By Jason Goorman
Local Sports Journal
For defending Division 8 state champion MCC, this is a contest that brings them one step closer to playing in Week 10 and also a good look at what might be the top talent in the Lakes 8 Conference.
Spring Lake on the other hand, is building off its Lake 8 Conference title last year and will have its first real conference test against the Crusaders.
Last week the Lakers’ (2-1, 1-0) offense showed good signs in a convincing win over Orchard View. The veer offense was firing and Spring Lake received nice work out of backs Nate Batts, Jake Frederick and Noah Novakoski.
Leading the charge for Spring Lake is quarterback Mark Williamson. The left handed QB made solid choices on the run but the question will be: Is he ready for MCC’s pressure?
“Our line has been in the big games and have been in the weight room a lot getting ready for this season,” said MCC coach Steve Czerwon. “This group is ready for this game but we’ll play football the best we can.”
Spring Lake coach Jerry Rabideau knows about the Crusader line and all of its experience. But he sees a different opportunity in facing the pressure it brings.
“Our offense is not predicated in locking in a player and getting blocks,” said Rabideau. “We’re looking to get that second layer as fast as we can to make a shield and create a play.”
The Lakers are 2-1 on the season with their lone loss coming to a bigger Holland High School.
“Holland helped us because they are big and very physical,” said Rabideau. “They helped us get ready for a big game like this. We expect it to be a very physical game.”
The Crusaders suit up multiple key returnees.
Quarterback Nick Holt has a very strong arm but his running skills will keep the Spring Lake defense in check. Running back Tommy Scott is lightning in a bottle and will also be a handful for the Lakers. Scott tallied 207 yards rushing and had three touchdown runs against Ludington in a 54-0 rout last week.
Expect MCC to bring its high powered run game to Grabinski field and a healthy team on top of it.
“We had a couple guys banged up at Bishop Hartley (Ohio) in Week 1 but we’re at as full strength as we can be,” said Czerwon.
Spring Lake will no doubt have its hands full with MCC and will rely on its veer offense. But don’t be surprised if the Lakers throw in a couple trick plays.
“Spring Lake will run the ball on the veer and also does a nice trap,” said Czerwon. “They have a diverse offense. Williamson is nice and they have a good fullback but we’ve been preparing all week for the challenges they bring.”