Vikings trying to regain the fire
By By DAN WEISS / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- The names Tim Charles, Zach Gentile and Raju Armster should be on the mind of each defensive player on the Niles football team this week.
Those three individuals are the leading threats on the Sturgis offense.
Charles leads the team in rushing with 901 yards on 167 carries and 14 touchdowns.
Gentile, the quarterback, has completed 49-of-114 passing attempts for 800 yards.
Armster has caught 16 passes for 333 yards and five touchdowns.
For the second year in a row the Vikings (6-3) will travel to Sturgis (8-1) for the first round of the State Playoffs on Friday night for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff.
With two games left in the regular season, Niles was hoping to earn home field advantage with the possibility of an 8-1 finish.
However, the Vikings lost their last two games of the season and finished 6-3.
Niles and Sturgis faced six common opponents this season in Mattawan, Battle Creek Harper Creek, Battle Creek Lakeview, Benton Harbor, Marshall and St. Joseph.
Each team beat Mattawan, Harper Creek, Benton Harbor and Marshall. Niles lost to St. Joseph and Sturgis lost to Lakeview.
Sturgis eliminated Niles from the playoffs in last year's first-round matchup.
Coming off a pair of losses is certainly not where the Vikings wanted to be at this point of the season, but Janicki sees it as an opportunity for his team to have some extra motivation.