Week 8 recap
Portage Northern was very impressive in Friday night’s win over Portage Central. I didn’t think that type of game was coming at all. They smacked their rivals, and in the process brought to an end a seven game losing streak against the Mustangs. It appears that Jon Pincus has now become the focal point of their offense doing it with his legs more than his arm. They have given themselves a chance to get a share of the division championship but that would mean getting a win over Mattawan and getting a Lakeshore loss to Benton Harbor (not likely). Portage Central is now in a must win situation on Friday against Niles. The Mustangs should win and get into the playoffs. If they don’t, a three game losing streak to end the season and miss the playoffs is a tough way to go out.
Stevensville-Lakeshore was also impressive in their game on Friday. The score shows a 28-16 final, but don’t forget about the fact that they were up 28-3. The Lancers showed they are as good as their record shows. Getting through this tough West division this year unscathed is no small task.
One team from the East finally qualified for the playoffs as Harper Creek beat Coldwater to get their sixth win. They have won six in a row since stumbling against Portage Central and Lakeshore to start the season. Lakeview and Marshall can get in with wins this week. Lakeview will need a win over Gull Lake and Marshall will need to beat Loy Norrix.
Week 9 Games:
Portage Northern @ Mattawan
Niles @ Portage Central
Kalamazoo Central @ St. Joseph
Benton Harbor @ Stevensville Lakeshore
Lakeview @ Gull Lake
Coldwater @ Sturgis
Marshall @ Loy Norrix
Harper Creek @ Battle Creek Central
No big surprises from Friday’s action. Paw Paw seemed to dominate Otsego using their ground game very effectively. We now will see if Paw Paw has figured out the Wing-T offense as they will face Edwardsburg this Friday. The last two seasons have ended against teams who run the deceptive Wing-T (Edwardsburg and Zeeland West). Otsego on the other hand doesn’t have much time to sulk because they need to get ready for Dowagiac this week.
In the South division Dowagiac wrapped up the division crown with a 28-8 win over Edwardsburg. A week after being given a big scare by Three Rivers the Dowagiac defense returned to normal. The Eddies scored on their first drive but did not get back to the end zone after that. The division crown comes as no surprise as everyone assumed the Chieftains would win that division rather easily.
Week 9 games
Paw Paw @ Edwardsburg
Otsego @ Dowagiac
Three Rivers @ Vicksburg
Plainwell @ Berrien Springs
Allegan @ South Haven
Coloma @ Comstock
The biggest match-up of the week saw Constantine make easy work of Olivet. What made Constantine’s win so impressive was their offense putting up 62 points on an Olivet defense that came in as the top scoring defense in the KVA. The Eagles were giving up only 12 ppg before that game and had given up over 20 points only twice in the first seven games. The Eagles should be fine to get back to the playoffs as they face winless Delton this week.
GeoVante Weston was absolutely ridiculous on Friday night against Parchment. There are some very good running backs in the KVA but I think Weston tops all of them. He has the ability to cut and dance around defenders, has very good speed and is still big enough that he can run over a defender.
Week 9 games
Kalamazoo Christian @ Hackett
Constantine @ Pennfield
Galesburg-Augusta @ Parchment
Maple Valley @ Schoolcraft
Delton @ Olivet
The big sorting out period called the regular season in the SAC south continues with now four teams officially in the playoffs. Hartford was able to make it back to the playoffs with their big win over Marcellus. Marcellus on the other hand is now in big trouble. They have lost three in a row and need a win against Decatur this week to get into the playoffs. It appears that the Wildcats will be the one team left out of the playoffs.
In the North, Gobles continues to roll and has now clinched at least a share of that division. They still have one last hurdle to get over as they face Saugatuck this week. The Indians may be out of the playoffs but they still could have enough in the tank to give the Tigers some trouble this week. Saugatuck and Bloomingdale could both still claim a share of the division crown.
Week 9 Games
Gobles @ Saugatuck
Fennville @ Bloomingdale
Bangor @ Martin
Lawton @ Watervliet
Decatur @ Marcellus
Hartford @ Lawrence
Players of the week
- GeoVante Weston, Hackett RB
No question about the number one player of the week for week eight. Weston ran wild in Hackett’s 34-24 win over Parchment rushing for 423 yards and four TDs on an amazing 52 carries. I personally saw this game and it was one of the best personal performances I have ever seen. To see a guy be essentially 90% of the offense was unbelievable.
