STANTON — The Central Montcalm Hornets will be looking for its first home football win of the season on Friday night.
The Hornets lost in week one at home 21-0 to Chippewa Hills (1-1) and won in week two at White Cloud (0-2) 38-22. The start of the season has been both good and bad for the Hornets.
Central Montcalm coach Marty James said his team is improving.
“We have gotten better as the season has progressed,” he said. “Against Chippewa Hills we had too many unforced errors and we limited those against White Cloud.”
Defensively, James said the team has played well.
“We have played pretty well defensively, except we have moments in the game where we either get lazy or we give up a big play,” James said. “We have got to be more consistent on both sides of the ball.”
Offensively, Central Montcalm is a young team. Three of four running backs with carries this season are underclassmen. Junior quarterback Keagan James has rushed for 186 yards, sophomore Trenton Braman has 165 yards and freshman Bo Studley has 54 yards. Braman rushed for three scores in the White Cloud win.
Central Montcalm will host Big Rapids on Friday. The Cardinals come into the game 0-2 with losses to Reed City (39-26) and Hesperia (38-0). Both schools are 2-0 for the year.
Big Rapids is coming off a playoff season with an 8-2 record. After defeating Chippewa Hills in the regular season 29-27, they lost 31-6 in the first round of the playoffs.
James said Big Rapids is a physical team.
“They seem to be a team that wants to physically pound the ball in the run game and pass when necessary,” he said. “Their running backs run the ball well and are physically tough. The quarterback throws the ball well and handles pressure well.”
After two fumbles in the season opener and some mental mistakes, the Hornets know what they have to do to win on Friday.
“Take care of the football and eliminate the mental mistakes,” James said.
Aaron Loew leads the Hornets defense with 18 tackles. Tyler Baker and Jacob Palmer each have eight tackles. Keagan James has two interceptions.
Big Rapids defeated Central Montcalm at home last year 27-18.
This is the part of the Hornets schedule where wins are a must. After the Big Rapids game, the Hornets face winless Morley Stanwood and Holton. The final four games are against teams currently 2-0 in Newaygo, Lakeview, Reed City and Hesperia.
“We just need to be consistent and we can not afford to have mental mistakes or unforced errors,” James said.