Wednesday, November 19, 2014

NorthPointe Christian/SMCC @ Harper Creek

SMCC (11-1) is coming off of an exciting 27-26 victory over Lumen Christi while NorthPointe (11-1) defeated Waterviliet 41-35. These two teams have never met. The Mustangs play in the OK Conference Silver Division.

NorthPointe is led by QB Luke Van Dyke. The senior has thrown for over 1,200 yards and rushed for another 500. The Mustang ground attack is led by the brother tandem of Kenny and Char Willekes. Kenny has ran for over a 1,000 yards.

The Mustang defense is led by two outstanding two-way players in senior Preston Huckaby and junior T. J. Swore. Huckaby is a 4 year starter.

SMCC continues to run the ball against everyone they face, but the QB/WR tandem of seniors Bryce Windham and Travis Vuich have kept defenses off balance all season. Senior RB John Lako played through injury last week and had one of his biggest games of the season against Lumen Christi.

The SMCC defense is what has carried them this season. The Falcons are giving up just 9 ppg against a schedule that has included 8 playoff opponents in 12 games.

SMCC will be the best team that NorthPoint has played all season, but the Grand Rapids area produces some of the best football teams in the state in every division. This will be a closely contested game with the winner moving on to Ford Field. Prediction: SMCC 38 NorthPointe Christian 20.


51 comments:

Anonymous said...

I've seen GRNP twice this season. They are quick and sharp. Their quarterback likes quick throws but can put it down field if need be. They have only been tested once all year minus the Hopkins loss. Last week they gave up lots of points and yardage to wing-t Watervilet. Watervilet is not anywhere near CC in terms of defense which is promising for the Falcons. Underestimate no one, play to win you'll be fine

Anonymous said...

lol Watervliet doesn't run the wing T. They are nothing but spread

Anonymous said...

I would think all Huron League schools would want Huron League teams to win. Unfortunately it does seem there are haters out there. The best of luck to both Huron and SMCC, show them what HLFB is all about. For what its worth all Monroe county schools should want these teams to succeed, but I know its a stretch. I get heated rivalries and heat of the moment exchanges. But to wish bad and hate a team is sad. Come on people, football fans, step up and cheer these programs on.

Huron League Fan

stosento said...

GRNP
AVG OPPONENT WINS (including postseason): 5.42
PPG: 39.25
PA: 11.33 (6 shutouts)
Regular Season opponents in playoffs (RSOiP): 3 (Stockbridge D5 1st Olivet, MPSH D8 1st Fowler, Hopkins D5 2nd GRWC)
Path to semis (PTS): Fennville; Ravenna; Watervliet

Players to watch (in order of danger level):
Kenny Willekes - 6'2, 220lb FB/LB. He is their guy. He's a workhorse that doesn't have a lot of wiggle, but decent speed and not afraid to run over people. He's also a fantastic LB.
Luke VanDyke - 6'3, 210lb QB. Has quite a bit of passing yards this year. He's got some speed as well, so SMCC might have some trouble containing him. He has thrown a decent amount of picks this year.
Preston Huckaby - 6'1ish, 180lb(?). Kicker/#2 receiver/DB. The dude is a veteran and obvious leader of the team.
TJ Swore - #1 receiver/DB. Good athlete. This is VanDyke's #1 option.

Offense
Best comparison to a team that SMCC has seen is a bigger GI? NP likes to run the spread, but only averages about 10-15 passes per game. They like to spread out the defense and make them honor the pass. Their best RB, Willekes, gets most of his yards and TDs right up the middle. They generally like to give it to him on little draw plays. He hides the ball well and is pretty tough to take down with that size. Their offense has been pretty tough to contain, their lowest score being 20 against a decent Hopkins team.

Big linemen:
6-5 240 T, 6-3 220 G, 6-1 195 C, 6-2 220 G, 6-4 210 T
They give VanDyke nice pass protection. If SMCC plays as far off the receivers as they did against JLC in the first half, it could be a little troubling to stop their quick hook or out routes. However, any routes across the middle could be trouble due to VanDyke's tedencies to throw picks and SMCCs disciplined defense.

