Every week on this Blog, I will be making my selections on local games and trying to pick the winners of those games each week. The games posted will be within my seven county window (Allegan, Barry, Berrien, Cass, Kalamazoo, Saint Joseph and Van Buren) and will cover ALL games. Games predicted below are not in any specific order, just by order of the school alphabetically by county.
Last Week: 30-6 (.833)
Season: 123-35 (.778)
Top Three Games of the Week
1. Edwardsburg 28, @ Buchanan 14: Lakeland Conference rivals and two unbeatens hook up this week at Buchanan. Edwardsburg went to the Division Four state quarterfinals last year. The key in this game is defense. What puts the Eddies ahead in this one? Revenge. For 2010. Buchanan handed Edwardsburg its only loss of the regular season.
2. Mendon 24, @ Whittemore-Prescott 14: Non-Conference game of two more unbeatens and teams you usually see go deep in the playoffs every single year. Mendon has the slight advantage due to skill position athletes, but Whittemore-Prescott’s pound-it offensive attack could give the Hornets a slight problem.
3. @ Hartford 31, Lawton 27: Look, everyone, I love our Indians, but let’s face some facts: Hartford does have some passing defense issues and aren’t so solid in the open field right now. However, Lawton isn’t strong defensively either. Hartford has a slight edge, because of the big play potential. To beat Lawton, Hartford must stop the pass and big plays Lawton can make. Definite potential for a classic.
@ Plainwell 31, Allegan 21
@ Bangor 38, Fennville 31
Hudsonville Unity Christian 41, @ Hamilton 14
@ Zeeland East 38, Holland Christian 7
@ Wyoming Kelloggsville 41, Hopkins 21
Saugatuck 49, @ Martin 0
@ Otsego 48, Three Rivers 14
Grand Rapids Catholic Central 41, @ Wayland Union 7
Delton-Kellogg 38, @ Kalamazoo Hackett 17
Hastings 28, @ Middleville Thornapple-Kellogg 17
@ Portage Northern 38, Benton Harbor 10
Berrien Springs 41, @ Cassopolis 14
@ Eau Claire 27, Bridgman 6
@ Niles Brandywine 38, Coloma 28
@ New Buffalo 41, Three Oaks River Valley 21
@ Stevensville Lakeshore 48, Niles 20
Saint Joseph 31, @ Portage Central 17
@ Saint Joseph Lake Michigan Catholic 42, LaPorte LaLumiere (Ind.) 10
Watervliet 42, @ Marcellus 7
@ Dowagiac 51, Comstock 7
Kalamazoo Christian 21, @ Galesburg-Augusta 14
Mattawan 28, @ Kalamazoo Central 24
@ Battle Creek Harper Creek 30, Kalamazoo Loy Norrix 10
@ Parchment 31, Constantine 21
Vicksburg 41, @ Richland Gull Lake 27
Schoolcraft 51, @ Vermontville Maple Valley 13
North Adams-Jerome 38, @ Colon 21
Sturgis 31, @ Battle Creek Central 27
Gobles 41, @ Bloomingdale 13
@ Decatur 38, Lawrence 0
@ Paw Paw 41, South Haven 6
@ Saint Joseph Michigan Lutheran 2, Covert 0 (FORFEIT)
@ Climax-Scotts 35, White Pigeon 21
Hesperia 21, @ Centreville 7
Every week in the HartfordFootball.com Blog, I will be posting a Blog on the previous weeks three stars (standout performances by teams and/or players), three not-so top three stars (poor performances by teams and/or players) and be posting my Top 10 “Class B” (Big School) and Top 10 “Class C-D” (Small School) rankings for the week. Remember, the rankings are based on Class B, C and D teams in my seven county area: Allegan, Barry, Berrien, Cass, Kalamazoo, Saint Joseph and Van Buren counties.
1. River Valley Wins: River Valley has been one of the puns of bad football jokes over the last several seasons, but last Friday night, River Valley won a game for the first time since 2009, defeating Michigan Lutheran 20-14. In fact, a River Valley rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter was the only scoring of the second half. Congrats, Mustangs!
2. Jake Cramer, Gobles: Anyone on the 4-0 Tigers could be a standout performer, but last week, it was Jake Cramer who stood out. In a 55-0 demolition of Lawrence, he kicked seven extra points, all in the first quarter, followed by two field goals the rest of the game. Not a bad thirteen point performance on the night.
3. “My Area” Unbeatens: Start spreading the news, nine unbeatens dot my seven county area as of this point in the season and deserve recognition. Those nine are Saint Joseph, Edwardsburg, Berrien Springs, Buchanan, Paw Paw, Mendon, Saugatuck, Gobles and Hartford. Great job to those nine teams.
Three Not-So Top Stars
1. Lawrence: There is ugly and then, there is really ugly and really ugly described Lawrence against Gobles last week. In addition to giving up 55 points to Gobles, they gave up 49 in the first quarter (six rush TD’s, one punt return TD), but they also had just sixteen, yes sixteen, yards in the game, including -14 yards rushing as a team.
2. Turnover Follies: I must say in every game I have went to this year, there has been an abundance of turnovers, especially fumbles by running backs. I don’t know if it is the ball or the weather or what, but teams that have won have definitely been on the plus side of the turnover ratio at games end.
3. “My Area” Winless: Also, spread this news: ten of the teams in my seven county area at this point have no wins at all in the first four weeks and have basically, in my opinion, failed to make playoffs this season, but could play spoiler to others. Those ten teams are Martin, Comstock, Galesburg-Augusta, Kalamazoo Christian, Kalamazoo Hackett, Portage Central, Three Rivers, Bangor, Lawrence and South Haven.
Top 10 BIG SCHOOL Rankings
1. Saint Joseph (4-0)
2. Edwardsburg (3-0)
3. Berrien Springs (4-0)
4. Stevensville Lakeshore (3-1)
5. Buchanan (3-0)
6. Paw Paw (4-0)
7. Dowagiac (3-1)
8. Plainwell (3-1)
9. Otsego (3-1)
10. Vicksburg (3-1)
Honorable Mentions: Parchment (3-1)
Top 10 LITTLE SCHOOL Rankings
1. Mendon (4-0)
2. Saugatuck (4-0)
3. Gobles (4-0)
4. Hartford (4-0)
5. Schoolcraft (3-1)
6. Watervliet (3-1)
7. Lawton (3-1)
8. Decatur (3-1)
9. Climax-Scotts (3-1)
10. Delton-Kellogg (3-1)
Honorable Mentions: Niles Brandywine (3-1), Saint Joseph Lake Michigan Catholic (3-1)