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Friday, September 30, 2011

Week 6 is here

Week 6 has arrived for high school football.
And so has the shabby weather.
Post all your scores and highlights from area games.
Adams is covering the Marlette at Harbor Beach contest.
Bogan is headed to Unionville-Sebewaing Area for the Patriots and Vassar showdown.

Scores as of 11:15 p.m.

Cass City 52, BCAS 0
Reese 36, EPBP 0
Vassar 28, USA 8

Harbor Beach 12, Marlette 8
Sandusky 36, Brown City 14

Deckerville 56, Memphis 6

Ubly 44, Bad Axe 0
Tawas Area at North Huron (PPD to 3 p.m. today)
Mayville 48, Dearborn Heights Int. 0

CPS 70, MC Cardinal Mooney 32
Owen-Gage 44, Litchfield 6

A-Fairgrove 47, Flint MSD 0

Kingston at Peck (2 p.m)

EPBP at Bad Axe
Vassar at Cass City
USA at Reese

Harbor Beach at Sandusky
Brown City at Ubly

North Huron at Memphis

Mayville at BCAS
Deckerville at Marlette
Arenac Eastern at Peck
Kingston at Saginaw BV

CPS at Owen-Gage
Wyoming Tri-unity at A-Fairgrove

Bogan and Adams picks for Week 6 games

BCAS at Cass City
Reese at EPBP
Vassar at USA
Marlette at Harbor Beach
Sandusky at Brown City 
Deckerville at Memphis
Ubly at Bad Axe
Tawas Area at North Huron
Dearborn Hts Int. at Mayville
CPS at MC Cardinal Mooney
Owen-Gage at Litchfield
Kingston at Peck
Minnesota at Michigan
MSU at Ohio State
Lions at Cowboys 

I am not sold on Kingston over Peck or Ohio State over Michigan State.
And, I am really worried about the Lions this week. They are due for a meltdown.

BCAS at Cass City
Reese at EPBP
Vassar at USA
Marlette at Harbor Beach
Sandusky at Brown City 
Deckerville at Memphis
Ubly at Bad Axe
Tawas Area at North Huron
Dearborn Hts Int. at Mayville
CPS at MC Cardinal Mooney
Owen-Gage at Litchfield
Kingston at Peck
Minnesota at Michigan
MSU at Ohio State
Lions at Cowboys 

Patriots prove point

Here is the report from Thursday night's volleyball match between Unionville-Sebewaing Area and Bad Axe.

SEBEWAING — For the third time this season, Unionville-Sebewaing Area and Bad Axe hooked up here Thursday night in a showdown between two of the area’s top volleyball squads.
And for the third time this season, the Patriots came away victors.
This time, the matchup was for the top spot in the Greater Thumb West standings. USA used its size advantage at the net, coming back from a shaky Game 2 en route to a hard-fought 25-20, 23-25, 25-19, 25-21 victory over the Hatchets.
With the win, USA takes over first place in the GTW at 5-0; Bad Axe falls to 4-1 in league play.
After splitting the first two games, USA trailed 5-0 and 7-2 in Game 3 before turning on the jets and capturing Games 3 and 4.
“We were up and down — and we were really flat in Game 2,” said USA coach Teresa Rose. “Coming back from being down 7-2 in Game 3... We pushed and turned it up a bit. They did a good job coming back in that game.”
