Here is a look ahead at week three for the local high school football teams. All games are at 7 p.m. unless noted.
Pioneer vs. Tecumseh, Friday, Sept. 7
The Pioneers (1-1) welcome the Indians (0-2) to Ann Arbor for an SEC cross-over game.
It’s been a rough start for the Indians, who went 5-4 last year and qualified for the playoffs (falling to East Lansing 35-7 in the first round). Tecumseh has lost its first two games by a combined score of 94-28 after falling to Pinckney 31-21 in the opener and Lincoln 63-7 in week two.
The Pioneers’ offense has been inconsistent in their first two games. They were shutout last week in the first half before scoring 20 unanswered points in the second half to force overtime – where they won 27-26 over Saint Johns.
The season opener was the one that got away so far this year, a 16-13 loss to Anchor Bay on a last second field goal. The Pioneers had plenty of mistakes in that opener but many were fixed in week two and the result was an impressive road win despite trailing 20-0 at halftime.
If we want to look ahead, the Pioneers have a favorable schedule over the next few weeks with Tecumseh (0-2), Huron (0-2) and Bedford (0-2). The Pioneers could be 4-1 heading into the Saline game on Sept. 28 – two wins from securing a playoff spot.
But coaches don’t like to look ahead. It’s one game at a time and Pioneer Coach Bill Bellers and his staff will be focused on Tecumseh this week. Pioneer has an above average defense and an offense with plenty of fire power just looking to find that consistent spark.
This could be Pioneer’s breakout game on offense and provide some confidence moving forward.
Huron vs. Dexter, Friday, Sept. 7
Before the season started this was the “one team has to win” bowl as both Dexter and Huron entered the 2018 season winless in years. Huron last won a football game on Aug. 29, 2014. Dexter came into this season looking for its first win since Sept. 23, 2013. But a lot has changed since the start of the season.
The River Rats are still looking to end that losing streak but could very easily be coming into this week at 2-0 instead of 0-2. It’s a team clearly headed in the right direction.
They had leads in both games this year before falling late to both Dundee (21-16) and Williamston (21-14). Learning how to finish is a priority going forward for Coach Broderick Smith and his staff.
The Dreadnaughts, meanwhile, were impressive on Friday night in their 36-22 win over visiting Ypsilanti. It was the team’s first win since 2013 with four complete losing seasons in between.
Dexter (1-1), which lost to Chelsea in its opener, is a very good football team with a strong-arm quarterback and outstanding running back. Their defense was solid if not spectacular last week against Ypsilanti.
Skyline at Adrian, Friday, Sept. 7
The Eagles fly down to Adrian for their SEC crossover game with a much-needed victory and some confidence in their back pocket. Skyline knocked off Okemos 27-15 last week to even their record at 1-1 following an opening loss to Warren Mott in the Big House.
Skyline QB Davion Pipkins had a big game with two rushing TDs and one throwing score and the Skyline defense did the rest as the Eagles bounced back from a Big House loss with a convincing 27-15 win last Thursday night over visiting Okemos. The Chiefs, who opened the season with a 21-17 win over Mason, defeated the Eagles 46-8 last year.
Pipkins was certainly impressive. He can beat you with his legs or his arm and has some very good pieces to work with on offense. But where Skyline really shined last week was on defense. The Eagles attacked, attacked and attacked some more – using speed and strength to shut down Okemos.
The Maples seem to have lost a little off their fastball. The one-time perennial SEC White powerhouse is 0-2 to start the season after a dismal 3-6 year last season in which they lost their last five games. The Maples lost to Lincoln 35-8 to start the season and 42-0 last week to Jackson – both Lincoln and Jackson are 2-0.
But it’s never easy playing in Adrian. It would be a big win for the Eagles and a much-needed win if Skyline is thinking playoffs – which they are – with Monroe (2-0) and Saline (2-0) up next on the schedule.
Father Gabriel Richard vs. Macomb Lutheran North, Friday, Sept. 7 (4:30) The Irish came into this season with a young team and new coach after last year’s incredible run including a trip to the state playoffs. Head Coach Dave Lawrence does have some talent on both sides of the ball and the Irish have showed flashes at times of being a good football team.
The Irish enter their home opener this week at 0-2 but still learning and improving. They lost their season opener to Toledo Scott 50-35 and fell in week two to Detroit Loyola 38-14. Loyola, always one of the top teams in the Catholic League, improved to 2-0 on the season. The Bulldogs won just two games last year after reaching the playoffs in 10 straight years.
So winning that game for the young Irish was going to be a challenge.
And this week also will be another challenge. Macomb Lutheran North comes into Ann Arbor with a 2-0 record after knocking off Livonia Clarenceville 35-22 and Romulus Summit 21-0. The Mustangs went 3-6 last year, including a 43-14 loss to the Irish.