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2009 Week One Hillsdale County High School Football Game of the Week Preview: Pittsford at Colon

Game time: 7 p.m.
Location: Colon (400 Dallas St. Colon, MI 49040)
Tickets: $5


On offense:
The Wildcats completed just three passes for 29 yards in a week one loss to Ottawa Lake Whiteford, and the team’s main two running backs totaled just 82 yards, Sure Garet Lee ran for 139 yards and is big-play capable but the offense needs more balance if they are going to be heading back to the postseason. Look for Seth Weber to step up at wideout and for the offensive line to improve.

On defense:
It looks like the Wildcats are missing graduates like Chase Weber, Clark Pelham, Ben Wines and Zac Vanlergberg more than they’re willing to admit. They gave up three scoring plays of at least 33 yards last week and Whiteford ran for nearly 250 yards and passed for 105 more. Last year Pittsford limited Colon to a combined 20 points in the two meetings between the squads, and they caused several key turnovers.

The Wildcats beat the Magi twice last year and that can go one of two ways: either the Magi have had this game marked on their schedule since the end of last season and are raring to go, or Pittsford has developed a mental advantage against them. My time as a fan and journalist tell me its the first one. The Wildcats have also won four straight SCAA openers, dating back to 2005.

COLON (1-0)

On offense:
It seems QB Brendon Shallack was who he was and nothing more against Pittsford last season. He went 6-of-16 for 112 yards and 6-of-15 for 105 yards with an interception each time the schools faced off. Where Shallack could really “shellack” the Wildcats is on the ground. He ran for 86 yards in one of last season’s meetings and he ran for three toucdhowns and threw for one more in last week’s 38-0 win over Athens. Fullback Curtis Hiler is a hard-hitting menace who leads the team’s power ground game. Last year’s Wildcats could handle him, but this is 2009, not ’08.

On defense:
Hiler is also a beast on defense at the linebacker slot. He had 12 tackles in the first meeting with Pittsford last year. They allowed 21 points per game in 2008 and are fresh off a shutout of Athens to kick off the new season.

Head coach Ryan Tundevold appears to have this program headed toward a series of consecutive postseason berths based on their progression. It seems like his team wasn’t so much beaten because of a lack of athletes last year as they were just victims of their own mistakes. Pittsford head coach Bob Clement called Colon “The best 5-4 team in the state,” last season, but only he knows if it was a genuine remark.

By the Numbers
The Wildcats hold a slight 2-1 edge in the all-time series. Pittsford beat Colon twice last season, including the playoffs, while the Magi beat the Wildcats 17-8 in the 2005 playoffs.

The number of yards Pittsford QB Garet Lee ran for last year, a school record. He ran for 139 yards in week one.

2003 The last year Pittsford lost its first two games of the season. It’s also the last time they missed the playoffs.

My 2-cents:
The Magi run a spread tiple-option attack with a variety of skilled athletes that return from last season’s playoff squad. If you add that with the fact the Wildcats are probably the main bullseye on the Magi’s schedule it makes it hard for me to take Pittsford in this battle. The Wildcats proved they can hang with a solid team in last week’s loss but they also proved susceptible to big plays. I think Pittsford will have a little more success in the passing game than last week, but ultimately the Magi’s ground attack will wear them thin.



About rjwalters

I am what you think I am — a journalist. Actually when I was hired at my current job, which by the way is Sports Editor of the Hillsdale Daily News in Hillsdale, Mich., I applied for a position titled "Wordsmith", so at my best I'll call myself a writer attempting to be a wordsmith extraordinaire.


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