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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Eagles eye bounce back vs. 7-0 Ubly

A preview of the Deckerville vs. Ubly game, plus my picks for the week.    

    UBLY — Deckerville may be down, but the Eagles aren’t going to be counted out.
    Not with rival Ubly next on the schedule.
    After breezing through its first six games en route to the North Central Thumb League championship,   
    Deckerville saw its perfect season unravel last week in a stunning 21-20 setback to Marlette — its first loss to the Raiders since Bill Brown has been coach.
    “I do not want to take anything away from Marlette — they played a heck of a game,” Brown said. “We can’t make any excuses. They are a good football team, but it was pretty disappointing.
“But there is nobody who is going to feel sorry for us. What can you do? You just have to learn from it.”
    The 6-1 Eagles hope to do just that when they travel to 7-0 Ubly this Friday in one of the most anticipated matchups of the season
    And while the loss last week, combined with it being a non-league game for the first time since 1975, takes away a bit of luster from the Eagles-Bearcats showdown, it’s still one of the area’s best and most balanced rivalries.
    Ubly holds a slim 8-6 advantage in the series since 2000, which includes playoff games in 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2005. The teams split those postseason contests.
    “I think this is a good way to come back from (the loss to Marlette),” Brown said. “We’re going to play hard, no matter what. But mentally, we have to be strong.”
    Last week, the Eagles controlled the stat sheet, but little else. The Eagles held a 420-213 offensive yards advantage, including 325-168 via the rush. 
    “We got down into the red zone a few times, but we didn’t execute,” Brown said. “And that’s my fault more than anybody’s. Marlette didn’t have many penalties and didn’t put the ball on the turf. When they limit those things, they are going to be tough.”
    Regardless, the Eagles led 20-14 with four minutes to play before Marlette quarterback Kolby Lange took over, driving the Raiders down the field for the game-winning score with 20 seconds left. Lange rushed 24 times for 166 yards and all three Marlette TDs.
    “Their quarterback is a very good player. He played one heck of a game for them,” Brown said.
    Brown knows his team is up against another kind of challenge against the Bearcats.
    While Lange posed problems with his speed and open-field antics, Ubly’s grind-it-out, hard-nosed offense will be just as demanding to stop.
     “Ubly just doesn’t make many mistakes,” Brown said. “They are tough on both offense and defense. Offensively, they are still very good. And on defense, they just don’t give up many big plays.
    “To me, they aren’t much different than they have been over the last few years.”
    The Bearcats come in riding a 30-game regular-season winning streak, capped by a 30-6 victory over Brown City last week.
    The Green Devils actually scored first in the opening quarter before the Bearcats rattled off four straight touchdowns and took control. 
    Bryan Nash and Tyler Peruski each scored twice for the Bearcats, who have limited opponents to one score or less in five of their seven games.
    “Their defense is as tough as it’s ever been,” Brown said. “It’s going to be a challenge for us.
    “Up until last week, we hadn’t seen many second-and-10s, or even fourth-and-twos. We saw some of those last week, and I think that’s only going to help us.”
    This game also is worth mega playoff points. 
    For the Bearcats, they are one of 16 ‘Class C’ teams still unbeaten. Of those squads, Ubly’s 69.714 playoff points total ranks right in the middle of the pack.
    For the Eagles, they are one of 12 ‘Class D’ teams which are 6-1 or better. Of those squads, Deckerville’s 50.905 playoff points total is No. 7.

1. Vassar at Bad Axe – The Vulcans can clinch a playoff spot with a win.
PICK: Vassar 49, Bad Axe 6

2. EPBP at Cass City – A few weeks ago, this one might have been a blowout. It won't be so easy for the Red Hawks now.
PICK: Cass City 31, EPBP 26

3. BCAS at Reese – The Rockets are the class of the GTW.
PICK: Reese 45, BCAS 21

4. Brown City at Marlette – I am taking Marlette, but I can see the Green Devils pulling the mini upset.
PICK: Marlette 31, Brown City 21

5. Mayville vs. Harbor Beach – A victory on Homecoming for the Pirates.
PICK: Harbor Beach 35, Mayville 8

6. North Huron at Kingston – North Huron's passing game will make the difference.
PICK: North Huron 28, Kingston 17

7. Memphis at Peck – The Yellowjackets have potential on offense.
PICK: Memphis 24, Peck 6

8. Sandusky at USA – This will be a real test for the Patriots on Homecoming. Regardless of how conditioned the Patriots are, I just think the Redskins will wear them down late.
PICK: Sandusky 30, USA 21

9. Deckerville at Ubly – I still think the Eagles will give the Bearcats a battle for a while. 
PICK: Ubly 32, Deckerville 20

10. Illinois at Michigan State – Beware of a letdown, Sparty.
PICK: Michigan State 24, Illinois 21

11. Iowa at Michigan – Is Iowa's No. 15 ranking a fluke? I am not sure. I am torn on this one.
PICK; Iowa 21, Michigan 20

12. Arkansas at Auburn – A pair of pretty good quarterbacks in this one.
PICK: Auburn 31, Arkansas 28

13. Ohio State at Wisconsin – As much as I'd like to see the Buckeyes flop, the Badgers haven't shown me much.
PICK: Ohio State 22, Wisconsin 13

14. Miami, Ohio at Central Michigan –  The Chips need a win.
PICK: CMU 33, Miami 26

15. Lions at Giants – The Lions are improving, but not that much.
PICK: Giants 33, Lions 23


Chiuk Czlek said...

Going to be a good game...Ubly vs Deckerville.

Brown's comments speak volumes on this series.

Just when you think you have it 'in the bag' the opposition craps all over your predications.

2005. Eagles cruched Bearcats 27-0 during regular season...lost 27-26 in play-offs.

2006. Ubly led late 22-17, only to see the Eagles come up with a 'Hail Mary' finish to win 23-22 in the last minute.

I call it the Swamp Bowl.

Jesus said...

If it keeps raining like it is right now, it will be a swamp bowl. It's going to be a chilly one tonight. Who ever can hang on to the ball should win this game.