five footballs for 53 yards.  A win over a quality program like Chelsea would give Lincoln a huge momentum boost in trying to get the school’s first ever playoff appearance. 

Chelsea dominated Adrian last week for a quality win, 37-13.  What it boiled down to is that they were able to outgain Adrian in rushing yards 287-92.  They forced Adrian to continually start drives inside their own 20 yard line.  Zac Rabbitt kicked three field goals in the game.  Quarterback Jarred Scheese completed nine of his 14 passes for 126 yards and a score.  He also ran the ball four times for 25 additional yards.  Berkley Edwards was the chief running back with 105 yards on 21 attempts.  Jack McDougall caught three balls for 76 yards and a touchdown while Cody Ellyson caught four to gain 37 yards. 

 

Capital Area

Grass Lake (5-0) at Manchester (5-0) (Friday September 30, 7pm)

It was a close game, but Grass Lake was able to take home the victory 12-0.  They were led by running back Frank Voucolo with 157 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries and also caught a 32 yard pass.  Quarterback Logan Konopka completed six of his 11 passes for 100 yards and a score.  Kevin Fisher ran the ball 15 times for 75 yards.  Jarred Lazarz led receivers with three catches for 28 yards.  This is a very important game to Grass Lake.  The win will put them in the playoffs for a seventh straight season.

Manchester took care of business last week, beating previously unbeaten Hanover-Horton 44-28.  The third quarter was key to the Flying Dutchmen.  They recovered two fumbles and blocked a punt to take control of a game which was tied at 14 for halftime.  Quarterback Nate Bossory completed 12 of his 21 passes for 118 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception.  He spread the ball around, wigh Josh Finley and Jake Osborne each catching three footballs, for 48 and 26 yards, respectively.  Three other players caught two passes.  Running back Jimmy Kurasz gained 185 yards and two touchdowns on 18 attempts.  The Flying Dutchmen are a tough team that is also looking to lock up a playoff spot this week.  Both teams have quality squads and the game could go either way.