As we reach Week 6 of the high school football season, coaches and players are starting to scoreboard watch, to see where they sit in the standings and how other teams are doing around them.
With Marshall upsetting Jackson Lumen Christi, all of a sudden the Interstate 8 Conference is up for grabs. In the Southwestern Michigan Athletic Conference, neither Battle Creek Central nor Lakeview can slip up in the coming weeks, or it will open the door for the other one to run away with the title. And everybody has been looking up at St. Philip in 8-man football, but now the season gets tougher, so opponents will be watching the Tigers.
So now we ask, what happens next?
And what did it mean?
Each week, the Enquirer’s Bill Broderick will break that down on Mondays, handing out some analysis on what all the results mean from the weekend of prep football and what to look for next.
In the city
Harper Creek: Harper Creek hosted city rival Pennfield and dominated the action much of the night, showing the Beavers continue to improve throughout the year after starting the season as a young and inexperienced squad. Harper Creek was impressive running the ball against Pennfield with two backs going over 100 yards in the game in Caleb Hayes and Brennen Habelitz. The Beavers continue to get good play from its senior quarterback David Thompson, with a scoring pass and a touchdown run.
Next: While Harper Creek was leaving the field following its win over Pennfield, word came down that Marshall had upset Lumen Christi in another Interstate 8 battle. That meant the race was back on for the league title. After the Beavers had lost to Lumen Christi earlier in the year and the Titans had climbed to No. 2 in the polls, many thought the league crown was theirs. But Coldwater sits alone on top of the league, but the Beavers now still have a chance because they face the Cardinals in Week 7. But first, Harper Creek has to get by a 3-2 Parma Western team on the road this week.
Lakeview: Lakeview faced a challenging road game against one of the perennial powers in the SMAC West. With two losses already, the Spartans could little afford to drop another game before midseason if it wants to make the playoffs. Which meant Lakeview’s 27-22 win over the Lancers had huge ramifications on Friday night, and for the entire season as it climbed to 3-2. The Spartans’ running game continues to look sharper the later in the season the team goes with running back Dre’On Kemp getting 137 yards and quarterback Skyler Nichols adding 125.
Next: The win over Stevensville-Lakeshore was out of the division, but now Lakeview is back to business in the East with Kalamazoo Central (1-4) coming to town for the Spartans’ Homecoming Game. After falling to city-rival Battle Creek Central earlier in the year, Lakeview is looking up at the Bearcts in the standings. With three division games left for both teams, the Spartans know it has to run the table in East and hope BCC slips up to defend its division crown.
Battle Creek Central: BCC lost a hard-fought contest to St. Joseph, 27-21, damaging the Bearcats’ No. 1 goal of making the playoffs the season for the first time since 2008. Some key late turnovers allowed the Bears to hold off BCC and improve to 4-1 on the year. Cyntell Williams, however, had another good game with 117 yards rushing and two touchdowns.
Next: Now, BCC is in serious scoreboard-watching mode the rest of the year – watching its own scoreboard, along with others. BCC has to run the table the rest of the season to clinch a playoff spot. The Bearcats have two teams with a winning record left on their schedule, so it will be challenge. And, beyond making the playoffs, BCC is in line to win the SMAC East if it can sweep the remaining games in the division, and that starts with a game on the road at Gull Lake (2-3) this Friday.
St. Philip: Undefeated St. Philip finished up the soft part of its schedule on Friday with another one-sided 61-20 win over St. Joseph Michigan Lutheran. The late Saturday night game saw the Tigers go up 55-6 by halftime and then cruise the rest of the way.
Next: St. Philip’s schedule starts to toughen up quickly this week with a home game against Webberville, which is 4-1. The Spartans showed a little weakness, however, with a 46-14 loss to undefeated Waldron last week. So the jury is out as to how good Webberville is, after it also had a soft early schedule. But if the Tigers get the win, it will be playoff eligible for the fourth straight year.
Pennfield: After losing to Harper Creek, Pennfield has now lost four in a row. The Panthers are a young team and now have to look toward creating some building blocks for the future, which it has done by playing some key sophomores – including quarterback Parris Bolden.
Next: To build some confidence for the program, Pennfield has a big home game this week with winless Jackson Northwest.
Around the Area: Some area teams have opened up with impressive starts to the season.
Climax-Scotts: The Panthers stayed undefeated with a 60-0 win over Camden-Frontier. Things get a little tougher this week with a home game against 4-1 Pittsford. The Panthers were ranked No. 8 in Division 8 after Week 4.
Coldwater: Coldwater has outscored its opponents 173-44 this season. The Cardinals rolled over Jackson Northwest 55-21 in Week 5. Coldwater now sits alone on top of the Interstate 8 Conference with a home game against Lumen Christi on Friday, in a battle for first place.
Marshall: The Redhawks upset No. 2 Lumen Christi 21-14 last week to improve to 4-1 on the season. Marshall’s turn-around has been impressive after going 3-6 last year as the Redhawks will look to keep things going against 2-3 Charlotte in Week 6.
Prep Football for Week 6
Friday: Battle Creek Central at Gull Lake, Harper Creek at Parma Western, Kalamazoo Central at Lakeview, Jackson Northwest at Pennfield, Athens at Concord, Camden-Frontier at Bellevue, Bronson at Mendon, Pittsford at Climax-Scotts, Lumen Christi at Coldwater, Lenawee Christian at Colon, Delton Kellogg at Kalamazoo Hackett, Hartford at Galesburg-Augusta, Homer at Springport, Maple Valley at Perry, Marshall at Charlotte, Olivet at Stockbridge, Quincy at Reading, Tekonsha at Waldron, Union City at Jonesville.
Saturday: Webberville at St. Philip