When you take the 2nd ranked D6 school (per MHSAA computer rankings) and you match them up against the 9th ranked D5 program in the state, you a looking at a good game.
Add to that the fact that since 2000, Frankenmuth and Millington have met 16 times with the Cardinals holding a slight 10-6 advantage in the victory column including a thrilling comeback victory on the Eagles home turf in the 2013 playoffs with Frankenmuth holding a 20-22 advantage over the life of the rivalry, things get ratcheted up a notch more.
That is exactly what will happen Friday night as Frankenmuth invades Millington for the TVC East matchup of powerhouses.
Frankenmuth is led by a strong defense which has held their opponents to an average of a little over 8 points per game. They are giving up a little over 100 yards per game on the ground but shutting opponents passing game down with only 79 yards per game and 7 interceptions.
The ground game has been the go to weapon on offense averaging 274 yards per game and racking up 14 TD’s. The passing game, while not piling up the yardage, has been effective putting the ball in the endzone 6 times on the season.
Senior QB Caleb Wascher is what drives the Millington offense. Wascher is averaging 96 yards on the ground and adding another 151 yards through the air. Shawn Pardee has been his favorite receiver so far hooking up with his fellow senior for 4 touchdowns in the last 3 games. As a team, the Cardinals have averaged 225 total yards on the ground per game showing that when the situation requires it, they can pound out the yards to eat up the clock.
The defense, which is usually a given for Millington, has given up nearly 18 points per game this year and while that will beat the majority of the teams in the TVC East, they are going to have to step up their run containment against the Eagles Friday night and play nearly error free football if they expect to walk away with a victory.
One final thing to keep in mind are penalties. For the season, Frankenmuth has taken an average of 50 yards worth of penalties per game to Millington’s approximately 100 yards per game (NOTE: Millington penalties are a 2 game average). With the adrenaline on both sides of the ball this will definitely be a number to keep an eye on.
In the end, Friday night’s game looks to be a hard fought contest as always. The MHSAA computer rankings suggest that the Cardinals have the better team but in the end it will come down to how disciplined Millington is in regards to penalties. I just don’t see them being able to give up 100-120 additional yards to Frankenmuth and coming away with a victory.
Still, given how effectively Millington handled the Frankenmuth offense last year, I’m going to go out on a bit of a limb here. Millington 34 Frankenmuth 28.