NORWAY, Mich. (WLUC) - This week’s showdown of the week is another battle between mid-peninsula conference foes. The 6-1 Norway Knights travel to Gwinn to face the 5-2 Modeltowners.
When the Modeltowners met the Knights in 2015, Gwinn and Norway were both 2-5. Now, almost 365 days later, the teams are about .500 and in playoff contention.
This season, the Modeltowners are 5-2 and seeking their first playoff appearance this century, which Head Coach Dion Brown attributes to change in the culture.
“Guys came out this summer and were working hard. Guys kept up their grades. It’s just been a team effort. It’s a true family around here, and I think that’s what I have been trying to do as far as changing the culture,” said Brown.
With homecoming this Friday, the Modeltowners are fired up.
“We’ve got to take them just as serious as we would any other team,” said Gwinn RB/MLB, Carter Ghiringhelli. “It’s homecoming, so that is another environment thing that is going to be working in our favor, but we still have to stay focused.
“We are not going to treat them like they are worse than they are because clearly 6-1, they are a good team, so we are just going to prepare hard. No joking around. It is a serious week,” said Modeltowner QB/MLB, Kevin Roberts.
75 miles away, the Norway Knights are 6-1 with a playoff spot already clinched. Coming into this season, the Knights Head Coach, Bob Madigan’s, message was simple: Just have fun.
“You are going to play a game to have fun. That’s why kids play football. They play football to have fun. They want to have fun, so what are we going to do Friday night? We are going to play a game and we are going to have fun,” said Madigan.
The knights know in order to win they will have to be tough this Friday.
“They are big. They like to run the ball right up the middle,” said Norway FB/LB, Caleb Tinkey. “We are going to have to play some pretty physical football.”
“Basically, we just have to go hard. We have to play to win. We can’t play to lose like we did last week against Westwood. We need to go after them, be the aggressors, [and] we need to hit them,” said Knights RB/DB, Dane Vandenheuvel.
This Friday, the Modeltowners will look for their sixth win and a playoff birth, while the Knights aim for a better playoff seed.