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OT Riley Norman, Cadillac Blank Alpena to Move Closer to Playoffs

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Cadillac Vikings

Jeff Johnson – 9 and 10 News

The 5-2 (3-2) Cadillac Vikings got back to playing their brand of football and move themselves 1 win away from qualifying for the playoffs. This week they took it to the 1-6 (1-3) Alpena Wildcats. The running game worked very well as they were led by the ground by Jalen Brooks and company, but if it wasn’t for Riley Norman, Jack Ford and the rest of the line, they wouldn’t have had the success they did.

Cadillac got it going in the first quarter when on the second play of the game, Brooks broke free for a 45 yard touchdown run. Nick Paquet added the extra point. Brooks would strike again at the halfway point of the quarter when he took another run in from a yard out. He wasn’t done yet as he took yet another touchdown run, this one a 75 yarder. They would lead 21-0 at the end of the opening quarter.

They weren’t done yet though. Early into the 2nd, Nolan Goerner added another rushing touchdown to his team’s total when he scored from 2 yards out. Brooks would add yet another touchdown before the half ended when he scored on a 14 yard run. Cadillac was up 34-0 at halftime.

There would only be one score in the second half and that was once again done by Brooks. It came at the halfway point in the 3rd and it was a 25 yard run. That would make the score 40-0, which would be the final.

A game like this against an opponent like Alpena can be a good thing, but it can also be a bad thing as it can make a team over-confident going forward and opens them up to being shocked. What I really liked to see was that the Vikings defense held tough throughout the whole game and pitched the shut-out. I know that the Wildcats don’t have a good offense, but teams do tend to let up and points get scored when the game is already over. Cadillac showed a lot of energy on defense and got bodies to the ball carriers and prevented them from getting yards, as well as keeping them far from the end zone. Norman led the way with 6 tackles and he had a few teammates tied at 4. That shows me there was a team effort on defense. They probably would have more if they hadn’t pulled their starters, but I commend the second string for continuing what their starters did.

Brooks was impressive this week. He did what I thought they needed to do and that was play behind that line and hit the holes. That is exactly what happened too. When you’re running game is working as well as it was, you have to give credit to the line to getting to their blocks, but a lot goes to the runner who hits those holes and makes the only guy to stop him miss. Brooks carried the ball 20 times which he took for 273 yards and 5 rushing touchdowns. He was joined by Tanner Derror who had 7 carries for 71 yards. Brooks wasn’t bad through the air either as he completed 9 of his 14 passes for 104 yards. Patrick Briggs caught 59 yards of that total. I think if Cadillac can continue what they did against the Wildcats, they will score that final victory that need and a spot in the playoffs.

Cadillac will look to score that playoff clinching win this week when they travel to play against their last non-conference opponent in the 0-7 (0-7) Clio Mustangs. This week Clio hosted the Lapeer West Panthers and the Mustangs were blanked 31-0.

Alpena will try to snap their losing streak when they host the 4-3 (2-3) Petoskey Northmen. This week Petoskey hosted the Traverse City West Titans and the Northmen were defeated 24-17.

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