By Frank Vajcner
It’s now time to head up US-23 to take a look at Milan. The Big Reds extended the playoff streak to seven consecutive seasons. Will the schedule allow for the streak to go to eight?
Aug 25 @ Berkley
Sept 1 @ Huron
Sept 9 Grosse Ile
Sept 16 @ SMCC
Sept 23 @ Flat Rock
Sept 30 Riverview
Oct 7 @ Jefferson
Oct 14 Airport
Oct 21 Detroit Leadership Academy
Gut-Check Game: A Week 4 trip to the friendly confines of Navarre Field is what jumps off the page. The Falcons defeated the Big Reds 26-21 last season in a thriller, and the last three meetings have been decided by one score. You can also give consideration to Riverview coming to town in Week 6, as the Pirates have ruled the barnyard the last two seasons in the Huron League. Getting at least one win among the two will be key for Jesse Hoskins and company.
Trap Game: A Week 5 road trip to Flat Rock fits the bill. Despite the Reds thrashing the Rams 43-8 last season, this one lies right between SMCC and Riverview, which is a prime letdown spot.
Snoozer: Make it six of the Huron League squads who don’t have a snoozer game.
Non-Conference Challenge: Hoskins decided to beef up the out-of-conference slate. The Big Reds will travel to Berkley in Week 1. The Bears went 7-3 last season, and qualified for the playoffs for the second straight year. Milan will also welcome in Detroit Leadership Academy to close the season. The Cougars went 6-4 last season while qualifying for the playoffs for a third consecutive season.
Notable: These will be the first meetings with the Bears and Cougars…The Big Reds will be on the road for four of the first five games.
Thoughts from Frank: Milan should get plenty of bonus points from their out-of-conference opposition. Weeks 4 and 6 will be separation games in the Huron League.
Thoughts from Chris: Smart scheduling from a non-league standpoint by the Milan administration. Beating Berkley would be huge from a playoff point perspective and a loss won’t hurt. However, the Big Reds travel to Huron in week 2 and potentially starting the 2022 season with two road losses could put Milan in chase mode for the playoffs.
Thoughts from Gary: Milan opens with a couple tough road games. They would be happy with a 1-1 start in my opinion, with a trip to Navarre field in week 4 looming. Leadership was a late addition to the schedule. Not the greatest opponent in terms of division but you take what you can get.