“The Challenge” Week 5

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.

Last Week: JT 7-3  Joe 4-6

Overall: JT 26-7  Joe 24-9 3GB

Marquette at Gladstone

Joe: Both teams really need this win for the playoffs. After a tough loss at home to Escanaba, Marquette will look to rebound. Especially with Kingsford and Menominee still on the schedule on the Road. And Negaunee looming in week 8 at home in the battle for the Diamond Jubilee Trophy. That’s three straight opponents after this week that are either ranked, or have been ranked in the state this season. With only 8 games, Marquette is two wins away from the Playoffs. Marquette will get one win closer on Friday night when they defeat the Braves on the road.

JT: This is a must win game for Marquette, no doubt. Both teams are coming off of disappointing losses from last week. The Redmen had problems stopping a mobile quarterback and a spread offense last week. I might regret this- but with Gladstone being at home and running that spread offense, give me Gladstone over Marquette in this one.

Gwinn at Negaunee

Joe: The Miners continue to roll and have some solid momentum heading into this part of the schedule. After dismantling Iron Mountain, Negaunee will look to continue improving defensively and moving the ball with the veer. They are two weeks away from a potential battle of undefeateds in Ishpeming. Negaunee should take the first step to getting their unscathed with a convincing win this week.

JT: Not much thinking to do here. I’m happy for Gwinn after they won their first game last week in a long, long time. This week, the Modeltowners head to Negaunee, where the Miners are rolling in every facet of the game. Negaunee over Gwinn

Iron Mountain at Westwood

Joe: The Patriots have not defeated the Mountaineers since 1992, but both teams come into this one very evenly matched. Both teams are 2-2 and are coming off tough losses. The Patriots will be battle tested though on homecoming. Last year in Iron Mountain, they controlled the game for more than a half, but after four straight redzone attempts went for zero points, the Mountaineers pounced. Look for Westwood to take care of the football at home, as they have done a good job all season of doing. I’ll take the Patriots in the upset by a touchdown.

JT: This is virtually a playoff game, because the loser will drop to 2-3 on the season and will have to win 4 straight games to make the playoffs. Last year, Westwood almost pulled off a huge comeback at Iron Mountain- but they couldn’t quite do it. Westwood gets their revenge and defeats Iron Mountain by a late score.

Norway at Ishpeming

Joe: The Hematites continue to roll, and now find themselves ranked 2nd in Division 7. Norway struggled against Manistique last week, and have really had problems getting their offense going. This week, their defense will be tested greatly, and the only way to compete against Ishpeming is to keep the ball out of their offense’s hands. Hard to do when their defense gives up less than 110 yards per game. Ishpeming wins big on homecoming.

JT: Not much thinking to do here. Ishpeming rolls against Norway

Ashland at NMU

Joe: After getting destroyed last week, it’s hard to predict the Wildcats pulling the upset on homecoming against such a talented team. The Secondary of the Eagles will give the Wildcat offense fits all day. Ashland rolls in GLIAC play.

JT: I’ve never seen a tougher Division II football schedule when I look at NMU’s. A tough schedule mixed in with a young team makes for a tough year. It is homecoming- expect the Wildcats to stay in this one early- but Ashland wins the game.

Findlay at Tech

Joe: This is an interesting game. One of the best offenses in the GLIAC against one of the best defenses. A team that likes to throw, versus a Huskie offense that likes to run the football. It was a shootout last week for the Oilers against 10th ranked Saginaw Valley State and they were able to pull out the victory. Watch for Clayton Belton to have yet another impressive outing. Findlay edges Michigan Tech in a battle of undefeateds.

JT: This matchup Saturday in Houghton is going to be a good one. No surprise that Joe is picking Findlay- that’s just the Wildcat in him. Michigan Tech edges Findlay

Eastern Michigan at Michigan State

Joe: Michigan State’s third team rolls on to victory

JT: Sparty in a blowout over EMU

Michigan at Notre Dame

Joe: Denard is the X factor, as he was last year. I think Brian Kelly’s defense though is in a lot better of a place than it was last year at this time. Notre Dame holds on to win in South Bend.

JT: Michigan has not lost to Notre Dame since 2009. As long as Michigan does not turn over football (I am talking to you Denard Robinson)- Michigan will find a way late- as they always do- to upset Notre Dame. Michigan over Notre Dame

Lions at Titans

Joe: The Lions get back in the win column with a solid win over
Jake Locker and the Titans.

JT: Hello Jake Locker meet the Lions defensive line… SUHHHHHHH!!!!! Lions over the Titans

Packers at Seahawks

Joe: Wisconsin’s finest Russel Wilson vs. Green Bay’s finest Aaron Rodgers. I’ll take the Packers in this one. Let’s just hope JerMicheal Finley er I mean the Packers drop the ball in week three.

JT: Tough game to pick. Green Bay hasn’t played a regular season on the road yet- and Seattle is always a tough place to play. I will probably lose this pick, but hey- I am up 3 on Joe anyways. Seattle over Green Bay