This is already the third time USA has beaten Bad Axe this season, grabbing wins at tournaments earlier this year.
But Rose said Bad Axe was a much different team than in the prior meetings.
“Bad Axe has really stepped up their game,” she said. “They were like a whole new team out there compared to the last two times we played them.”
Bad Axe coach Mindy Breault was happy with her team’s effort, but knows the Hatchets must be more consistent at the net, as well as on defense.
“We just had way too many unforced errors,” she said. “I thought we battled really tough, but then we’d get to a point where we would make a few mental mistakes and it kind of snowballed. 
“USA is a very good team with a lot of good hitters, but I think we can play with them. We just need to get rid of the unforced errors.”
USA’s front four of Mackenzie Treiber, Maddy Payton, Sami Eisengruber and Miranda Fuerst combined for 51 kills, with Fuerst leading the way with 19. Eisengruber added 15 while Payton had nine and Treiber notched eight.
Breault thought USA’s size advantage played a key role in the outcome.
“Their size does pose some problems,” she said. “You are always aware of where their blockers are. And you have to move the ball around at the net. You just can’t continue to set one place or one person. You have to move to make their blockers move.”
USA turned its early five-point deficit in Game 3 into a 15-11 edge at the midway point. Bad Axe got as close as 20-17, but kills from Fuerst and Treiber, a pair of critical digs from USA libero Calie Valentine, and a service reception error from the Hatchets on game point gave the Patriots a 2-1 lead.
Game 4 saw the Hatchets take a 12-11 lead, but they couldn’t hold on. USA went up 19-18 and 22-20 before closing it out with two kills from Payton and a match-winner from Eisengruber.
Valentine led a sound defensive effort for the Patriots with 37 digs and 30 serve receptions. Ashlyn VanHoost added 20 digs and 21 receptions while Treiber chipped in eight receptions, Eisengruber 13 points and three aces, Fuerst four blocks, Payton 14 points, 34 digs and 15 receptions, Chelsey Bitzer 34 assists, 12 points and seven aces, and Erika Fritz 15 assists and eight points.
USA, rated No. 8 in the latest Class C state poll, is 24-1-3 overall.
Rose isn’t surprised at her team’s early-season success, though she’s cautious about pronouncing her team the GTW’s best just yet.
“I thought we would be very competitive this year because we have all returning players,” she said. “Every rotation is pretty strong for us and we have a lot of good hitters.
“It’s nice to be 5-0 in the league, but we have a long way to go.”
Bad Axe, 16-5-3 overall, had Emily Sisco with 13 kills, Alyssa Kociba with 24 assists and Brooke Robarge with five aces.
The Michigan High School Athletic Association was videotaping the match for a future broadcast. 
See its website for details.

