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: 32-5 (.865)
Season: 155-40 (.794)
Top Three Games of the Week
1. @ Dowagiac 20, Plainwell 17: At this point in the season, I don’t think one year ago I could say these teams would both be 4-1, but well done to Plainwell. A team that went 0-9 last year is in the playoff and conference race. However, this week they are up against two things: one, the Dowagiac home crowd and two, Brett Scanlon, whose leg, in the end, gives them a hard-fought win.
2. @ Comstock 20, South Haven 7: Why is this a game of the week? Well, it’s because it’s two 0-5 Wolverine Conference teams going at to win their first game of the season in Comstock. The only reason I picked Comstock is two fold: one, home field and two, because I flipped a coin. Best two-of-three won.
3. @ Hartford 24, Decatur 21: OK, Hartford, you let me down last week (although I had the Lawton total correct). It is time to step up, quit making silly mistakes and play like a playoff team. This game is a toss-up, but Decatur lacks a solid kicker, unlike Hartford. Problem is if Hartford can’t win Friday, it could spell disaster. Remember 2009, Indians?
@ Allegan 31, Richland Gull Lake 21
@ Saugatuck 52, Fennville 14
Hamilton 31, @ Holland Christian 17
@ Hopkins 48, Wyoming Lee 7
@ Gobles 58, Martin 7
@ Vicksburg 20, Otsego 14
@ Grand Rapids Ottawa Hills 41, Wayland Union 17
Olivet 38, @ Delton-Kellogg 10
Grand Rapids South Christian 41, @ Hastings 13
@ Grand Rapids Forest Hills Eastern 20, Middleville Thornapple-Kellogg 7
@ Portage Central 44, Benton Harbor 38
@ Berrien Springs 38, Buchanan 28
Three Oaks River Valley 21, @ Bridgman 17
Edwardsburg 31, @ Coloma 6
@ New Buffalo 41, Eau Claire 13
Portage Northern 38, @ Niles 13
@ Cassopolis 34, Niles Brandywine 24
Saint Joseph 34, @ Mattawan 17
Saint Joseph Lake Michigan Catholic 2, @ Covert 0 (FORFEIT)
Stevensville Lakeshore 38, @ Kalamazoo Central 14
@ Watervliet 48, Lawrence 6
@ Lawton 41, Marcellus 7
Climax-Scotts 24, @ North Adams-Jerome 14
@ Constantine 41, Galesburg-Augusta 0
@ Kalamazoo Christian 24, Vermontville Maple Valley 13
@ Schoolcraft 48, Kalamazoo Hackett 10
@ Kalamazoo Loy Norrix 38, Battle Creek Central 7
@ Battle Creek Pennfield 41, Parchment 21
@ Bronson 30, Centreville 10
Colon 28, @ Camden-Frontier 22
@ Mendon 49, White Pigeon 14
@ Sturgis 31, Battle Creek Lakeview 21
Paw Paw 48, @ Three Rivers 7
Bangor 34, @ Bloomingdale 24
Saint Joseph Michigan Lutheran 35, @ LaPorte LaLumiere (Ind.) 10
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. Trent Sauer, Lawton: Last week, I got to see up close, for the second time this season, Trent Sauer of Lawton and he had one of the big games last week. Sauer threw for 245 yards on 13-of-24 passes for three touchdowns, the last of which came with 2:55 left in the game to beat Hartford, 27-24.
2. Aaron Buckner, New Buffalo: New Buffalo can be a run attack like it has been in recent years…maybe they should stick to the pass. Aaron Buckner was 7-of-10 passing for 139 yards with five touchdowns last week in the Bison’s win over River Valley. Four of those touchdowns were passes (two to Jim Mullen and one each to Devon Huitsing and Kevin Levine) and one was rushing.
3. Saint Joseph Bears: Why the Bears? Well, they trailed 14-7 at half to winless Portage Central and came back with 21 points in the second half to beat the Mustangs. It was a turnaround based upon team offense and defense. The Bears also out gained Portage Central by a 400-to-162 margin in total yards.
Three Not-So Top Stars
1. Lawrence: It got worse for our neighbors from the west, they got shutout for the third time in as many games. They are currently 0-5 on the season and have been outscored 141-to-0 in the last three games.
2. Fans, Players: Show Respect: This has not shown up at Hartford just yet, but it’s happening at other schools throughout the area, state and country. It’s time to take a stand for respect at a football GAME. Remember, it is a GAME, not life. Most of these young men and women are friends beyond the rivalries. Step up and respect the game!
3. Declining Enrollments: Declining money and enrollments are shrinking school sizes across the state. What does this mean for athletics? It means some teams and even the schools, may not be around much longer. So, in part, that may cause conference realignments, much like we’ve seen in High School and Collegiate Athletics. Support your schools, everyone!
Top 10 BIG SCHOOL Rankings
1. Saint Joseph (5-0)
2. Edwardsburg (4-0)
3. Berrien Springs (5-0)
4. Stevensville Lakeshore (4-1)
5. Paw Paw (5-0)
6. Dowagiac (4-1)
7. Plainwell (4-1)
8. Otsego (4-1)
9. Buchanan (3-1)
10. Vicksburg (4-1)
Honorable Mentions: Hastings (3-2)
Top 10 LITTLE SCHOOL Rankings
1. Mendon (5-0)
2. Saugatuck (5-0)
3. Gobles (5-0)
4. Schoolcraft (4-1)
5. Watervliet (4-1)
6. Lawton (4-1)
7. Decatur (4-1)
8. Climax-Scotts (4-1)
9. Hartford (4-1)
10. Saint Joseph Lake Michigan Catholic (4-1)
Honorable Mentions: Niles Brandywine (4-1), Constantine (3-2), New Buffalo (3-2)