Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, here I am, stuck in the middle after week two.
Having moved to Owosso from Kalamazoo in May, I’ll readily admit I’m no expert when it comes to the area teams. But I’ve done my best to study up, in an effort to compete with the likes of Josh Champlin, Ryan Weiss and Jerome Murphy this season.
That’s not to say that Tim Robinson, Dan Basso and Brad Minor aren’t legitimate competitors — I’m merely looking ahead, no time for the rearview.
And to sum up how I’m feeling two weeks into the season, sitting in the middle of the pack … well, I’m as happy as Flint Tropics forward Jackie Moon — “It’s all about fourth place, baby.”
Now, on to this week’s slate of games:
Goodrich at Owosso
After surrendering a fourth quarter lead to Swartz Creek in the waning seconds last week, Owosso has a lot to prove. Head coach Devin Pringle, now in his third season, said last week’s performance was the best football he’s seen from his team since he arrived. Owosso (0-2) will continue to make strides this week as it welcomes conference foe Goodrich (1-1). I expect the Trojans to keep things close, but on this night, no cigar. Goodrich 21, Owosso 17.
Corunna at Lake Fenton
Despite two losses to begin the 2019 campaign, I like what I’ve seen from Kyle Robinson’s Cavaliers. The team has shown signs of life, keeping things relatively close against both Hemlock and Fowlerville — two teams that remain undefeated. Lake Fenton (0-2) will likely be just as eager to reach the win column tonight when the Cavaliers roll in, and a 30-minute bus ride doesn’t bode well for visitors. Lake Fenton 20, Corunna 14.
Mt. Morris at Durand
Durand (1-1) came up short at Byron last week, 44-30, but the team wouldn’t go down without a fight, tying the game twice in the second half before the Eagles pulled away. Mt. Morris (1-1), on the other hand, struggled mightily against New Lothrop, allowing 428 total yards in a 52-0 loss. The Railroaders backfield, comprised of Kyle Winslow, Jacob Lockhart and Tyler Purdy, will have a big night tonight. Rick Winbigler’s team will leave the field after its homecoming game with much to celebrate. Durand 35, Mount Morris 20.
Chesaning at Montrose
Chesaning (2-0) has started the season strong, but with uncertainty at the quarterback position heading into tonight’s matchup on the road against Montrose (2-0), it’s hard to believe a run-heavy attack will be able to withstand the Rams. After all, Montrose only allowed 111 yards on the ground last week against Ovid-Elsie. Montrose 30, Chesaning 14.
Perry at Carson City-Crystal
After relinquishing a 28-12 first-half lead in a 31-28 loss to Laingsburg in Week 1, the Ramblers seemed to bounce back last week. Anchored by a strong rushing attack, Perry rolled over Burton Bendle 41-20. Carson City (1-1) followed up a Week 1 wake-up-call with a strong performance of its own, topping Holton 38-0. Despite Perry’s upward trend, I’m going with the home team. Carson City-Crystal 35, Perry 24.
Laingsburg at Potterville
The Wolfpack (2-0) asserted themselves in a 35-13 win over Dansville. I expect more of the same from Doug Matthews and company this week, as Laingsburg faces a Potterville team that has lost 11 straight games dating back to last season. The Wolfpack will stay hot. The Vikings, not. Laingsburg 42, Potterville 13.
Ovid-Elsie at LakeVille
Ovid-Elsie (0-2) has yet to scratch the win column this season, but tonight’s matchup against Otisville LakeVille — a team that has also lost 11 straight — looks favorable. The Marauders will right the ship on the road, in a big way. Ovid-Elsie 49, Otisville LakeVille 10.
Morrice at Burton Atherton
With only one returning starter from last year’s championship team, one might have expected Morrice to take a step back this season. Thus far, the Orioles (2-0) have done anything but, demonstrating offensive prowess against Kingston in a 42-0 rout and defensive dominance in a heavyweight battle against Mayville, 20-14. This week, expect the Orioles to cruise against Burton Atherton (0-2), a team that’s allowed a combined 148 points in two games this season. Morrice 63, Burton Atheron 7.
Arizona State at Michigan State (-13.5)
The Michigan State offense responded to head coach Mark Dantonio’s Week 1 criticism with 582 total yards against Western Michigan last week. Not to be outdone, the Spartans defense forced three turnovers in the 51-17 victory. This week, MSU welcomes the Sun Devils with an eye for revenge, after surrendering a 10-point fourth quarter lead in Tempe last season in a 16-13 loss. Arizona State true-freshman quarterback Jayden Daniels will struggle in his first road start, and won’t be able to rely on junior running back Eno Benjamin against the Spartans top-ranked run defense. Michigan State will pull away, despite early offensive inconsistency. MSU 35, Arizona State 17.
Akron at Cent. Michigan (-3.5)
Central Michigan and Akron have a lot in common so far this season. Both teams are 0-2, have turned the ball over four times, and have — by and large — struggled offensively. Saturday at Kelly-Shorts will be a close one, but I expect the Chippewas to avenge last season’s 17-10 loss. Central Michigan 20, Akron 17.
Chargers (-2.5) at Lions
An 18-point fourth quarter lead quickly vanished for the Lions last week, and for the Detroit faithful, it was all too familiar. Same. Old. Lions. The competition doesn’t get any easier this week, as veteran Phillip Rivers and the Los Angeles Chargers roll into motown for the home opener. The Lions struggled to run the ball against the Cardinals last week, and the task becomes no easier against the Chargers’ formidable front seven. I think Matthew Stafford will keep the boys in the game, but I like to Chargers to cover. Los Angeles 27, Detroit 20.