Montabella, Central Montcalm ready for openers

By Chip Burch • Last Updated 9:54 am on Friday, August 24, 2012

The first week of high school football is today with all of the local teams playing their first games.

Montabella will be heading to Saugatuck for the first game of the season. This is coming after the Mustangs won their first playoff game last season and finished 9-2.

“We’ve got a lot of things fixed from the scrimmage last week, we had a very good week of practice,” coach David Clay said. “We were able to fix some of the problems that we had from the scrimmage, but we also added a few wrinkles on offense and defense. We’re pretty prepared for the game.”

Saugatuck is “in the same situation we are,” Clay said.

“In reading some of their stuff they are replacing quite a few defensive starters and offensive starers,” he noted.” They pride themselves on being physical and executing their assignments. They don’t do a lot of flashy stuff or have a lot of flashy plays, but they do execute at the line of scrimmage.”

The key to winning the game will be out-executing them, according to Clay.

“We struggled with that at the scrimmage and we had a week to fix that,” he said. “I think physically we match up evenly with them (Saugatuck). It’s going to come down to who executes their assignments better on both sides of the ball.”

Another team on the road tonight will be Central Montcalm, who will open at Chippewa Hills. Not only is it the season-opener, but it’s also the Central State Activities Association opener.

“Chip Hills throws a lot at you,” Green Hornets coach Marty James said. “Ever since I’ve been here Chip Hills has been on the back end of the schedule. The coaching staff has had to put together a game plan in a short amount of time. We have to go on the scrimmage tape and look at years past to get some tendencies.”

The Warriors “have a two-quarterback system and each quarterback brings a little different dynamic,” James noted.

“The bad news for us is both can throw the ball. That throws a different wrinkle at us. They have two good backs that run the ball. We have to tackle well, we have to tackle with our head up.”

James said there are a few things the Hornets need to do to win tonight.

“I think the first game, we have to try to eliminate the first-game type of mistakes,” he said. “We have to protect the football, we have to tackle well, and we have to control the line of scrimmage. With our offense being a run offense, it’s probably no different than any other game.”

Other games tonight have Carson City-Crystal going to Saginaw Michigan Lutheran Seminary and Lakeview at Morley Stanwood.

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