Pigskin Prep: Key League Matches On The Line For Week 5 | Sports


The halfway point is upon us.

Week 5 marks the middle of the preseason football season and is when league races start to take shape and teams start thinking about playoff points.

Here’s a look at three key games from Week 5:

So how often does a winning team in Week 5 earn a share of a conference championship?

That’s what’s at stake when Cadillac visits Gaylord today.

With only four teams in the Big North Conference – at least for this season – today’s winner is 2-0 in the league with only one conference game remaining in Week 6,

The Vikings haven’t lost to the Blue Devils since 2018 and have beaten them twice in the COVID-shortened 2020 season.

Cadillac sailed somewhat last week against Alpena last week, but first-year head coach Shawn Jackson was disappointed at times with his team’s execution.

Quarterback Charlie Howell still racked up 343 passing yards, passing the ball to a number of receivers.

Defensively, the Vikings held the Wildcats to 171 yards.

Gaylord comes 3-1 after a big win over rival Petoskey and has played well defensively, allowing around 15 points per game for four weeks. The Blue Devils won two one-point games the first two weeks and a three-way loss to struggling Marquette in Week 3

The winner of this one is in control of the Highland Championship. Beal City are the defending league champions and boast a 14-game league winning streak.

Evart is looking to turn the tide and win his first Highland Championship in a while. The last time Evart beat Beal City, who have a 40-12 lead in the all-time series, was in 2015.

Coach Pat Craven’s Wildcats have abundant speed as their weapon again this year and offensive coordinator Ken Ranjel has designed plays to take full advantage of that speed, particularly at receiver where senior Marcel White and the junior Dakobe White are also sprinters on the track team. Dakobe White in particular was a nightmare for opponents and was the recipient of several long TD strikes from junior QB Preston Wallace.

Wallace had multiple TD passes in each game, hitting not only the White brothers, but also slots receiver Jake Ladd and Cole Hopkins out of the backfield for the scores. Hopkins, the state wrestling champion, is a three-year starter at fullback and averages 100 rushing yards.

The big questions for Friday’s game are: 1. Can Evart continue his offensive fireworks against a Beal City defense that has allowed just 39 points in the first four games?; 2. Can Evart’s defence, which has allowed only 59 points so far, force Beal City to earn their points and not give up the big game?

Much hinges on the outcome of the annual rivalry between Lake City and McBain this Friday. The winner earns valuable playoff points. The losing team will have a much longer path to the playoffs. The winner also remains in the race for the Highlands title.

Trainer Kyle Smith’s Trojans and Trainer Pat Maloney’s Ramblers bring identical records into the contest with the Missaukee Sentinel Traveling Gridiron Trophy on the line.

Friday’s game pits Lake City’s explosiveness and playing ability against McBain’s methodical ground and pound attack complemented in recent weeks by QB Braylon Pace’s ability to use the game pass for big winners .

Lake City junior QB Darin Kunkel is a double threat with every shot and has been a big-play machine so far this season as a rusher and passer. Senior Dayne Blair has the speed of a sprinter and is a north-south breakaway threat. Wyatt Leeuw is also a potentially explosive fast-hitting threat and receivers Brody Gothard and Layne McLeod are reliable with a nose for the end zone.

McBain’s offense is an overwhelming physical force that gobbles up chunks of real estate behind an impressive O line anchored by senior guard Mack Bontekoe and third-year tackle Judah Leonard. Senior halfback Kalvin McGillis is also a three-year-old starter and reliable receiver for Pace. Junior Isaac Baas is a potential breakaway threat sweeping the outside and fullback Bryce Akom can also break free for long winners in addition to plowing for early downs.


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