The 0-2 Adrian Maples thought their season would be different from where it is right now. At halftime of their first game against the Carleton Airport Jets they were up big, but following mistakes on offenses, a lack of defense and struggles with the kicking game, found themselves defeated at home. They never really had a chance against the Fenton Tigers who defeated them 34-6. They are going to have a tough test this week when they travel to play against the 2-0 Saline Hornet.
Adrian will have their hands full against the Hornets. In Saline’s first game, they won against the Walled Lake Western Warriors on the road with a score of 27-14. Saline’s quarterback Tyler Palka scored all 4 of their touchdowns, 2 of them in through the air and 2 on the ground, totaling 258 yards of offense. The score of that game was tied at the half, but the Warriors couldn’t mount any offense after. Walled Lake Western could move the ball, but they just couldn’t turn it into points.
Saline won on the road in their second game as well over the Ypsilanti Phoenix by a score of 49-14. Palka was very impressive through the air, completing 17 of his 23 passes for 192 yards and 4 touchdowns. Saline scored early and never let up as they were leading 35-7 at halftime.
Adrian is going to have a tough time this week defensively since Adrian was rolling in the first half of their first game. There defense hasn’t been able to match that intensity since. They have given up 58 points since then. Part of their issue has been the offense, as it has been stalling, and they have been on the field a lot. They need to tighten up and get the opposing offense off the field, preferably with a shorter field for their own offense. Saline can move the ball and if the defense doesn’t get turnovers or do something to slow it down, this will be a long game.
Much like the defense, the Maples have struggled since the first half against the Jets. They have only managed 31 points this year, with 18 of it in that one half. In the beginning of the year, their head coach Phil Jacobs made an emphasis on the running game and the defense. Both have struggled this year and much of their success has been through the air. I think if the Maples want a chance against the Hornets, they are going to need to pass first and use it set-up the run, try to get them on their heels then run past them. Any sort of offense they can get going will be a major benefit to them. They are going to need to help the defense by sustaining some drives.
Another thing that the Maples still need to figure out is the kicking game. If they had a kicker against the Jets who could put it through the uprights, they win that game.
These two teams didn’t play last year, but this isn’t the same Adrian team as last year. The Maples need to get back on track and start playing good football, but that is going to a daunting task this week. Saline has had a lot of success with the run and pass as well as their defense. I think that the Hornets will be too much for the Maples who will be on the road in this game. My prediction is that Saline will win this game big with the score being 35-12.
This game will be played September 7th at 7:00 p.m. at Saline High School.