Last week gave one team hope. It also gave another team a wake-up call.
When Yale (4-4 overall, 4-3 BWAC) topped Croswell-Lexington (5-3, 4-3) last Friday in a 22-18 victory, it kept the Bulldogs playoff dreams alive.
While it wouldn’t be a guarantee, five wins would put Yale in the playoff conversation and have them eagerly awaiting “Selection Sunday Show Live” at 7 p.m. on Fox Sports Detroit this Sunday. For the fourth week in a row the Bulldogs will be tested as they’ll take on Saginaw Swan Valley (5-3, 5-2 Tri-Valley Conference).
“It’s exciting for the kids knowing they do have a shot,” Yale head coach Don Smeznik said. “There will be excitement, energy and momentum coming into this game.”
In order to top Saginaw Swan Valley – who reached the playoffs seven of the last eight seasons – the Bulldogs will need to repeat what they did in last week’s win.
“We executed well offensively and ran the ball well,” Smeznik said. “We also had some key passes that made for some big plays.”
Over at Cros-Lex, the Pioneers want to avoid the Sunday drama at all costs and pick up their sixth win of the season against Ovid-Elsie that would guarantee a playoff berth.
“We know what’s at stake here – do you want to play week 10 or do you not want to play week 10?” Cros-Lex head coach Garrett Grundman said. “For the kids it’s senior and parent night and their last home football game. If they don’t come out for this game, there’s not much more we can do.”
In order to defeat the young, physical Ovid-Elsie team, the Pioneers will need to find the grit and physicality they were lacking in last week’s loss.
“(Yale was) more aggressive than us and just wanted it more,” Grundman said. “Yale is a well-coached team and they came out and were very physical.”
In other BWAC action:
-Algonac (7-1, 6-1) will look to bounce back from last week’s loss to Richmond against Clawson (3-5, 1-4 MAC Silver) before diving into the playoffs. A Muskrats win would also be another note in the history book as it would be the first back-to-back eight-win seasons since 1952-53.
-Armada (2-6, 2-5) is on the search for revenge against Marlette (1-7, 1-4 GTC East) as the Red Raiders beat the Tigers to end last season, 49-20. Marlette has had the upper hand in this matchup lately, winning this season finale the last three seasons.
-Capac (2-6, 2-5) will host Brown City (4-4, 4-1 GTC East), who has won four straight games after an 0-4 start. Capac, who is coming off a 9-7 win over Armada, would make it three wins in the last four weeks to end the season if the Chiefs knock off the Green Devils.
-Richmond (7-1, 7-0) – the newly minted BWAC champs – will look to keep rolling when Lutheran North (4-4, 2-1 Catholic League) comes to town. A Blue Devils win would make it an eight-game win streak – its longest since Richmond won nine consecutive games in the 2013 season.