Defense
They've got a good one. Their LB core is probably the best that SMCC will face, headed by Willekes. Physical is the best way to describe the NP defense. They have a great tendency to swarm to the ball and wrap up well, especially on sweeps. Their downfall has been, luckily for SMCC, the T offense. While NP has held most teams under double digits, including 6 shutouts, two of their highest allowed points were against Hopkins and Godwin Heights, giving up 37 and 36 points, respectively. Both those squads run the T similar to the Falcons. I'll go into those games later.

Like I said, very strong LB crew and their D-line is as big as their O-line. Their fallback seems to be in the DB department...they're very susceptible to good air attacks. While Hopkins didn't have to air it out in their win, the Godwins Height QB threw for almost 200 yards and 2 TDs. Watervliet QB threw for 350 yards and 5(!!!) TDs. So, you can throw against NP.

Combine a T offense that's most likely more effective on the ground than Hopkins, and a pass game that keeps the defense off-balance, and the defense for NP could be in trouble.

stosento said...

GRNP strength of schedule
Regular season they played against 3 teams that made the playoffs. They beat playoff teams Stockbridge and Mt. Pleasant Sacred Heart in blowout wins. Both of these teams lost in the first round in D5 and D8, respectively. Kinda meh teams, I think most HL teams could beat both.

The other playoff team, Hopkins, beat NP 37-20 and went on to lose in Districts to a strong Grand Rapids West Catholic team in D5. Those guys are gonna win the title, so hard to tell how far Hopkins would have went if not running into them.

NP played against a lot of very "meh" kind of teams. I say "meh" in the sense that the HL would have beat most of them convincingly as well. Their 3 playoff teams got increasingly difficult, but only think Watervliet was a team that is worth noting. So, I'll analyze their games against Hopkins, Wyoming Godwin Heights, and Watervliet.

Hopkins - 8-2, lost in Districts
NP lost 20-37
The rumor here is that NP had a 4-day senior retreat that kept 14 of their starters from practicing that week. It's unfortunate that this happened on the week of their best opponent to date. NP did make some good halftime adjustments to slow down the Hopkins run attack, but the damage was already done. You do need a good scheme to stop the Hopkin's T, but I think SMCC runs a T that's much better than Hopkins, though very similar. Furthermore, Hopkins didn't pass at all that game, and SMCC has that threat that NP will have to address.

Wyoming Godwin Heights - 5-4, didn't make playoffs
NP won 42-36 in 2OT
Wyoming Godwin Heights was a playoff caliber team, losing only a couple of heartbreakers that kept them out of the playoffs...one of them being this game against NP. WGH runs a T offense that NP kept in check for the most part. The thing that kept WGH alive is their athletic dual-threat QB, which obviously included the pass game. WGH kept a lot of drives alive through the air, and kept NP off-balance. Again, I think SMCC runs a better T, and with a similarly dangerous pass game. A lot of people draw parallels between WGH and SMCC, but I argue that SMCC has a T offense much better than WGH and only slighlty less of a dangerous pass game. But, the more effective run game calls less on the pass game, while still opening up the threat more efficiently.

Watervliet - 10-2 - lost to NP in Regionals
NP won 41-35
NP was up 41-20 late in the fourth before Watervliet's spread offense started the late comeback. A recovered onside kick by NP shut down the opportunity for Watervliet to get another shot on offense. Why do I bring up this game? 1) Watervliet killed NP with 350 yards and 5 TDs through the air, just didn't have a defense to stop NP. 2) Holy turnovers, batman!

NP gave the ball away 4 times to Watervliet (2 fumbles, 2 int) and it could have been much, MUCH worse. NP fumbled 2 punt returns that they jumped back onto, as well as a fumbled snap they recovered. NP's QB had 2 more throws that were very close to being INTs. There's no way they can beat SMCC with those crazy turnovers.

stosento said...