Here are a couple of photos...

Thursday, September 29, 2011

5-0 vs. 5-0: Pirates, Raiders set for battle

Adams filed this report on Friday's Harbor Beach vs. Marlette game.

HARBOR BEACH — The only way to tell Harbor Beach and Marlette apart on Friday night may be their uniforms.
Both teams come into their Greater Thumb East showdown with identical 5-0 marks. The Red Raiders are 3-0 in GTE play while the Pirates are 2-0.
Their points-for are nearly the same, with Marlette scoring 38.2 ppg while Harbor Beach is at 37.6. The Pirates are giving up 11.8 ppg while the Raiders are yielding 11.4.
Beyond the numbers, perhaps the biggest similarity is that both teams run spread offenses led by a pair of dynamic quarterbacks — Kolby Lange for Marlette and Eli Kraft for Harbor Beach.
“Their spread is similar to ours,” said Marlette coach Denny Lester. “We do a bit of different things, but the principles are the same. They are trying to get their athletes in space to make plays just like we do.”
Unlike the Raiders, the Pirates will switch to a more traditional Wing-T offense from time to time, including in the fourth quarter of last week’s 34-22 win over Ubly.
“Harbor Beach is a very tough team to defend,” Lester said. “They switch between the spread and their traditional running sets which puts a lot of pressure on who is on the field in terms of defensive linemen and defensive backs.”
So far, Harbor Beach coach Troy Schelke has been happy with his offense, but thinks the best is yet to come.
“We have shown our big play potential, but we need to be a little more consistent and finish drives,” said Schelke. 
“We’re still looking to put two halves together.”
Against the Bearcats last week, Harbor Beach was up 27-8 at halftime. But the offense stalled a little in the second half.
The Pirates fed off the emotion of playing their rival. Although that’s a good thing, Schelke is hopeful his players can keep their emotions in check Friday night.
“For us, it will come down to emotion,” he said. “I worry about getting too high or too low, but these guys are gaining confidence every week. I think they know how to control it.”
Meanwhile, Marlette was faced with its stiffest test. It needed a 34-yard scoring run from Lange with 2:00 remaining to pull off a 26-22 comeback win over Sandusky.
“I think that anytime you play a rival, you can throw out everything,” Lester said. “Sandusky is a good team. They have really developed a running game.  They made us work all night with their defense.
“We turned the ball over early that led to two touchdowns. Our kids didn’t stop playing. They kept to the plan and never panicked.”
Lange once again had a big day for the Raiders, rushing for 179 yards and a pair of TDs. He also threw for a score.
“Kolby is having a wonderful year,” Lester said. “He has really been the catalyst for our offense. He has a good burst and very good vision.  
“Our offensive line has done a really a great job of opening holes, and with (Justin) Carello, (Donnie) Thomas, and (Brad) Schaub around him, that doesn’t hurt.”
Through five games, he has thrown for 645 yards with seven touchdowns while running for 749 yards and 12 scores. Lange is averaging over 10 yards per carry.
“Defending the spread and their quarterback, we have to tackle well,” Schelke said. “Lange is an athlete, he’s the real deal. If you miss one or two tackles, it’s a touchdown.”
Harbor Beach features its quarterback Kraft, who has turned in some fine performances so far. Last week, he had 163 yards passing with a pair of touchdowns, and 66 yards rushing and two more scores.
Lester feels that his team will be ready for Harbor Beach’s spread offense.
“I think that seeing the spread offense in practice everyday helps us prepare for their spread better than most teams,” he said. “We have a lot of good athletes that can give us good looks in the spread.”
In a game that has the potential to be an offensive show, the deciding factor will likely be the defenses.
Both teams have faced challenges so far.
Harbor Beach has forced a number of turnovers this season, including working on short fields a couple of times last week against Ubly.
However, the Pirates have given up over 250 yards on the ground each of the last two weeks.
“Our defense has been very good. Ron Wruble is the best defensive coordinator in the Thumb,” Schelke said. “We are giving up some yards, but we are working on that.”
Added Lester: “As in any game, we must take care of the ball. When you play in championship type games, mistakes are magnified. We can’t turn the ball over and expect to win.”
Harbor Beach has had a bit of a drought. This will be the team’s first winning season since it went 12-1, making it all the way to the Division 7 semifinals, in 2007.
Before allowing his team to think about the playoffs, Schelke wants to win what has turned out to be an ultra-competitive GTE.
“I’m an old fashioned guy,” he said. “The league has always been the top goal for us.”
For Marlette, this will be the fifth straight season with at least five wins. But the Raiders have to go further back for their last league championship.
They haven’t won a conference title since 1975.
“I thought that we had a very good team coming back,” Lester said. “We had a lot of starters back.  
“We have a lot of seniors that we thought were very good athletes. We thought that we would be in the thick of things. We never really talked about anything but the next game. 
“After setting our goals of winning a league championship, we have just taken it one week at a time.
“Winning this game would mean a lot to our players and coaching staff. We have all worked very hard this year. It would also mean a lot to our fans. They have been great.”

Marlette (5-0, 3-0) at Harbor Beach (5-0, 2-0)
W1: O-Lake. 39-6
W2: Mayville 60-21
W3: Ubly 14-0
W4: EPBP 52-8
W5: Sandusky 26-22
PF: 191 (38.2)
PA: 57 (11.4)
Opp. Record: 7-18
Playoff Points: 62.400

Harbor Beach
W1: Bad Axe 42-0
W2: N. Huron 48-0
W3: Reese 30-16
W4: Brown City 34-21
W5: Ubly 34-22
PF: 188 (37.6)
PA: 59  (11.8)
Opp. Record: 12-13
Playoff Points: 64.000

  ADAMS SAYS: Teams are almost even, but HB has played a tougher schedule to this point.
  PICK:  Harbor Beach 38, Marlette 35

