MHSAA Football Preview - Week Nine - End of Regular Season

Sorry for my column being short and sweet. My daughter ruptured both eardrums this week and I had a lot going on with the Saginaw Downtown Lions Club that I’m President of. We had our Little Brown Jug trophy JV football game between The High and The Hill. Next week we will return to regular length columns when the playoffs start. (Saginaw High JV won 22-14 but Arthur Hill won the series 42-40 with six ties and twice the game wasn’t played.)

A Fond Farewell to Saginaw

Arthur Hill (0-9) at Saginaw High (0-9) (Friday October 24, 7pm)

Yes, both schools haven’t won a game. Normally, a stat like that would keep me away from this game, but there is a reason I’m writing about it. This will probably be the final game in the rivalry that began in 1894. At the conclusion of the school year, they are going to merge the two schools into one. So with Arthur Hill holding a 58-49 win advantage in the series with Saginaw High, they look for bragging rights one last time. Arthur Hill is coached by Fred Townsend. Last week, they were beaten up by Midland 56-14. Quarterback Roean Baker completed eight of his 15 passes for 74 yards and a score. Jallel McKinney caught seven of them for 71 yards and that score. Running back Devonte Moore rushed 13 times for 130 yards and a score. There is talent on the team as Will Rodgers III, a 6’4” 215lb sophomore has been visited by Michigan State coaches as well as others. He’s playing defensive end. Another top player is Lawrence Gordon. He is also a defensive end also and plays offensive tackle. A few weeks ago against Flint Northwestern, he had 11 tackles and three sacks. Michigan State has also talked to Gordon.

Saginaw High has not found a win this season either. First year head coach Nate Simington has some talent for his team, but it hasn’t translated into wins. Last week, they lost 58-0 to Midland Dow. E’Donis Scott completed three of his 10 passes for 67 yards. Elijah Woods caught two of them for 52 yards. Woods was also the leading rusher with nine carries for 20 yards. E’Donis rushed six times for 10 yards. It’s tough for a school like Saginaw high to compete with the larger schools in the Saginaw Valley League because their enrollment is much lower than many of the schools (662 for 2014.) They have some quick kids, but they aren’t huge bulldozers of backs. Both squads are looking for that first win which hasn’t been easy this season. I always have found it interesting that most of the kids on both teams know each other. They grew up in the same neighborhood, or they are a cousin’s neighbor, played sports together, or many other reasons. Because that is the fact, they don’t seem to fight as much as you would think.

Midland City Championship

Midland Dow (8-0) vs. Midland High (4-4) (Friday October 24, 7pm, Midland Community Stadium)

In Midland, Dow seemed to be always playing second fiddle to Midland High at least on the football field. This year, that’s not the case. Dow brings a perfect record into the game for the first time since 1976 (they won the Class A state title that year) and Midland High brings their streak of consecutive winning seasons. Last week, Dow dismantled Saginaw High 58-0. Quarterback Alec Marty completed nine of his 11 passes for 249 yards and five touchdowns. Caleb Richard grabbed three of those passes for 146 yards and two scores while also running twice for eight yards and a touchdown. Mike Robb grabbed three as well for 43 yard and two touchdowns. Justin Cook also scored a touchdown.   Joey Lundahl rushed four times for 19 yards and a score. For the season, Alec Marty has 2,114 passing yards and 24 touchdowns. Caleb Richard has 89 carries for 684 yards and 12 touchdowns while also grabbing 32 balls for 865 yards.

This is a HUGE game for Midland High. They have a streak of 37 consecutive winning seasons on the line. Win tonight and keep it going and get to 38, which is one behind Marysville’s state record of 39. Coincidentally, the year they last had a losing record was 1976 when Dow finished the season undefeated Class A state champs. Last week, Midland played Arthur Hill and won 56-14. Quarterback Luke DeLong completed five of his 11 pass attempts for 73 yards and two touchdowns and used his legs to gain 95 yards and a touchdown on eight attempts. Ryan Lunch caught two passes for 34 yards and a score. Jordan Kaczmarek rushed 12 times for 57 yards and a score. Bryce Kantak, Vondre Warren, and Jordan Wilson all found the end zone while carrying the rock as well.