- Jon Pincus, Portage Northern QB
Pincus did plenty with his arm and legs on Friday night in their 42-13 over rival Portage Central. The Huskies signal caller threw for 126 yards and rushed for 184 and scored three TDs.
- Sam Schutes, Three Rivers QB
Schutes is back again this week after torching the South Haven defense. Schutes had over 300 total yards, 224 through the air and 83 on the ground, throwing and rushing for one TD.
- Demarcus Leak, Paw Paw RB
Leak seemingly came out of nowhere this week to lead a heavy rush attack for the Redskins. Leak rushed for 138 yard and four TDs to lead Paw Paw’s victory over Otsego.
- Jesse Ring, Bangor RB
Ring had another big week running for 192 yards and a TD. Bangor has won only one game this season but Ring has been the bright spot. He has only played five weeks but in that time he has rushed for over 1000 yards. In those five weeks he has averaged 218 yards scoring 8 TDs and doing it against good competition such as Gobles, Hartford and Saugatuck.
Big Games for Week 9
Portage Northern (7-1; 5-1) @ Mattawan (7-1; 5-1)
The tough end of the schedule continues for Mattawan. The question is how they will bounce back after a difficult loss in which they were soundly beaten by Lakeshore. This team still is playing for a possible home playoff game. They are facing another team that has a defense that can match their offense.
Portage Northern looked great last week and has had just one loss, in double overtime to Lakeshore. No matter what happens on Friday the Huskies should be proud to have a great bounce back year like this. I don’t think anyone outside of their locker room thought it would go this well. They have a great defense and now seem to have found the feature member of their offense in QB Jon Pincus who has been putting up huge numbers in the last few weeks.
My Pick: Mattawan 24, Portage Northern 21. I think Mattawan is still a slightly better team and still know they don’t want to go on the road to face someone like Muskegon in the playoffs.
Constantine (7-1) @ Pennfield (7-1)
These two teams have more tradition than any others in the KVA. Constantine has had more success on the bigger stage, but no one can argue with the tradition over the years of Pennfield. It is no surprise to see these two teams at the top of the KVA standings again. It may not have as much of an impact game this year, but both teams are still playing for a possible home playoff game.
Perhaps the best way for both teams to prepare would be to go live offense and defense in practice, seeing that both run the Wing-T. The biggest difference is that Pennfield will spread the field and throw it a little more than the Falcons.
Both teams have one loss and both lost to the same team. Schoolcraft beat Constantine 42-32 in week two and beat Pennfield 19-16 in week six. Constantine has been putting up great numbers on the offensive side averaging 51.6 ppg. Their lowest point output this season was the 32 against Schoolcraft. They have scored in the 50’s twice and gone over 60 three times. They are led by Ben Mallo and Peyton White who both have rushed for over 700 yards and have 23 TDs combined between the two.
Pennfield is a somewhat a surprise team this year, mostly because they are young and had to replace a lot on both sides of the ball. It doesn’t seem to matter, as they are rolling just like they always have. Dominic Arredondo and Jeremy Purcell have been the two biggest workhorse backs for their offense. If it comes down to defense, the edge might go to Pennfield who has been more consistent this season.
My Pick: Constantine 34, Pennfield 28. Constantine is an absolute machine on offense this season and I think they just have too much for Pennfield to handle this year. Don’t discount the long bus trip that Constantine has to make.
Lawton (7-1; 3-1) @ Watervliet (8-0; 4-0)
The SAC south has been brutal this season, but it appears that the cream has risen to the top. These two faced each other twice last season, and could be headed in that direction this year too. Last season Watervliet beat Lawton 33-0 in the regular season and then ended the Blue Devil’s season winning 24-16 in the playoffs.
The Panthers advanced to the third round of the playoffs last season where they eventually lost to Pewamo-Westphalia. They are 18-2 over the last two years. They have a powerful offense led by QB Jake Cowsert. He is one of the top passing QBs in the area throwing for over 1500 yards and 26 TDs this season. His favorite target is Travis Bolin who is approaching 1000 yards receiving and has hauled in 20 TDs. Watervliet has the top scoring offense and defense in the SAC this season.
Lawton has lost one game this season and that was 27-24 to Hartford when the Indians drove down and scored in the waning seconds of the game. Brandon St. Clair leads a great rushing attack, rushing for over 1200 yards this season and finding the end zone 15 times.
Watervliet won the division last year, has clinched at least a share this year, but you know they don’t want to share.
My Pick: Watervliet 31, Lawton 24. Watervliet was the better team last year and it still looks that way this year.