2023 Schedule Analysis: Dundee Vikings

By Frank Vajcner

It’s now time to head to where I spent a few years on staff, and will also be playing on a brand new turf field. Dundee made the playoffs for a fourth straight season despite fizzling out after a 5-0 start. How does the schedule playout for the Vikings?

2023 Schedule:

Aug 24: Flat Rock

Aug 31: @ Erie Mason

Sept 8: Blissfield

Sept 15: @ Onsted

Sept 22: Adrian Madison

Sept 29: @ Clinton

Oct 6: Hillsdale

Oct 13: @ Hudson

Oct 20: Ida

Gut-Check Game: Look no further than Week 6 and Week 8 respectively. In each of those weeks last season, both Clinton and Hudson combined to outscore Dundee 80-24. Now the Vikings must go to Wegener Field to face Clinton, and Thompson Field to face Hudson. Both have been houses of horrors. The Red Wolves figure to be the tougher matchup, as they are coming off of a State Semifinal appearance, but the Tigers are also formidable. Both will be huge opportunities for Steve Ayre to get a signature win on the road, and possibly knock over the apple cart in the LCAA.

There’s also a playoff rematch to open the season (more on that later).

Trap Game: I can see two potential look-ahead spots for the Vikings. The first is when Adrian Madison comes to town in Week 5. Despite getting blanked 35-0 by the Vikings last year, the Trojans could be looking to make some noise in their first year in the LCAA. With Clinton the following week, this spot screams, “Danger! Danger! Danger, Will Robinson.”

The other possible look-ahead spot is Hillsdale. Even though the Hornets have fallen on hard times, the fact that this game is right before a road trip to Hudson kept me from listing this one as a snoozer.

Snoozer: And while I’m on that subject, Onsted fits the bill here. All apologies to my readers in Wildcat Country, but when a team only wins three games in the three seasons since a run to the State Semifinals, you get stuck here. The Vikings defeated the ‘Cats 36-6 last season.

Non-Conference Challenge: The Vikings will open up the brand new John D. Craig athletic complex by hosting Flat Rock in Week 1. The teams met in the playoffs last season, with the Rams winning 27-22. Flat Rock is also coming off of an 8-4 season, which is the best since 1976. Former LCAA foe Erie Mason will host the Vikings in Week 2. The Eagles went 6-4 last season, and qualified for the playoffs for a third straight year.

Notable: The Backyard Brawl with Ida returns in Week 9. The last three of those meetings have been decided by a combined seven points…This will be the first meeting with Flat Rock since 1995, when the Vikings defeated the Rams in the season finale 7-0…Erie Mason and Dundee had played each other every season from 1983-2019, until the Eagles left for the Tri-County Conference.

Final Thoughts from Frank: I know I said the following last year, but I will keep banging the drum: PLEASE, LCAA scheduling powers, I beseech thee. Keep the Backyard Brawl in Week 9 permanently! Back to the matter at hand, the schedule is very back-loaded for the Vikings. It should be strong enough to get them to the playoffs for a fifth straight season, but wins over one of Flat Rock, Clinton, or Hudson could secure a home playoff date.

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