The first week of high school football is in the books. Did it turn out like you thought it would? Did it turn out like the players and coaches hoped it would?
So now we ask, what happened last week, what happens next?
And what does 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
Lakeview: The Spartans faced a challenge in Week 1, seeing a quality program with a playoff pedigree in Portage Northern. And Lakeview had to be satisfied as it was able to control the game and win convincingly, 35-20. Starting his first game at quarterback at the varsity level, Lakeview’s Josiah Kitchen had a breakout game with two touchdown passes and a touchdown run.
Next: Now, the long wait. Lakeview does not have a game scheduled for Week 2 and won’t play again until Sept. 9 against rival Battle Creek Central. With Benton Harbor leaving the Southwestern Michigan Athletic Conference, teams that had Benton Harbor on its schedule had to find a non-SMAC team to replace the Tigers. Lakeview was not able to do that and will play an 8-game schedule. The Spartans should be focused however, over the next two weeks, because they will be getting ready for a city rival and a Battle Creek Central team that rallied to beat Lakeview last year in an upset. Prior to last year, Lakeview had a four-game win streak against BCC.
Battle Creek Central: The Bearcats played well in their opener but ‘ran out of gas’ against perennial power Stevensville-Lakeshore, as BCC lost 30-13. Battle Creek Central trailed only 13-6 at halftime, but the Lancers pulled away in the second half for their third straight win over BCC in the last three years. In his first game as varsity quarterback, Jackie Hampton had a touchdown pass and rushed for 68 yards.
Next: The schedule is brutal for BCC in the early weeks as the Bearcats are playing three of the stronger programs in the SMAC in the first month of the season. After seeing Stevensville-Lakeshore in the first week, BCC will face Portage Central in Week 2 and then Lakeview in Week 3. All three of those teams shared division titles last year. The Mustangs rolled over Mattawan in their opener, 35-0. Elliot Ryan led Portage Central with 140 yards rushing on 11 carries and two touchdowns.
Harper Creek: The Beavers, who struggled last year with a young team, have more experience this year and they were on the other end of the spectrum in the opener. Harper Creek dominated a young Gull Lake team to win its first game, 39-10. The Beavers scored two early touchdowns and rolled from there as they won their first game of the year for the first time in three seasons. The win helps Harper Creek get off to a good start after it lost its final four games of the season in 2015.
Next: Harper Creek jumps into conference play in the second week where it will see Jackson Northwest in the Interstate 8. The Beavers have beaten Northwest each of the last two years as the Mounties have struggled as a program going 2-16 over those seasons. Northwest lost to Eaton Rapids, 20-17, in Week 1.
Pennfield: Hampered by youth the last two years, Pennfield is hoping a little bit more experience will result in more success. The Panthers could be on the right track as they opened with a 29-14 win over Parchment in a non-conference victory. Jaycob Herpin scored twice for Pennfield and Sam Nichols came up with an 85-yard kickoff return for a touchdown for the Panthers. It was the 18th straight win for Pennfield over Parchment.
Next: Pennfield opens Interstate 8 play with a game against Parma Western in Week 2. Like this year, Pennfield was coming off a win when it faced Parma Western, only to lose 28-14. That Pennfield loss derailed the rest of the season and started a four-game losing streak. Parma Western lost its opener to Grosse Ile, 41-21, and will look to get its season going after it made the playoffs a year ago at 6-4.
St. Philip: The Tigers rolled early and led 30-8 at halftime, but had to hold on to beat Kingston in their opener, 42-34. Chris Kubasiak had 178 yards rushing and three touchdowns in this 8-man football contest. Kingston, with back-to-back winning seasons, was a good challenge on the road for St. Philip as it looks to have a big season after making the state finals a year ago.
Next: The schedule softens up a bit for St. Philip going forward as it plays three teams that have struggled in recent years against the Tigers in Litchfield, Tekonsha and Burr Oak. Litchfield forfeited its game against St. Philip in each of the last two years due to lack of players. St. Philip has put up 50-plus points on both Tekonsha and Burr Oak in each of the last two seasons.
Around the Area
Marshall: The Redhawks lost to a resurgent Benton Harbor program, 28-7, in their opener. Marshall’s hopes to contend for an Interstate 8 Conference title will have a lot to do with what happens in Week 2 as the Redhawks see Coldwater – the defending champs in the league. Coldwater edged Marshall, 9-7, last year.
Coldwater: The Cardinals picked up where they left off last year with another win after going undefeated in the regular season in 2015. Coldwater beat Jackson, 33-22, a Division 2 school that went to the playoffs last year. The Cardinals will have an big early-season test against Marshall in Week 2.
Climax-Scotts: The Panthers won their 11th straight regular season game, knocking off Michigan Center, 48-14, from the Cascades Conference. Climax-Scotts jumps into South Central Athletic Association play in Week 2 against Colon. The Panthers have won more than 40 straight conference games.
Week 2 schedule
Portage Central at BCC
Jackson Northwest at Harper Creek
Pennfield at Parma Western
St. Philip at Litchfield
Athens at Union City
Bellevue at Sand Creek
Bronson at Bridgeman
Colon at Climax-Scotts
Marshall at Coldwater
Delton Kellogg at Hartford
Galesburg-Augusta at Bloomingdale
Gull Lake at Portage Northern
Concord at Homer
Maple Valley at Parchment
Lake Fenton at Olivet
Jonesville at Quincy
Webberville at Tekonsha