Top games: Midland goes small in Saginaw Valley match-up at Mount Pleasant
Midland – If size matters in high school football Midland will be no match for Mount Pleasant on Friday.
Both Saginaw Valley teams are 3-0 and ranked in the top 20.
The similarities kind of end there.
Mount Pleasant boasts an offensive line that averages 270 pounds, give or take a few pieces of post-game pizza. Midland is undersized but quick defensively and coach Eric Methner this unit must execute the proper technique to combat the size disadvantage.
“We’ve got to keep low,” he said. They’ll try to impose their will. They’re big up front, one of the biggest anywhere in the state. Mount Pleasant’s defense is tougher than any we’ve seen.”
Midland has outscored its opponents 139-38 and its opener (42-11 over Traverse City West) was the only game in which it was tested in the second half. Midland led 24-11 before pulling away.
It’s safe to guess that Midland’s starters will be force to play the entire game. And it might have to have some big plays from players like receiver Luke Delong to win.
Mount Pleasant coach Jason McIntyre has settled in with Kalebb Perry at quarterback. A natural receiver, Perry is a playmaker and the Oilers are best suited with him having the ball in his hands.
Perry has 33 carries good for 200 yards and three touchdowns. He’s 13-of-22 passing for 177 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions.
Hunter Buczkowski is a 225-pound back who’s rushed for 248 yards and three touchdowns.
Methner is 2-5 all-time against Mount Pleasant. Pick: Mount Pleasant by 6.
All games are Friday at 7 p.m. unless noted.
Fenton (2-1) at Ortonville Brandon (3-0): Fenton lost to Davison, 29-26, and Brandon, well, here’s a program that’s made the playoffs once since 2000. Fenton won last year, 41-0. Pick: Fenton by 10.
Goodrich (2-1) at Flint Beecher (3-0): Goodrich’s loss (11-10) to Ortonville Brandon (3-0) doesn’t look too bad now. This could determine the Genesee Conference Red Division title. Pick: Beecher by 6.
Grand Blanc (3-0) at Brighton (3-0): Brighton’s best win is its 23-7 victory over Livonia Churchill. Not sure about Grand Blanc. Its 21-14 victory over Flint Carman-Ainsworth in the opener was somewhat overlooked at the time but Mount Pleasant had a little trouble getting past Carman-Ainsworth so maybe we should take another look at Grand Blanc. Pick: Brighton by 4.
Kalamazoo Central (1-2) at Battle Creek Central (1-2): The longest standing rivalry west of the Alleghenies is renewed with the winner keeping their playoff hopes realistic. Battle Creek Central won last year and leads the series, 40-20-1. Pick: B.C. Central by 10.
Lansing Sexton (0-3) at Jackson (2-1): Strange how the once mighty have struggled (Clarkston and Rockford are 1-2). Sexton reached the Division 4 final last season and face a must-win situation here. Jackson is one of the pleasant surprises in the CAC. Pick: Jackson by 4.
Muskegon (2-1) at East Grand Rapids (3-0): The Big Reds have been highly motivated since losing their opener. The Pioneers are coming off of a big win at Caledonia in an OK White matchup. Muskegon is too big and athletic on the offensive and defensive lines for East Grand Rapids and the Pioneers will be worn down in this one. Pick: Muskegon by 10.
Muskegon Mona Shores (3-0) at Caledonia (2-1): Mona Shores is on a roll, a roll that began in 2013 when it made the playoffs for the first time. Caledonia likely lacks the athleticism to contain quarterback Tyler Trovinger and Co. Pick: Mona Shores by 10.
Romeo (3-0) vs. Utica Ford (3-0) at Sterling Heights Stevenson: Ford is 3-0 for the first time since 1994, which is also the last time it started 4-0. The teams it defeated this season are a combined 3-6. Romeo has won the last five in this series, is the defending MAC White champions and the Bulldogs are beter this year. Pick: Romeo by 10.
Stevensville Lakeshore (2-1) at St. Joseph (3-0): This is another serious rivalry (the Anchor), St. Joseph leads the series 29-27. Lakeshore won last year 17-7 and captured four of the last five. Go with the Bears here. Pick: St. Joseph by 3.
Last week’s record: 5-5
Season record: 20-10