Each week, Sovereign Communications News/Sports Director Joe Dexter and JT pick a few U.P. High School, Collegiate, and NFL football games. The winner- gets bragging rights for a year- the loser- wears a t-shirt of the winners choice in Marquette for the day.
Week 9: JT 7-1 Joe: 7-1
Overall: JT: 45-14 Joe: 43-16 2GB
Lincoln Alcona at Ishpeming
JT: Sources have told me that Ishpeming QB Alex Briones will not play tonight. That being said, the Hematites are too good of a football team to lose to Lincoln Alcona. Ishpeming over Lincoln Alcona
Joe: The Hematites are hosting a tough Alcona team, but they are primed for this type of competition. The Hematites win at home comfortably.
Iron Mountain at Negaunee
JT: An interesting matchup here. Negaunee escaped the inner yellow walls of Iron Mountain with a win earlier this season. The Mountaineers snuck into the playoffs at 5-4. This game is at Negaunee, where the Miners were undefeated this season. Negaunee over Iron Mountain
Joe: A rematch that is going to be a lot closer than the first time these two teams met last season. The Mountaineers have shored up a bit defensively, and Negaunee might be a little banged up. Still, I’ll take the Miners in round number one, with a possible matchup against a very tough Boyne City squad next week.
Manistique at Calumet
JT: Expect this game to be low scoring. Both defenses are really good, which should make for a run heavy attack from both sides. Clark Kangas is the difference tonight. Calumet over Manistique
Joe: The Copper Kings have won six straight and have taken out some top competition on their way to securing a playoff bid. Defense wins championships, and Calumet has one of the best units in the UP. Calumet should get another crack at Negaunee next weekend.
Forest Park at L’Anse
JT: This is the toughest H.S. game to pick. It’s hard to figure out how this game might go. If its high scoring- L’Anse has a shot. If the defenses show up- Forest Park wins. In my book, defense wins championships. Forest Park over L’Anse
Joe: This is one of the toughest games to call. L’Anse has lost two straight, but Forest Park has struggled at points in big games. I’ll take the Trojans in this one, simply because they have a history of making the playoffs and doing well in the first round.
Marquette at Midland
JT: Marquette won their final regular season game of the year to make the playoffs at 5-3. Their reward for their efforts- the best team in division 2- the Midland Chemics. Midland over Marquette
Joe: The Chemics are the best team in Division 2, and have a couple division 1 prospects to work with. It will be a tough afternoon for Marquette, but I think they’ll hang in there and make it a game. Chemics though will pull closer to an elite match up with Muskegon later in the playoffs.
Northern Michigan at Northwood
JT: Since Cody Scepaniak has taken over at QB for the injured Ryan Morley, this team has been on a roll. After a 1 touchdown loss last week at Wayne State- the Wildcats head to downstate for their final road game of the season. Northern will win their first road game of the season. Northern Michigan over Northwood
Joe: As an alum, I can say this is a team the last few weeks to be proud of. I think coach O and his team gets things done against the Timberwolves. Northern Michigan
Michigan Tech at Saginaw Valley
JT: After losing in a shootout last week at Ferris State, the Huskies head to Saginaw to battle with the Cardinals. Tech cannot afford another loss- but I can’t see them beating SVSU at SVSU. Saginaw Valley over Michigan Tech
Joe: What a good game that I would encourage you to head out to. I’ll take Tech though. The difference coming in tough nosed runs and defensive plays.
Michigan at Nebraska
JT: FINALLY- the Wolverines beat the Spartans last week. No time for a letdown either- Michigan plays at Nebraska Saturday night. The keys to this game in my mind- turnovers, and oh yeah Denard Robinson to run wild all over the Cornhuskers defense. Michigan over Nebraska
Joe: The Cornhuskers will win. Sorry JT.
Michigan State at Wisconsin
JT: Are the wheels falling off this Michigan State team? Not yet- but they have to be able to score some points and move the ball offensively. Their schedule is again brutal this week- at Wisconsin. Madison is a BRUTAL place to play-let alone escape with a win. Wisconsin over Michigan State
Joe: Badgers are rolling, Michigan State is stinking it up on D. Badgers will pull out a close victory. Because there is no more Keith Nichol. Wisconsin
Jacksonville at Green Bay
JT: No Blaine Gabbard, no Maurice Jones-Drew for Jacksonville? No problem for the Packers. Green Bay over Jacksonville
Joe: Have Fun JT. You get to see two teams on a level playing field…..If Jacksonville was given a 21 point head start. Packers win easily in the frozen Tundra.
Seattle at Detroit
JT: This is a must win game for the Lions on Sunday- and they will do so. Detroit over Seattle
Joe: Keep the faith right? At some point this Lions team has to show up for more than the 4th quarter. Here’s to hoping it’s this weekend. Lions win by a possession. Detroit