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Nick Vlietstra's High School Sports Blog Week 2 Recap, Week 3 Preview

by Nick Vlietstra

It was a week of showing who is for real, who isn’t and who can bounce back.  It might just be week two, and a lot can still change, but we add a little more about what we know this week and a few teams have now been put into a deep hole, while others have put themselves out on top.  Let’s take a look back at what happened this past weekend.


One of the best wins this week I think came from Mattawan.  After their week one loss to Harper Creek they were in need of a big bounce back win and they got it with their crushing win over Marshall.  No it wasn’t a basketball game but the final was 64-34.  Obviously the defense still has some work to do, because they also gave up 27 points last week to Harper, but the offense surly bounced back from being held to only seven points in week one.  I think this is a big program year for Mattawan.  They lost some key pieces from last year’s team and it’s time to see how well they can fill in those holes.  Marshall on the other hand has certainly put themselves in a hole after two rough showings.  After two weeks they have the worst defense in the league giving up 60 ppg.  That’s a proud program that has had a lot of success but they certainly have some work to do.

Portage Central continues their thrashings of the East division with their 59-7 win over Loy Norrix.  They are now 2-0 and have outscored their first two opponents 114-7.  They just may be the team this year to challenge Stevensville-Lakeshore.  Also, congrats to Kalamazoo Central as they are off to a 2-0 start.  They have beaten back both of their biggest rivals, Loy Norrix and Battle Creek Central.  They might want to enjoy it because the big boys will be coming soon.

Week 2 Games:


Portage Central (2-0) @ Mattawan (1-1)

Kalamazoo Central (2-0) @ Portage Northern (2-0)

Stevensville-Lakeshore (2-0) @ St. Joseph (2-0)

Niles (0-2) @ Benton Harbor (0-2)


Harper Creek (1-1) @ Marshall (0-2)

Loy Norrix (0-2) @ Lakeview (2-0)

Battle Creek Central (1-1) @ Coldwater (0-2)

Sturgis (1-1) @ Gull Lake (0-2)


The rich get richer and the poor get poorer.  That was seemingly the theme of the week again.  There were a few close games such as the Plainwell/Three Rivers game, or Allegan/Coloma, but Edwardsburg, Dowagiac and Paw Paw all won in easy fashion again.  On the rich side Paw Paw has outscored their opponents 89-6 through two games and Dowagiac in much the same way has outscored opponents 86-14.  On the bad side Comstock is still yet to score a point this season and have given up 114 while South Haven has scored only six points while surrendering 109.

The one big game saw Plainwell top Three Rivers in a close 14-7 game.  It gave Plainwell a very good test because Three Rivers looked a lot better than I think some people thought they would be.  Still there were a few costly mistakes that have to leave the Wildcats replaying things all night after that tough loss.  They had two drives that reached the red zone that ended with turnovers.  The second turnover early in the third quarter led Plainwell to their monster drive which produced their game winning touchdown.  I have to say that the drive Plainwell went on was classic wearing down the opposition.  The drive started midway through the third quarter and ended with just over five minutes left on the clock.  Three Rivers just couldn’t get a stop, and Plainwell slowly and methodically ground down the Wildcats’ defense.  It’s a very nice win for Plainwell and Three Rivers should still be encouraged because they have a team that can certainly do damage again this season.

Week 2 games

Plainwell (2-0) @ Dowagiac (2-0)

Allegan (0-2) @ Three Rivers (1-1)

Comstock (0-2) @ Edwardsburg (2-0)

Otsego (1-1) @ Berrien Springs (1-1)

Paw Paw (2-0) @ Coloma (1-1)

Vicksburg (0-2) @ South Haven (0-2)


Well, Schoolcraft did it again.  They took down their rivals to the south, Constantine.  They did what they had to in a close game which wasn’t really put away until late in the fourth quarter.  I said the keys would be slowing down the Constantine running game and effectively throwing the ball.  They found a way to slow down the Constantine rushing attack as no Falcon rushed for over 100 yards after three of them did it last week.  And Tom Hurst didn’t throw it a lot but was an efficient 5-7 and threw for a TD.  The win for the Eagles puts them in the same spot they were last year and that is the team to beat early in the season.

