The Fowlerville Volleyball team hosted their "Pink Out" night this evening against Portland and in the beginning it looked like visiting Portland would be "out" quickly.
The Lady Glads jumped out to a quick 18-5 lead in the first game and cruised to a 25-7 victory. Portland however came back strong in the second game narrowly dropping it 25-22 to Fowlerville before taking the third by a 25-19 tally. The fourth game finished the match this evening as Fowlerville pulled ahead late to take a 25-22 victory and a 3-1 advantage in the match.
Grand Blanc 15
Last week was the first week that I picked any games for our new website and to be quite honest, it was a bit of a spectacular failure. I went with a single pick for the game that I covered between Millington and Frankenmuth up in the Thumb and I had Millington winning 34-28. As is often the case, the football god’s had something else in mind for me and Frankenmuth dismantled Millington by a final of 28-7.
This week we are going to come back into our coverage zone and run predictions for our local Livingston County football teams. There are only 4 games on the slate this week as Brighton will be traveling to Hartland for one of the contests.
Hartland (3-2) v Brighton (5-0)
The Bulldogs come into Hartland on a 5 game winning streak recently having beaten Milford 34-20. Brighton is also the only Livingston County team ranked in the top 16 of the MHSAA computer rankings in their respective division coming in this week at #4. The Eagles, after beating both Milford and Pinckney handily are looking to continue their winning ways. Their two loses on the season have come against winning teams with a combined record of 9-1 with the loss to Canton coming in OT. Expect the Eagles to give Brighton the biggest fight they have had all season but fall short in the end.
Brighton 22 Hartland 21
Howell (4-1) v Milford (0-5)
Howell lost their chance at a perfect season last week falling to Grand Blanc and will be looking to right the ship as they travel to Milford this week. The Mustangs are 0-5 to start the season and have been outscored by a 196-48 margin. While Milford’s losses have all been to good teams, the Highlanders are also a good team. Look for this game to be out of reach going into the 4th quarter.
Howell 35 Milford 7
Fowlerville (2-3) at Williamston (4-1)
Fowlerville heads into Williamston coming off of a 49-0 loss to highly regarded Lansing Catholic Central that dropped them to 2-3 on the season. The combined records of teams that the Glads have beaten this year is 2-7 while the opponents that they have lost to have a record of 13-2. Williamston has only beaten one team with a winning record (Holly 3-2) and the other three opponents have a 3-12 record on the season. Their one loss was to Lansing Catholic Central 35-0. Fowlerville needs this game to remain in the playoff hunt and after last week’s loss to LCC they should come out strong with something to prove.
Fowlerville 21 Williamston 15
Pinckney (0-5) v Grand Blanc (4-1)
This contest is another one that should be resolved before they get through the 4th quarter. While the Pirates hung tough with Howell two weeks ago they have given up 174 points this year and only scored 81. Grand Blanc on the other hand has done a fairly good job of controlling their opponents scoring in their victories this season with only Howell giving them any serious run. Look for Grand Blanc to continue their winning ways but the Pirates won’t go without some fight.
Grand Blanc 42 Pinckney 21
It certainly wasn’t the game that everyone was expecting when the Frankenmuth Eagles invaded Millington to face the Cardinals Friday night. What most expected to be a hard fought, close contest turned into a game dominated by the Eagles as they cruised to a 28-7 victory.
The Eagles defense set the tone for the game with Millington’s first possession holding forcing the Cardinals to turn the ball over on downs after four plays. The offence then needed only 3 plays before scoring on a 46 pass completion from Jack Taggert(10) to Jared Davis(3). With the PAT by Jack Veitengruber, the Eagles went up 7-0 and really never looked back.
Millington did manage to keep the game close early on keeping the score knotted at 7-0 until the second quarter when again Taggert would connect for a TD pass, this time from 6 yards out to Grant Bronner (14). After the successful PAT by Veitengruber the Eagles would go up 14-0 which is where things stood at half time.
On offense, Millington just wasn’t able to find the connections to move the ball down field with 10 of their 11 drives consisting of just 5 plays or less and only 3 of those 11 drives netting more than 10 yards. After averaging nearly 375 yards offense per game, the Eagles defense managed to hold Millington to only 129 yards with a bulk of those coming on 2 Caleb Wascher(12) 4th quarter scampers one of which was a 46 yard touchdown run finally putting the Cardinals on the board.
Frankenmuth put two more scores on the board, one in the 3rd quarter on a 47 yard Taggert TD pass to Brady Wood(2) and the second a 55 yard TD pass to Aaron Hubenstriker in the 4th quarter to round out the scoring.
For the night, Frankenmuth gained 219 yards on the ground led by their leading rusher Josh Szczepanski and Taggert’s 152 yards passing on 4/12 for 4 TD’s.
Millington was led by Wascher who tallied 121 yards on the ground and was 5/18 for 46 yard passing with 1 interception
Next week Frankenmuth looks to improve upon their 5-0 record against Garber while Millington will look to get back to their winning ways against North Branch.
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.