Warren Mott has its back to the wall
Warren – Coach Tom Milanov might not consider this week’s game a must-win but its close.
Warren Mott (3-3, 1-2) needs to win its final three games to automatically qualify for the state playoffs, and it won’t be easy. The Marauders host Sterling Heights Stevenson (5-1, 2-1) in a Macomb Area Conference Red Division game on Friday at 7 p.m. Next week Mott plays Utica Eisenhower (3-3, 1-2), the team that handed Stevenson its only division loss.
If Mott wins two of three it still has a chance to get in as an additional qualifier.
“We could get in at 5-4,” Milanov said. “We’re a little banged up. We didn’t get any favors from the schedule makers. Port Huron (MAC White Division member) could be (a team) in the middle of the pack in the Red.”
Milanov is familiar with Port Huron. Mott was a member of the White before being moved up to the Red this season. Mott lost to Port Huron (5-1) last week, 34-14.
Mott was expected to challenge for second place in the Red (Macomb Dakota was, and is, the favorite) but it hasn’t worked out that way. One can point to a more demanding schedule but it’s more than that.
“We’ve been so darn inconsistent,” Milanov said. “At times we run the ball well, and at times we throw it well. On defense it’s been the same thing. We’ll play well on one play and be out of position the next. I always tell them. You have to perform well. If you perform well, you normally win.” PICK: Stevenson by 7.
All games are Friday at 7 p.m. unless noted.
Caledonia (4-2) at East Grand Rapids (4-2): It’s quite possible the loser of this game won’t make the playoffs. East Grand Rapids hasn’t made the playoffs the last two seasons. Caledonia has figured out its offense since losing in week three and four. PICK: Caledonia by 6.
Cedar Springs (5-1) at Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern (6-0): Twice Northern has had an undefeated regular season (1987, ’82) and each time it didn’t qualify for the playoffs. In ’82 to beat Lowell, 49-0. Times have changed but this could be Northern’s best team since 1996. PICK: Northern by 8.
Dearborn Edsel Ford (4-2) at Dearborn (3-3): Both teams need this victory to remain in the playoff hunt. Edsel Ford has Dearborn Fordson next so the T-birds must make hay here. PICK: Edsel Ford by 1.
Hudsonville (4-2) at East Kentwood (5-1): Hudsonville was ranked No. 13 at one time. Well, that’s life in the O-K Red Division. There are no easy games. East Kentwood is coming off of its first loss and it has Rockford next week. PICK: Hudsonville by 3.
Walled Lake Western (5-1) at Walled Lake Central (5-1): A renewal of that friendly KLAA North Division get together. Kidding aside, these teams could be 0-6 and the place would be packed. Western has won the last three meetings including 52-14 two years ago at Central. The Vikings are still stinging from that one. PICK: Central by 3.
Wyandotte Roosevelt (5-1) at Brownstown Woodhaven (6-0): Woodhaven has defeated Wyandotte three times in 22 meetings. Wyandotte won by 28 points in 2011, Woodhaven won by 28 the following season and Wyandotte won by 28 last year. PICK: Wyandotte by 4.
Waterford Kettering (4-2) at Waterford Mott (4-2), Saturday, noon: The annual beef bowl has much more at stake than eating. The last time these teams met with both above the .500 mark was 1995. Kettering came in at 6-2; Mott 5-3. Mott holds a 25-20 lead in the series. PICK: Mott by 2.
St. Clair (5-1) at Warren Woods Tower (6-0), Saturday, 1: If Woods Tower wins it would set up a showdown with Marine City next week for the MAC Gold title. Woods Tower hasn’t been 6-0 since 2001. St. Clair has won nine of the last 12 in the series. PICK: St. Clair by 3.
Kingsford (2-4) at Iron Mountain (4-2), Saturday, 1: The series dates back more than 80 years and Kingsford holds a 34-26 edge. Kingsford has won the last two and 10 of the last 16. PICK: Kingsford by 4.
Last week’s record: 6-4
Season record: 35-25