Outside of that game Kalamazoo Christian battled and kept it close with Olivet.  The Comets were leading at halftime over the Eagles.  I put them in the same category with Hackett and Parchment.  Those three should make up the middle portion of the conference.  It is a tough chore for them but if any of those three can run the table against each other, and everyone below them in the standings, they are one upset away from being a playoff team.  Like I said, it’s a tough thing to do, especially when you have four very good teams in the league, but it can be done.  Parchment did just that two years ago to sneak into the playoffs at 6-3.

Week 2 games

Schoolcraft (2-0) @ Olivet (2-0)

Kalamazoo Christian (1-1) @ Parchment (0-2)

Delton (0-2) @ Hackett (1-1)

Galesburg-Augusta (0-2) @ Pennfield (2-0)

Maple Valley (1-1) @ Constantine (1-1)


Saugatuck is off to a 2-0 start in the North while everyone else is 0-2, while in the South everyone is off to a 2-0 start except for Marcellus which is 1-1.  The biggest game from this past week was Gobles and Hartford, and the Indians dominated the game winning 41-22.  They lead 34-0 at the half before Gobles finally responded and outscored Hartford in the second half.  Still, it was a very good road win for Hartford who racked up the rushing yards and the points.  They are now averaging 47 ppg through two games.  Gobles on the other hand is one of those teams that has dug into a hole.  While they have played two very good teams, they are 0-2 and really were uncompetitive in both games.  They still have time to turn this season into something as they still can rally off some wins in a weaker north division.

Meanwhile in the South it should be another fun ride to watch as there appear to be four very good teams in Watervliet, Hartford, Lawton and Decatur.  All of those teams could win that division.  All four were playoff teams last year and I think all four will have a good shot at doing that again.  It is going to set up some very good match-ups when they start playing each other.

Week 2 Games

Saugatuck (2-0) @ Decatur (2-0)

Gobles (0-2) @ Marcellus (1-1)

Fennville (0-2) @ Hartford (2-0)

Bangor (0-2) @ Bloomingdale (0-2)

Lawton (2-0) @ Martin (0-2)

Watervliet (2-0) @ White Pigeon (2-0)


Players of the week

1. Casper Aviles/Miguel Melgoza, Hartford RBs

Yes I did just put two guys in the top spot.  Why?  It’s hard to say which one was truly better than the other in Hartford’s 41-22 win over Gobles on Friday.  Aviles rushed for 217 yards and two TDs while Melgoza rushed for 215 yards and three TDs.  If you don’t want to do the math, allow me.  That is 432 yards and five TDs between two guys.  Now, if you would like to figure out who had the better week be my guest.  The most important thing is that Hartford won and is now off to a 2-0 start.

2. Kyle Hedden, Mattawan RB

Mattawan needed a big bounce back win and they got just that with their 64-34 smashing of Marshall.  Kyle Hedden led the way rushing for 160 yards and three TDs.  It appears as though Hedden is going to be getting the majority of the carries out of the Wildcats’ Wing-T offense, and he has responded so far.  In two games he has rushed for close to 300 yards and four TDs.

3. Jake Doll, Paw Paw QB

The duel threat Doll is back here for a second week.  It was going to be tough to top his week one performance when he had six total TDs, but it was still a great week.  He completed 17-24 passes for 325 yards and one TD while rushing for another 65 yards and two TDs.  He now has close to 800 yards of total offense through the first two weeks.

4. Corey Burdgick, Hackett RB

Hackett picked up their first win of the season on Friday night with a 55-0 win over Galesburg-Augusta.  Burdgick rushed for 163 yards and 2 TDs in the win for the Irish.  Burdgick is trying to fill the big shoes of Geovante Weston who graduated.  He isn’t off to a bad start as he has rushed for over 250 yards and three TDs in the first two weeks.

