By Frank Vajcner
It’s now time to make a stop on Eagle Drive. Erie Mason is coming off of consecutive playoff appearances for the first time since the early 2000’s. How does the schedule shape up for them to make it for a third straight year?
Aug 26: Saranac
Sept 1: Detroit Communication Media & Arts
Sept 9: Fremont (Indiana)
Sept 16: @ Summerfield
Sept 23: Sand Creek
Sept 30: @ Pioneer North Central (Ohio)
Oct 7: Adrian Madison
Oct 14: @ Whiteford
Oct 21: Jefferson
Gut-Check Game: The first of two big tests for the Eagles will come in Week 5, as Sand Creek comes to town. The Aggies handed the Eagles a 48-6 loss last season, and will look to be back in the thick of the TCC race again. Week 8 will mark a trip to Whiteford, which could be even tougher, as the Bobcats return a boatload of talent from a team that came close to making the State Final. If Steve Bowers wants a signature win, these two games are prime places to do so.
Trap Game: The Eagles did not get to play Adrian Madison last year due to COVID. This year’s contest comes right before the trip to Ottawa Lake to face Whiteford. The Trojans have quietly worked their way back to being respectable after spending several years in the bottom of the TCC.
Snoozer: Saranac and Detroit CMA each went 1-8 last season. The former was handed a 52-0 defeat by the Eagles last season.
Non-Conference Challenge: The Eagles’ non-conference slate is pretty bland, but includes two out-of-state opponents. Fremont (Indiana) comes to town in Week 3. The Eagles went 3-7 last season. Erie Mason will also travel to Pioneer, Ohio in Week 6 to face North Central, who is fielding a varsity football program for the first time. Jefferson returns to the schedule for the first time since 1982.
Notable: The last time the Eagles played a team from the Hoosier State was in 2001 when they defeated the Indianapolis School for the Deaf 50-0…It was 1997 when the Eagles last faced a team from Ohio when they faced Delta…This will mark the 14th meeting all-time with Jefferson on the gridiron. The Eagles last faced a Huron League opponent in 2011 when they faced Flat Rock…The Eagles play only three games on the road.
Thoughts from Frank: Strength of schedule will be essential for the Eagles if they want to make the playoffs for a third straight season. Conference opponents will likely be where the bulk of the bonus points come from.
Thoughts from Chris: This doesn’t appear to be a daunting schedule, especially early on. The Eagles must start the season 4-0 to have a shot at the playoffs. I’m not sure if 6-3 gets them in, unless they beat a Jefferson team with a few wins in week 9.
Thoughts from Gary: Quite the eclectic schedule the Eagles have in front of them. Some winnable games early. However, things get tougher in the later half. Summerfield and Madison stick out as “must wins” if Mason is to be playoff bound.