USA gears for showdown with Vassar

SEBEWAING — Nothing has come easy for Unionville-Sebewaing Area in recent years.
After dominating the area football scene for nearly a decade, the Patriots have been plagued the last few seasons with low numbers, a super-tough schedule, and some bad luck.
Fast forward to 2011. The 4-1 Patriots have turned things around and are off to their best start since 2006.
Better yet, they’re just a couple of wins away from their first league championship since 2005.
The Patriots have a chance to inch closer to the coveted conference title Friday night when they host 4-1 Vassar in a key Greater Thumb West showdown.
USA comes into the game at 4-0 in the GTW; Vassar is 2-1. 
USA is 0-3 against the Vulcans since they joined the GTC in 2008, including last season’s 34-20 decision.
USA coach Jason Beagle knows this is a crucial test for his Patriots.
“Vassar has a very athletic team, with the best team speed that we have seen this year,” Beagle said. “We will need to be very fundamentally sound and make sure we are in the proper position to stop them. 
“I think we actually match up well with them, but they will turn your mistake into points in a hurry, so our execution will need to be perfect.”
The Patriots weren’t so perfect early on in last week’s 30-22 come-from-behind victory over upstart Bad Axe. USA trailed 22-0 after one quarter before rallying for 30 unanswered points, including the go-ahead touchdown from Brandon Harper with 1:30 to play.
“First off, Bad Axe is a good football team,” Beagle explained. “They are running a totally new offense and defense from previous years which explains some of their early struggles, but they are starting to figure things out.
“They came in and executed right from the start. We made some mistakes that we don't typically make, and they took advantage of those mistakes. That is something we need to improve on in the coming weeks.”
The Patriots started their rally with a pair of kick returns for TDs from McKay Jones, who has combined with Harper and Tim Zube to give USA some big-play potential.
“(Tim and Brandon) have both worked very hard this season, along with McKay, to run our system,” Beagle said. “We ask them to not only run the ball, but carry out fakes and lead block. I think that all three of them are starting to hit their stride at the right time.
“And our offensive line has also come a long way in their development, which has helped our running game.”
Meanwhile, Vassar comes in off a 45-15 victory over Memphis. In that game, Nathan Greaves rushed for 167 yards and three TDs while Zac Case added 166 yards and one score. The Vulcans also got a school-record 35-yard field goal from exchange student Henrik Von Richthofen.
Vassar’s loss this season came in Week 4 when Reese walked away with a 28-12 decision. USA’s loss this season came in Week 1 when Ubly captured a 28-0 victory.
Beagle feels his team has made major strides since then.
“We are a young team, so we knew some of our players were going to learn on the fly,” he said. “Week 1 was a real eye-opener for some of them, but those players have improved. We will find out how much they have learned in the next four weeks.”
After this week’s game with Vassar, the Patriots travel to Reese on Oct. 7 for the annual Sugar Bowl.

 Vassar (4-1, 2-1) at USA (4-1, 4-0)
W1: Caro 35-0
W2: EPBP 50-12
W3: BCAS 46-7
W4: Reese (L) 12-28
W5: Memphis 45-15
PF: 188 (37.6)
PA: 62 (12.4)
Opp. Record: 7-18
Playoff Points: 43.800

W1: Ubly (L) 0-28
W2: BCAS 16-8
W3: EPBP 36-26
W4: Cass City 20-13
W5: Bad Axe 30-22
PF: 102 (20.4)
PA: 97 (19.4)
Opp. Record: 6-19
Playoff Points: 40.400

  BOGAN SAYS: I like USA, but the Vulcans have more depth and more speed. 
  PICK: Vassar 26, USA 20

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Week 6 Blog Football Contest

Here are the games for the Week 6 Tribune Sports Blog Football Contest...
Another 20 to the winner...

1 pointers
BCAS at Cass City
EPBP at Reese
Tawas at North Huron
Minnesota at Michigan
Ubly at Bad Axe

3 pointers
Owen-Gage at Litchfield
Kingston at Peck
Deckerville at Memphis

5 pointers
Dearborn Hts Int. at Mayville
Sandusky at Brown City
Vassar at USA
Northern Illinois at CMU

10 pointers
Marlette at Harbor Beach
Lions at Cowboys
MSU at Ohio State
CPS at MC Cardinal Mooney
Alabama at Florida
Nebraska at Wisconsin

Tie breaker – Total points - Ubly at Bad Axe

Good luck to all

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Blog Contest Winners Upcoming...

Bogan has finally cleared out an afternoon time slot and will be updating the Sports Blog Contest winners.
They are upcoming this afternoon.
Thanks everyone for your patience!
Week 6 games will be posted early Wednesday AM...

WEEK 3 WINNER: JustChimingIn – 13-2, all of the 5 and 10 pointers right...
WEEK 4 WINNER: Dave Green – 18-2, missing two 5 pointers. But got all the 10 pointers right. Just nipped Dan Gentner and Robert Rockefeller.
WEEK 5 WINNER: NCTL Alum... We had NCTL Alum, Eddie Fury, Robert Rockefeller, Big Poppy, and Dave Green get all 15 games correct. NCTL Alum won via the tiebreaker. Nathan Meredith had all the games he picked correct. The problem was he forgot one of the 1 point games. Good news, Nathan, you would have lost via the tie breaker anyway!

I need addresses from the winners to send out the CASH! Please email me your address and we will get the CASH out ASAP.