HARBOR BEACH — Last year at this time, Harbor Beach was riding high after starting the season 2-0 with a pair of easy victories over Bad Axe and North Huron.
Week 3 came and they were bombed by Reese, 41-0. It started a stretch of five losses in their final seven games, ending any hopes for a post-season bid.
Fast forward to 2011.
The Pirates are in the same position — 2-0 and boasting with confidence after two shutouts over the Hatchets and Warriors.
And once again like last season, the 2-0 Rockets are up next this Friday at Harbor Beach.
“We have a lot of respect for Reese and how good they are,” said Harbor Beach coach Troy Schelke. “We have to be ready for a dogfight...”
The Rockets come in after a 41-12 win over Houghton Lake in Week 1 and a 46-0 blanking of Bad Axe last week.
Against the Hatchets, the Rockets led 40-0 at halftime. Matt Frost had 117 yards and scored three touchdowns while Troy Elbers added 84 yards and two more scores. Quarterback Cody Peyok was a perfect 4-for-4 for 53 yards.
The Rockets also scored a defensive TD when Matt Lefler picked off a pass and ran 24 yards into the end zone.
For the Pirates, Aaron Ginther scored three times — once on the ground and twice via the pass — while four others scored once for the Pirates, who led 20-0 after one quarter and 34-0 at the half against North Huron.
Travis Essenmacher, Derek Pfaff, Tyler Krueger and Sloan Klaski scored the other TDs for Harbor Beach, which picked up 375 yards rushing overall and 82 yards passing from quarterback Eli Kraft. Ginther and Pfaff each had 78 yards on the ground while Krueger added 70, Klaski 55, Essenmacher 44 and Kraft 32. Kraft also threw for 82 yards, including scoring strikes of 36 and 46 yards to Ginther in the first quarter which set the tone.
Prior to last season’s Week 3 showdown, the Pirates and Rockets had met four straight times in the playoffs from 2003-06, with each team winning twice.
A quick roundup of some other key games...
Cass City (0-2) at Bad Axe (0-2)
BAD AXE — The Hatchets make their 2011 home debut looking for their first win since Week 7 of the 2009 season.
After getting trounced by Sandusky in the opener, the Red Hawks played better last week in a 28-21 setback to Brown City.
Last year, Cass City picked up a 61-0 win over the Hatchets.
EPBP (0-2) and USA (1-1)
SEBEWAING — Elkton-Pigeon-Bay Port travels to Unionville-Sebewaing Area looking for its first win of the season.
The Lakers have been outscored this year 96-12, including a 50-12 setback to Vassar last week.
The Patriots rebounded from a Week 1 loss to Ubly with a hard-fought 16-8 win at Bay City All Saints last week.
Ubly (2-0) at Marlette (2-0)
MARLETTE — Ubly has won eight of the last nine games against Marlette, with the only setback coming in 2005.
The Raiders have racked up 99 points in their first two games using their explosive offense, led by quarterback Kolby Lange. Lange has rushed for 270 yards and five TDs while completing 21-of-28 passes for 386 yards and four more TDs.
The Bearcats, meanwhile, just keep on winning. They extended their regular season winning streak to 34 games last week in a hard-fought 14-6 win over Sandusky.
The bad news for the Bearcats is that senior tailback Bret Cleary is more than likely out for the season with a leg injury.
Marlette coach Denny Lester is excited about his team’s 2011 home debut.
“We are where we wanted to be after the first two games,” he said.”Our goal was to get to our first home game with two wins. We will really find out what kind of team we have (this week). Ubly is going to be a great challenge. They have a wonderful program and are well coached.”
Peck (0-2) at Deckerville (1-1)
DECKERVILLE — Deckerville hasn’t lost a North Central Thumb League game since its return to the conference last season.
The Eagles bounced back from a disappointing showing in the season opener against Mendon with a 48-7 beating of Kingston last week.
Tailback Andrew Estrada rushed for 220 yards and six scores in the win.
Meanwhile, the Pirates have been outscored 82-0 in losses to Whittemore-Prescott and Brown City.
Owen-Gage (2-0) at Marine City Cardinal Mooney (1-1)
MARINE CITY — Owendale-Gagetown has a chance to go to 3-0 for the first time since 1992 with a victory.
Last week for the Bulldogs in their 42-0 blanking of Burr Oak, Hunter Champagne scored three times while Jordan Kain also had a TD. Tommy Kennedy notched 101 yards on the ground for the winners.
Defensively, Andrew Fahrner had 11 tackles while Champagne added nine and one interception, and Kennedy eight and one pick.