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Scott Novak: First week of games reveals a few things about our teams

Published 10:47am Thursday, September 3, 2009

The first week of the high school football season revealed a few things about our area football teams.

Niles rolled up 50 points on Coldwater, which is something that Vikings’ fans should be proud of.

But when I spoke with coach Dan Brawley on Wednesday, he wanted to let me know that this week would be a better indicator as to where his team stood.

Brawley was plenty pleased with the victory and the effort his kids gave, but let’s be honest, Coldwater is no Marshall.

The Red Hawks defeated St. Joseph 40-27 last season, although the Bears were playing without their starting quarterback due to mono.

But still, Marshall will bring a solid football team to Niles on Fridya night and if the Vikings are going to make it 2-0, they will have to improve in most phases of the game.
Like all the coaches I spoke with this week, Brawley said there are things that need to get cleaned up.

Things like special teams, which notoriously get off to slow starts as coaches try to fit the right players in the right spots and get some kids on the field who are not going to play every down.

What Brawley liked best about his team’s win was that the Vikings were able to beat Coldwater on both sides of the football.

Winning the line of scrimmage is crucial at all levels.

Niles was able to do that and as a result, dominated the game.

The Vikings will need to win the battle of the line of scrimmage again on Friday night against Marshall.

Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.

There are three things the Brandywine football team is concentrating on this week.
Those are commitment, conditioning and focus.

First-year head coach Mike Nate feels that those three things will help make a difference in the success of the Bobcats’ season.

Conditioning was definitely a factor last week in Brandywine’s 14-8 loss to Lawrence.
While the Tigers didn’t have issues with cramping, the Bobcats did.

Nate was also concerned about the focus of his squad as it prepared for Lawrence, especially with all the activities leading up to the dedication of the new track and sports facilities.

And now he is taking a look at the commitment of his players as they head into the second week of the regular season.

Things did not go well on the offensive side of the football much of the night for the Bobcats, who lost starter Jake Frazier to a torn tendon in his finger in the opening half.
Nate was planning on using Frazier a lot on both sides of the football.

Those plans have changed because he will be out for a couple of weeks.

Brandywine did play well defensively, giving up just eight points in regulation.

According to Nate, the Bobcats must learn from last week, but not dwell on it.

“We are looking straight ahead, not behind,” he said. “We are focused on Centreville. Hopefully we learned some things from last week. We are just going to put that game behind us and chalk it up to experience.”

The Bulldogs will present a totally different challenge to Brandywine tonight.

The Bobcats faced a power football team last week and now have to deal with the spread.
Brandywine will travel to Centreville for a 7 p.m. kickoff.

The Buchanan Bucks knew offensively they would be in a transition stage after having tailback Clinton Orr be the focus of the offense last year.

But I bet no one thought the Bucks would have just 84 yards in total offense against Kelloggsville.
While the Wyoming school is a perennial playoff power, there is no way they should have been able to limit Buchanan like that.

Things don’t get any easier for the Bucks this week as they head to Bronson to take on another power.

I am hopeful Buchanan coach Joe Austin can get the offense on track this week.
Buchanan is one of the teams that is expected to compete for the Lakeland Conference championship this season.

The Bucks will need to find some offense if they want to accomplish that.

The Vikings and Bucks will tee it up tonight at 7.

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