By Frank Vajcner
We now cross multiple sets of railroad tracks to take a look at Milan. The Big Reds saw a seven-year playoff streak come to an end last season, as they went 3-6. Will the schedule allow for a new streak to begin?
Aug 25 @ Ypsi Lincoln
Sept 1 Jefferson
Sept 8 New Boston Huron
Sept 15 @ Grosse Ile
Sept 22 SMCC
Sept 29 Flat Rock
Oct 6 @ Riverview
Oct 13 @ Airport
Oct 20 Ann Arbor Skyline
Gut-Check Game: It’s been said often on the blog that the Huron League is a meat grinder. The first game that jumps out is a visit from New Boston Huron, as it was last year in Week 2 that the Big Reds headed into the game fresh off a big win, while the Chiefs were coming off of a loss. The Chiefs prevailed in a 13-12 squeaker, and the directions of both teams went opposite ways. Jesse Hoskins will look to keep his team moving in the right direction. I should also note that the month of October starts off with a brutal road swing, with trips to Riverview and Airport.
Trap Game: I know I mentioned the Big Reds as a stumbling block for Grosse Ile earlier, but you can also say the same thing with the teams flipped around. The Big Reds’ trip to The Island (where they will cross 11 sets of railroad tracks) comes sandwiched between home dates with Huron and SMCC. Hoskins will need to keep his squad focused.
Snoozer: Ann Arbor Skyline might be Division 1, but the Eagles have been abysmal since their football program began in 2010. They have gone 0-9 the last two seasons, and are on a 23-game losing streak. Need I say more?
Non-Conference Challenge: The Big Reds will play not one, but two SEC-Red teams in the out-of-conference. In addition to Skyline, the Big Reds will travel to Ypsilanti Lincoln to play on the grey turf. The Railsplitters went 4-5 last season.
Notable: This will be the first meeting between Milan and Skyline…The Big Reds and Railsplitters played each other yearly when Milan was in the SEC. The two schools last met in 2018, which was a 54-28 Big Red win.
Final Thoughts from Frank: Milan will have opportunities to get playoff points in both non-conference games, but bonus points are more likely to come from Lincoln. The back half of the Huron League slate is a killer. A return to the postseason is in the cards, but the Big Reds will need to go at least 5-4. Anything less will require a lot of help from the non-conference teams.