On Thursday night, either Marysville or Port Huron Northern will be 0-2.
It’s a crazy thought, considering how highly touted Marysville was heading into the season and how well Northern played against Lake Shore last Thursday.
Someone has to lose though, but from the sounds of it both teams will be taking their fair share of bruises at Memorial Stadium this Thursday at 7 p.m.
“It’s going to be a really close, smash mouth game,” Northern senior offensive lineman Mike Mahaffy said. “It will be two football teams going at it really hard.”
Before diving into the second game of the season, each team has some early blemishes to clear up.
For the Huskies, it was their red zone turnovers that did the damage. For the Vikings it was the nine penalties that didn’t do them any favors.
Despite the bad moments from last week, each team will still be charging into Thursday’s game with confidence.
“There wasn’t too much negative thoughts (at practice),” Marysville head coach Mark Caza said. “I told them to let that bad feeling rot in their gut overnight … now the kids know what to expect.”
As far as what to expect from their next opponent, Caza said the Vikings will be expecting a speedy, spread out offense from Northern. He also mentioned the importance of containing Northern junior quarterback Billy Fealko, who can change a play from sack to 30 yard gain with his legs alone.
After what Caza saw from his defense last game, he is confident his Vikings can contain the fast pace.
“Minus a couple hiccups I thought we played tough and physical,” Caza said. “I was a little nervous going into that game with how our defense would respond to an offense like (Richmond’s), but they did pretty well.”
What impressed Northern head coach Larry Roelens the most last week was how his team reacted to being down 18 points at halftime. Instead of coming out riding the expectation of a loss, the Huskies shut the Shorians out of the end zone and brought the game to one possession.
Seeing an attitude like that early in the season has helped the Huskies confidence stay untouched even after a hard loss. That will be crucial this weekend as Marysville brings in a strong running game that included senior running back Ryan Ellul.
“The whole defense responded great, and they played to their true potential,” Roelens said. “We faced a lot of adversity with penalties and touchdowns coming back, and I’m very happy with how our boys responded.”
Contact Matt Sheehan at (810)-989-6267 or firstname.lastname@example.org.