5. Logan Simmons, Climax Scotts RB

There might be a few new names but the results remain the same down in Climax Scotts.  On Friday night Logan Simmons rushed for 169 yards and four TDs as the Panthers beat New Buffalo 49-25.  Simmons is leading a Panthers’ offense that is averaging over 41 ppg through the first two games.

Big Games for Week 2

Portage Central (2-0) @ Mattawan (1-1)

Look for another slug fest in this one.  When these two teams get together there is a battle about to ensue.  Mattawan won two games over the Mustangs last season and have won three in a row.  We can’t forget last season’s 35-34 win when Mattawan had a big lead and PC came flying back only to fall by one.  Mattawan then took care of the Mustangs 42-21 in the playoffs.

Portage Central comes in with some of the similar names they had last season.  They are led on offense by RB Jacob Allen and QB Ryan Mergener.  They have throttled their first two opponents this season beating Sturgis 55-0 and Loy Norrix 59-7.  On the other side Mattawan got a much needed win this past week beating Marshall 64-34.  That came a week after they were shut down by Harper Creek 27-7. They have played the tougher of the two schedules so far, but they will need their defense to tighten up against a Mustangs’ team that is putting up a lot of points this season.  They have surrendered over 30 ppg in their first two games and that just isn’t going to cut it this week.

My Pick: Portage Central 31, Mattawan 23.  PC is scoring a lot of points.  Yes, that was against lesser competition but Mattawan is giving up a lot of points.  PC has a little more experience as well. 

Plainwell (2-0) @ Dowagiac (2-0)

These two are both two of the top teams in the conference.  It would be a shock if either of these teams missed the playoffs.  Still, this has been a series that has been dominated by Dowagiac ever since they joined the conference in 2006.  In fact, Plainwell has never beaten the Chieftains since Dowagiac joined the Wolverine and most of those games were not close.  Take last year for example when Dowagiac won 30-13.  The closest game was a 13-0 game in 2011.  Still, these are two smash mouth football teams that should be involved in a good battle on Friday night.

Plainwell has moved up the standings in a big way over the last three years.  They are also sporting upper classmen such as their Juniors who have never lost a high school football game.  Still, the program hasn’t been able to take down any of the big dogs such as Dowagiac and Paw Paw over the last few years.  It might be the year that changes though.  They are off to a 2-0 start and coming off a good effort in a 14-7 win against a challenging Three Rivers team.  Dowagiac is expected to take a slight step back this season due to the departure of a very good senior class.  Still, that step back shouldn’t be much.  They have still won two games over Vicksburg and Comstock by a total of 86-14.

My Pick: Plainwell 17, Dowagiac 15.  Another tough pick here.  Still I think the Trojans have the talent and experience to go down to a place like Dowagiac and get a big win.  It is a young Dowagiac offense but a strong defense and I think defense rules the day in this one.

Schoolcraft (2-0) @ Olivet (2-0)

Any time any of the top four KVA schools get together it should be a good match-up.  It looks like it should be that way again this year.  Schoolcraft has put a big target on their back again with their win over Constantine.  They now travel to Olivet to face an always tough Eagles team who plays very well on their home turf.  Last season Schoolcraft slipped by Olivet 21-20 which snapped a four game losing streak to Olivet.  It was their also their first win over Olivet since both teams joined the KVA.

Schoolcraft has some new names this year with Benny Clark getting replaced in the backfield by Nick Cakmakci who is now getting the majority of the carries, and Tom Hurst is now under center.  Schoolcraft is coming off their 37-28 win over Constantine and beat Parchment 41-14 in the opening week.  Olivet is also 2-0 with wins over Maple Valley and Kalamazoo Christian.  Both wins come on the road.  They were trailing at the half to Kalamazoo Christian this past week before coming back in the second half to win 28-13. 

My Pick: Schoolcraft 23, Olivet 21.  This is a tough game to pick.  It’s hard to say how good Olivet really is, although they are always a very steady team.  They can be a very different team home and away and being at home makes me want to pick them.  Still Schoolcraft showed me a lot last week with their win over Constantine.  If their defense shows up Schoolcraft can certainly get out of Olivet with a win.