By Frank Vajcner
We now head over to West Elm Avenue, specifically to Gary Hauf’s alma mater. SMCC overcame a slow start to the season to come close to advancing to the State Semifinals. What does the schedule have in store for the Falcons?
Aug 24: Warren Collegiate
Aug 31: @ New Boston Huron
Sept 8: Grosse Ile
Sept 15: Airport
Sept 22: @ Milan
Sept 29: Riverview
Oct 6: @ Flat Rock
Oct 13: @ Jefferson
Oct 21: @ Detroit Country Day
Gut-Check Game: I could easily pick both non-conference games, but I’ll save them for later. For now, I’ll go with both of the proverbial big guns in the Huron League. Airport comes to the friendly confines of Navarre Field in Week 4, while Riverview pays a visit in Week 6. While the Falcons have not lost to the Jets at home since 2011, the Pirates have been a thorn in the side of the Falcons since 2020. If Adam Kipf’s bunch wants to be in the thick of the conference race, knocking off at least one of the two aforementioned would be a nice place to start.
Trap Game: Look no further than a Week 5 road trip to Milan, as it lies sandwiched between the visits from Airport and Riverview. Granted, this may not be the Milan from the last few years, but the Big Reds and Falcons have had some close battles in the last few years. Also, don’t overlook a trip to Flat Rock in Week 7, as the Rams will be looking for just their third win over the Falcons since 2001.
Snoozer: You won’t find one here
Non-Conference Challenge: The Falcons have never been one to shy away from playing tough competition in the out-of-conference slate, and this season is no exception. Warren Collegiate will visit Navarre Field to open the season. The Cougars were 10-2 last season, and qualified for the playoffs for a 14th consecutive season. They also defeated the Falcons 28-3 last season. A road trip to state blue blood Detroit Country Day will conclude the season. The Yellow Jackets were 8-4 last season and reached the State Semifinals.
Notable: This will be the 7th meeting between the Falcons and Yellow Jackets on the gridiron. DCD winning the previous 6, although close games. Both schools have combined for seven state championships in football…I would be remiss to not mention the last time the Cougars came to Navarre Field, which was in the 2019 playoffs, and the Cougars provided some bulletin board material that resulted in a 44-14 beatdown win by the Falcons…The Falcons, much like Huron, will not have a home game in the month of October (unless they get a home playoff date).
Final Thoughts from Frank: Without question, I firmly believe the Falcons have the toughest schedule on the blog. The last two thirds of the season are downright brutal, but having home-field advantage against the two top projected big guns in the Huron League will be critical. In talking with a few folks close to the program, strength of schedule will be a major benefit.
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