Game of the Week: Gladstone at Kingsford
GLADSTONE/KINGSFORD, Mich. (WLUC) -
Our game of the week for week four is a marquee matchup. Not only is it #1 versus #4, but it’s a Great Northern Conference contest that could impact home field in the playoffs.
The Gladstone Braves are 3-0, and improving every week. They came from behind to beat Negaunee two weeks ago, and then shut out Sault Ste. Marie on the road, in the second half last week.
“We didn’t have a whole lot of expectations other than, we just wanted to play good football," said Gladstone head coach Jeff Hansen. "The kids are very happy playing right now, and the success of winning games is a byproduct of that.”
Kingsford meanwhile is 2-1, and although they lost to Marquette last week, their defense still looked tough.
“They’ve been playing lights out,” said Mark Novara, Flivvers head coach. "I think we’ve given up just 26 points in three games. They’re a really confident group.”
For Gladstone, controlling the trenches is key to beating the Flivvers defense.
“We have to have our offensive line create those holes for the running game and just try to establish that run game first, and then hopefully we can throw some passes in there too,” said Camron Kelly, quarterback for the Braves.
On the other side of the ball, things didn’t fare as well last week for the Flivvers, they were shut out at home. It’s a performance coach Novara says won’t be repeated, because they know the stakes.
“We’re putting in a lot of new stuff defensively and offensively, and I think we’re going to put together a good game against Gladstone on Friday,” said Kingsford safety Nolan LaVarnway.
“It’s a huge game for seeding for the playoffs, and right now we’re sitting around like 5th or so, and we want a home game," said Novara. "The only way you get them is by winning, so this is a big deal for us.”
In a year where every team is making the playoffs, the possibility of home field advantage or a bye is all the motivation needed.
“Any time that you can have your community directly involved in postseason play, I think it’s a very good thing and we play to win every game,” said Hansen.
“It just gives us an extra motivation and extra boost to win in front of our home crowd and to make them happy,” said LaVarnway.
Kickoff in Kingsford on Friday night is set for 6 p.m. central time.
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