Scott Novak: Biggest games of the year

Published 10:36 pm Thursday, October 7, 2010

novakFor three of our area football teams tonight presents their biggest games of the year.

One of those teams is facing a must-win situation while the other two really need to pick up a wins this week to keep things from becoming very interesting down the stretch.

The playoffs for all practical purposes have begun for the Niles Vikings.

Niles is 3-3 and you need six wins to qualify for the post season in Michigan.

That means the Vikings have to win their final three contests to move on.

That’s going to be a tall order this week against a Portage Northern team that blew out Lakeshore two weeks ago.

Niles continues to play well on defense, but it’s offense seems to bogg down at times.

I can’t see the Vikings mustering enough offense this week to get past the Huskies, who hung 47 on the Lancers.

Niles falls to Portage Northern in this one, 35-14.

Gull Lake at Dowagiac

Dowagiac is a team that really would like to pick up a win this week for homecoming against Gull Lake.

The Blue Devils have shown improvement this season, but the Chieftains are still the better football team.

A win over Gull Lake puts Dowagiac just one game away from qualifying for the playoffs with Otsego and Paw Paw remaining on the schedule.

The Chieftains send their homecoming crowd home happy with a 28-13 victory.

Edwardsburg at Brandywine

The Bobcats are also 4-2 and need to win two of their final three games.

Tonight the Eddies roll into town for Brandywine’s homecoming game needing only one win to qualify.

The Bobcats are much improved this season on both sides of the football, while the Eddies have really turned things around on the defensive side of the ball.

Defense wins championships and offense wins games.

Edwardsburg will have a little too much of both for the Bobcats and come away with a 35-21 victory.

Cassopolis at Buchanan

This one is for all the marbles in the Lakeland Conference.

A Buchanan victory and the Bucks all but lock up the league championship. A loss by Buchanan and the Rangers and Edwardsburg are right back in the title picture.

Buchanan has already qualified for the playoffs, but wants to play a home game, so continuing to win is at the top of its list of things to do.

The Bucks have size and speed, but have struggled with the Rangers in the past.

Cass has speed and a new attitude, which has been paying off for the Rangers in 2010.

This time around, Buchanan has just a slight edge over Cassopolis and defeats the Rangers 28-21.

I am now 24-3 on the season with a winning percentage of .888.

Scott Novak is sports editor of Leader Publications. He can be reached at scott.novak@leaderpub.com