By Frank Vajcner
With the 2019 season upon us, I came up with a week-by-week guide to the best games involving teams on the blog, similar to what I did last year. This time around, I broke games down into the following three categories:
- Must-see: Game of the week candidate (at least at this point in time).
- Under the Radar: Lacks the hype, but has interesting storylines nonetheless. A new category for this season.
- Upset Alert: Speaks for itself. I threw this in last year as a tasty appetizer (DISCLAIMER: this does not mean the upset will happen).
Without further ado…
Must-See Game: Madison Heights Madison at SMCC. A rematch of the 2017 Regional Championship which the Eagles prevailed 22-20 over the Falcons in an instant classic. Both teams still have leftovers from that game, but will be breaking in new starting quarterbacks. A win by SMCC, and you can bet on them making another deep run in November.
Under the Radar: Whiteford at Blissfield. The Royals return a boatload of talent from consecutive runs to the Regional round the last two seasons, while the Bobcats must replace a group of seniors who were a part of three consecutive TCC championships. A good test to see if Whiteford rebuilds or reloads.
Upset Alert: Erie Mason over Summerfield. Last year’s contest went to the wire. Will the Eagles get their revenge?
Must-See Game: Carlson at Woodhaven. The game of the year in the Downriver League. Both teams shared the conference title last season.
Under the Radar: Ida at Lake Fenton. The Blue Streaks face their first road test in Genesee County, and will have a quarterback making his first career varsity start on the road.
Upset Alert: Airport over SMCC. The Falcons will be coming off of a huge game in Week 1, and can ill afford to have a hangover.
Must-See Game: SMCC at Milan. Last year, the Big Reds stole one in the final seconds at Navarre Field. They have also won the last two meetings over the Falcons. Can SMCC get one back, or will Milan continue to be SMCC’s kryptonite?
Under the Radar: Schoolcraft at Whiteford. The home opener for the Bobcats brings a visit from the Eagles, who are expected to contend in the Valley Division of the Southwestern Athletic Conference.
Upset Alert: Ida over Columbia Central. The Blue Streaks have dropped the last two meetings against the Golden Eagles, and will be looking to avenge a 21-20 loss last season.
Must-See Game: Ida at Dundee. Rivalry games are always a must watch, especially when the Vikings and Blue Streaks meet up. Dundee will be looking for their first win over Ida on the gridiron since 2012.
Under the Radar: Riverview at SMCC. The early gauntlet for the Falcons continues as the Pirates roll in to Navarre Field. The last time Riverview came to Navarre, they ran all over the Falcons in a 34-7 rout.
Upset Alert: Ann Arbor Pioneer over Monroe. Pioneer has been a house of horrors for the Trojans, who have not won there since 2013
Must-See Game: Saline at Monroe. The Trojans had their sights set on the SEC Red crown last season, until they lost to the Hornets 28-6 in Week 8. Don’t be shocked to see both teams unbeaten headed into this matchup.
Under the Radar: Clinton at Summerfield. The Redskins’ farewell to the TCC tour takes them to Petersburg in Week 5, where the Bulldogs will be looking to crash the party.
Upset Alert: Dundee over Blissfield. The Royals appear to be the favorite in the LCAA, but have had their hands full with the Vikings the last two seasons. Dundee is looking for redemption after losing on a goal-line stand in the final minute last year.
Must-See Game: Saline at Bedford. The Mules still have a bad taste in their mouths after losing to the Hornets 31-26 last year. Plus, both head coaches had a lot of success in their days at Ohio schools.
Under the Radar: Carlson at Trenton. Jack Giarmo and company will be looking to avenge a heartbreaking loss in the playoffs to the Trojans last season.
Upset Alert: Huron over SMCC. The Chiefs gave the Falcons a fight at Navarre Field last season. Some expect Chad Smith’s team to be a dark horse in the Huron League. The Falcons will be coming off of a brutal September stretch.
Must-See Game: Carlson at Harper Woods. The first non-conference game for the Marauders since 2008 has plenty of juice. Harper Woods is looking to make some noise after an 8-3 season, and there is some familiarity between both head coaches, Jack Giarmo and Rod Oden.
Under the Radar: Ida at Hillsdale. Baumgarten Field has been a house of horrors for the Blue Streaks since Hillsdale joined the LCAA. In fact, the only time Ida has won in Hillsdale was in 2015. The Hornets have also been Ida’s kryptonite the last two seasons.
Upset Alert: Dundee over Columbia Central. The Vikings will be looking to avenge a heartbreaking 32-26 loss to the Golden Eagles last season. The last three meetings have been decided by a combined 15 points.
Must-See Game: Grosse Ile at Riverview. The Battle for the Colvin Cup, and possibly for the Huron League crown. Both teams have split the last eight meetings, with the Pirates winning in odd-numbered years and the Devils winning in even-numbered years.
Under the Radar: Bedford at Monroe. Another rivalry game in Week 8. The Mules will be looking to avenge a stomping put on them by the Trojans last season.
Upset Alert: Onsted over Ida. The Blue Streaks will be coming off of a tough game at Hillsdale, and will have to venture to the Irish Hills one week afterwards.
Must-See Game: Whiteford at Summerfield. The Battle of US-23 moves to the end of the season. Will there be playoff implications involved?
Under the Radar: Erie Mason at Onsted. This game will mark the final game for the Eagles as a member of the LCAA. Can Rob Beaudrie and company go out on high note?
Melvindale at Airport: This may not appear interesting at first glance, but both head coaches (Airport’s Jim Duffy and Melvindale’s Derek Anderson) were teammates at Airport in the early 2000’s.
Upset Alert: Coldwater over Bedford. The third straight road game to close the regular season for the Mules means a 172-mile round trip to face the Cardinals. The Mules will also have to avoid a letdown after a game with Monroe a week earlier.