Coming off of their first loss of the season, the 4-1 (2-1) Cadillac Vikings are looking to get back to their winning ways and stay in the Big North conference title hunt. Their quarterback, Jalen Brooks, will try to continue moving this ball for the offense behind his big offensive line of Riley Norman and company against the 2-3 (0-2) Ogemaw Heights Falcons. Can they shake off the hangover from last week’s loss and get back on track?
Ogemaw Heights have alternated home and away games this season, beginning at home against the Standish-Sterling Panthers. The Falcons outscored the Panthers 28-7 in the first half and tacked on 10 more to win the game 38-20. Both teams moved the ball well, but Standish-Sterling could not slow down the running game of Ogemaw Heights as it picked up 340 yards on the ground. Much of that was from senior running back Brandon Benac, who had 165 yards of it on 19 carries and 2 touchdowns.
The Falcons opened up conference play on the road against the Petoskey Northmen. The Northmen dominated in that game 34-8. Petoskey moved the ball fairly well, gaining 299 yards of offense, but they could only manage one touchdown and threw two interceptions.
Back home, Ogemaw Heights faced the Waverly Warriors and the Warriors scored the 40-21 victory. Both teams featured strong running attacks, but the three interceptions thrown by the Falcons were the difference maker.
From here the Falcons went back on the road to play the Glenn Bobcats. Ogemaw Heights rushed out to a 21-6 lead and maintained it to win 35-20. This was a sloppy game that had seven combined turnovers between the two teams. The Falcons’ running game was the difference maker as it gained 419 yards and five touchdowns.
In their last game, they hosted the Traverse City Central Trojans and were defeated soundly 49-21. They rushed the ball very well, but turnovers were the problem once again as they lost four fumbles and threw an interception. They did force some themselves, but couldn’t turn theirs into points.
Cadillac’s defense has been solid all year, except for last week against Traverse City West Titans. The Vikings have played fundamental defense and force the teams to execute. I think this week, they will get back to what they’ve done all year long. What is good for them is that the Falcons turn the ball over a lot. I think that is something they will continue to do this week. As long as Cadillac keeps the pressure on, then I think they will force Ogemaw Heights into mistakes.
The Viking offense needs to get back to their running game. I don’t think Ogemaw Heights’ defense will be able to slow it down and that will open the ability to throw the ball if they need to. Most teams have moved the ball very well on them and with the short fields their offense forces them in, I don’t think they are going to have much success in stopping them. Norman and the offensive line should have success will mean that Brooks will have his yards and scores.
Last year when these two teams played, the game was in Cadillac and they won a double overtime thriller 45-38. The game was sloppy last year from both sides, but the Vikings scored in the second overtime and kept them from answering back.
I do think both teams will score, but I don’t think Ogemaw Heights will make it as close as they did last year. I think Cadillac’s defense is good, but I think the Falcon’s offense will turn the ball over too much. My prediction for the game will be that the Vikings win on the road, 35-21.
This game will be played at Ogemaw Heights High School on Sept. 28 at 7:00 p.m. in Ogemaw Heights, Mich.