Reactions to SMCC’s dramatic win over Onsted:
Chris: I honestly expected the Falcons to win by a wide margin. Onsted did a fabulous job taking away the SMCC run game, but in the end it wasn’t enough as the Falcons were able to drive the length of the field and score when necessary.
Frank: I expected Onsted to give the Falcons their best shot on Saturday, and they did just that, especially on the defensive side of the ball. I mentioned Onsted defensive coordinator Aaron Klotz multiple times last week for the job he has done with game planning, and his defense was able to keep the Falcons’ potent ground game in check for the entire first half. In the end, a game that was a defensive standoff came down to the right foot of the Swiss Army knife Wyatt Bergmooser, who delivered with a game-winning field goal as time expired. It was really no surprise that the game was as close as it was. I overheard an SMCC coach say afterward that you won’t run into a team that’s just going to lie down this late in the year. Now, the Falcons will advance to Ford Field to battle Maple City Glen Lake for all the marbles.
Gary: I thought both teams played very well. Both defenses were at the top of their game. SMCC giving up about 150 yards of total offense while Onsted gave up only 250. Both teams played well enough to win. The Falcons made a few more plays in the end to advance to Ford Field.
Most Surprising Semifinal Result:
Chris: Brighton beating Belleville jumps out at me. The Tigers have Division 1 college football talent all over the field from a roster that represents players from Detroit to Ann Arbor and everywhere in between. Brighton showed that it isn’t about college talent, but by being a solid, well coached program; you can find away to get to Ford Field with the solid high school players that you have.
Frank: I have to go with Brighton knocking off Belleville 22-19. Belleville came in loaded with D1 athletes, and I can’t think of anyone who thought that Brighton would win, at least on paper. But, as we all know, games aren’t played on paper. Brighton now faces Davison for the state championship in Division 1.
Gary: Belleville going to down to Brighton was a compete shocker. Its goes to show you how hard it is to win a state championship. Belleville was thought to be unbeatable in D1 but ended up getting outplayed by a 2 loss team with not near as much talent.
What to watch for in SMCC-Glen Lake:
Chris: I actually expected the Falcons to be playing Montague on Friday at Ford Field. Hats off to Maple City Glen Lake. This game will come down to one thing. Can the Lakers stop they four headed monster that is the SMCC running game. You can do this in a couple of ways; take away the Falcon trap game and Alex Morgan while winning the time of possession battle.
Frank: We’ve all talked about SMCC’s potent rushing attack, and deservedly so. But I’m interested to see how defensive coordinator Brian Flint can game plan for a Glen Lake team that has some size at QB (Reece Hazelton, 6-6, Ferris State commit) and the other offensive skill positions.
Gary: Both of these teams are obviously very good and have things that they do very well. The team that settles down and gets to business before the other will have the edge. Their might be a few jitters early for both teams. However, I am looking forward to a well played game by both teams and may the best team win.
Other State Championship Game that is most intriguing:
Chris: I am excited to see the Muskegon/River Rouge Division 3 matchup. The defending state champs showed some vulnerability against DeWitt. The Panthers will be looking to finally get that elusive State Championship for veteran coach Corey Parker.
Frank: I’m probably going to end up with the same answer as Gary, but I’m going with Pewamo-Westphalia against Jackson Lumen Christi in Division 7. Besides being the only championship game that’s a matchup of undefeated teams, this also features teams looking to add another trophy to an already crowded trophy case. PW will be going for their third state title in school history, while Lumen Christi will be going for their fourth straight state championship, as well as their 12th in school history. In addition, the Titans are riding a 35-game winning streak, which is the longest in program history.
Gary: For the 3rd straight week, I am going to go with PW… this time the opponent is 3 time defending state champ JLC. Fabulous match-up. Both teams rely on a power running game out of the I formation. Trying to run on the Pirates has proved to be almost impossible. JLC tends to be a bit stubborn in that area. Will they air it out enough to be able to win the game? This one is a toss up, but I will go with PW.