Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Redford Thurston @ Milan

Milan (9-0)is the two time defending Huron League champion and is coming off of a 20-13 victory over a solid Ypsi Lincoln team. Thurston has won 5 consecutive games and beat their arch rival Redford Union week 9 by a score of  56-6. This will be the first ever meeting between the two schools.

Milan surprised many around the Huron League this season by reloading after heavy graduation losses last year including a handful that are now playing in the college ranks. The Big Reds are led by the best all around player in the Huron League in QB/S Robert Kanitz. Kanitz accounted for over 1,650 yards and 20 TD's this season and simply doesn't make mistakes. Defensively, he is a sure tackler and rarely allows teams the home run play.

The biggest surprise in the league this season is the arrival of freshman Trace Lindeman,. The 5-8, 145 lb speedster has rushed for over 1,100 yards and 10 TD's. Blowing holes for Lindeman are offensive linemen and senior captains Jake Friese and Chad Hall. The leading receiver for the league champions is senior Gage Smith with 35 catches for 525 yards and 4 TD's.

Defensively, the Big Reds are led by their linebacking corp of seniors Austin Hoover and Max Blackburn along with junior Josh Colville. Hoover is considered by many as the best defender in the Huron League. Junior DB CJ Duffiney is a two year starter and has an interception and two fumble recoveries on the season. Milan gives up a paltry 13 ppg.

Thurston was on the brink of missing the playoffs this season when they started 1-3 but reeled off 5 straight wins to qualify for the playoffs. This isn't a vintage Eagle team but their losses are to solid programs and they have a fine coach in Bob Snell.

Offensively Thurston is led by QB Tyler Bellis. The senior signal caller is a threat both through the air and on the ground. The Eagles boast a solid tandem at WR in Tommy Hailey and Curtiss Cobb. Hailey will also get a few rushing attempts per game when the Eagles line up in the wildcat formation.

The defense for Thurston is the reason they qualified for the playoffs. During the 5 game winning streak they have given up a meager 6 ppg. The defense is led by LB's Aaron Griffin and Robert Seton along with DL Deonte Jones.

Many times in the playoffs a 9-0 team is rewarded with an easy #4 seed. This certainly isn't the case with this match up. Thurston is capable of pulling off the upset and Milan cannot afford to look past this game. One advantage for the Big Reds will be playing on the grass at Milan as opposed to the beautiful turf in Redford. Pick: Milan 21 Thurston 17.

Milan Big Reds

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Gage*. Not gene. Thurston is big but not super athletic. It will be a fun game.

Anonymous said...

Chris,
You haven't done your homework very well. 21-17 I was way too close. Milan 38 Thurston 12

Anonymous said...

Good Luck to Milan! You have been the only team that beat SMCC this season so us SMCC fans don't want that loss to be for nothing. We want to see you at Ford Field!

Chris Schultz said...

As you notice I never pick games with a very big spread unless it was FR this season. I will take Thurston getting 26 points. Care to wager? That is what I thought.

Didn't do my homework? C'mon man I though I was pretty detailed.

Anonymous said...

Milan 28-20. I would say Chris does his homework quite well. I doubt Milan beats anybody by 20+ from here on out. EM

Anonymous said...

I see this being a 27-7 game for Milan. Then it gets tough vs. Melvindale.

Anonymous said...

Chris- Thank you for your thoughts on the Huron League this year. I think they are very well detailed and unbiased, let's not forget this is about teenaged boys busting their butts year round to play the game they love and the game we as parents and fans love to watch. Good luck to all th HL teams and ....GO BIG REDS !

CoachTom48160 said...

I like to see confidence in my fellow Big Reds fans but not blind confidence. I love that Milan is hosting this game, but that didn't put them over the top last year vs. Tecumseh, right? Granted the Redford boys will have to spend a lot more time on a bus than Tecumseh did--and I like that--but I only consider it a small edge and not a deciding factor.

For those who think Milan will roll, that's fine. Perhaps they will. But I will ask that you look at their three games vs. playoff teams this season as evidence:

*Close home win vs. SMCC
*Close home win vs. Ypsi Lincoln
*20 point road win vs. Riverview

The game at Riverview was a great road win, but Milan jumped all over the Pirates early. Milan used big plays and turnovers to get that early lead and then traded punches the rest of the way.

The bottom line is that I would expect playoff games to more closely resemble the Lincoln and CC games than that Riverview game. I would love to be proven wrong.

I like Milan this week in a close one. Next week, I would expect Riverview to play Milan much tougher (similar to the second Airport/Milan game last season) or a real heavyweight slugfest vs. Melvindale. There are no gimmies in the postseason.

Anonymous said...

Milan will win but it will be close, don't kid yourself. 21-17 sounds pretty accurate, I would go along with it.

Anonymous said...

Milan will win this game. If they come out hard, and if they go up 14 or 21 quick, Thurston lays down. If Milan plays like crap like they did the first half against Lincoln, then it could be a tougher game than it should be. Milan has been great at getting ahead and then pounding the ball. That's what needs to happen Friday. Milan 28 Thurston 14.

Anonymous said...

Chris,
Lets wager. I'll give you 22 pts. I'll take Milan. If I win you meet me at Pete's Garage on wing night. If you win.............

Chris Schultz said...

So that number is 22 instead of 26? I'll take 22 and Thurston for Wings night at Pete's Garage. How about a bonus for me that would include a beer if Thurston pulls off the upset?

Anonymous said...

a bucket of beers for you if Thurston pulls off the upset. I think Thurston has talent, but Milan will take care of business early. Milan played bad Friday and will make sure they keep it basic and not turn the ball over. Thurston is going to have problems moving the ball unless they hit big plays. Milan does not give up big plays.

Anonymous said...

Love the conversation going on here. Milan bloggers are getting wiser and more realistic as the season rolls on.

In big games, Milan has a pattern. They score first, get 1-2 more scores and the defense stops opponents with 1-2 scores:

Last year's GI game, Airport playoff, this year's Ypsi, CC, and Lincoln game.

Each of those games, like most big games, came down to 3-4 key plays...usually Milan converting on a critical 3rd or 4th down.

An unsung factor is the leadership that Kanitz brings to the team. He steadies everyone. If Milan does not score first, he is likely to lead them back.

Two things will impact the game:

1. Play calling. The normal runs might get stopped more often than in other games. Will the coaches break out the playbook and bring the creativity they did against Riverview? What did impress last game is that even though everyone in the stadium knew the QB would run the ball, somehow, they marched down the field. Coaches knew what they were doing. With Lindeman back it will be a hard combo to stop all game. Sooner or later they break a long one.

2. Milan crowd. C'mon Big Reds fans, you are far too quiet. The last two plays of the game against Lincoln you came a live. Why not make some noise??!!

Last thing I'll say...everyone thought Lincoln would really do something on offense last week. There was not much there. Milan's defense must be pretty good.

Lincoln tried 5-6 long passes and the DB's did the job. That gives me a lot more confidence for this week.

Milan 28-14.

Anonymous said...

Chris, great summary of the teams and the game. Really appreciate it.

Anonymous said...

I'm in record that Redford will keep it close and maybe steal it. 22 points?? Crazy talk.

-bn

Anonymous said...

Milan wins. It's just that simple.

Anonymous said...

Excited about tonight's game. I think Milan wins. Hate to make predictions cause they tend to come back and bite you in the butt! I hope the TEAM plays the way they need to. If each individual on the TEAM does their job, then the TEAM plays again next week. Play hard Big Reds!