SMCC
AVG OPPONENT WINS (including postseason): 6.5
PPG: 38.08
PA: 9.17 (4 shutouts)
RSOiP: 5 (Tecumseh D3 1st DeWitt, Huron D3 *, GI 1st Chelsea, Riverview D3 1st Huron, LCC D5 *)
PTS: Grass Lake; Clinton; JLC

Players to Watch
Lako - He looked pretty great in the JLC game. He didn't have any visible limp. My hunch is that he will need some sort of surgery to correct the injury, but at this point it's something he can't hurt further, and he is putting up with the pain. He's a powerful runner that can hopefully contribute to the defense this upcoming week.
Howey - I've heard from multiple people that he's working hard to get back to the defense. His twitter is promising, though cryptic. I think he'll get limited reps on defense, which would be great for the secondary.

Keys to Win - OFFENSE
PASS THE BALL!!! I think SMCC should come out and throw a bomb to Vuich on a play action first play of the game. NP has had a rough time containing the pass, and starting off strong passing the game could really throw them for a loop. No one has really stopped their run game, but if anyone could, it's probably NP. The trenches will determine how effective the run game for SMCC is, and I like their chances. Getting a hat on the LBs will be a tall order, but the misdirection and speed of SMCC's offense will be tough for NP to replicate in practice and I think they'll find a way to gain some yards on the ground.

Keys to Win - DEFENSE
Stop the big man up the middle, trust your keys. NP has a ton of offensive weapons, and it'll take a disciplined and collaborative effort to stop NP on offense. SMCC generally follows their reads well, and there's not really a D1 offensive athlete that will hurt them toooo badly. Solid secondary play to force some turnovers will be important as well.

Prediction
SMCC throws for a suprising amount of yards and TDs, maybe even adding a couple of pass plays just to throw NP off. The LB play of NP will be tough to get by, so I'm a little worried there. If the pass game for SMCC isn't there, it might be closer than expected.

The only thing that is making me confident about the SMCC offense is that it's probably the best that NP has seen...ever. They're only in their 8th season, and this will be the best team they have played...even their coach thinks so. The speed will be too much.

SMCC wins 47-21

Anonymous said...

I hear Grand Rapids has been able to get some practice time in a dome this week. Getting a lot of go practice in. Tough for SMCC to compete with that. Out in elements but its supposed to be 45 this Saturday. No advantage.
the weather will hurt SMCC this week.

Anonymous said...

IMO the 2 best teams in division 6 played this past Saturday in Jackson. As long as SMCC isn't looking ahead to next week they should win this game by at least 2 TD's. EM

stosento said...

Nov 19 4:51pm
The weather will hurt SMCC? I'd rather them practice outside since that's where they're going to play the game. Maybe it won't be as cold as last weekend, but it's still Michigan in the middle of November. You should always practice in the elements of which you'll play, so I'd give an advantage to SMCC in that department.

Anonymous said...

@ 4:51

SMCC has been indoors all week. Even practiced at Carleson practice field yesterday which is turf. May have been outside today though. So yeah, it's actually not so tough for SMCC to compete with that.

Anonymous said...

SMCC has been indoors as well..

Anonymous said...

Pretty sure Carlson does not have a practice field with turf. Who cares about the weather. Lets just line them up and get it on! I

stosento said...

They do have turf. I agree it doesn't matter much. I just got done with an exam and now I CANNOT WAIT for some football this weekend.

stosento said...

Interesting mlive article this morning. Apparently GRNP didn't have practice Tuesday due to the weather. This means they're looking at a practice Monday to introduce the offense and the keys, and then 2 full practices yesterday and today, as well as a lighter practice tomorrow.

Here's what their coach had to say about the situation, "They(the players) have watched a lot of video so they knew what the keys are when they came in. So from that standpoint, we know that we have done as much as we can.”

While obviously they've watched film, you need as many reps of that scout team offense in action to have the in-game feel. Doesn't mean disaster for GRNP, but I think they really could have used that day.

Anonymous said...

Carslon of course has a field turf.. duh. They are practicing inside at the sports complex on the east side.

Anonymous said...

I know someone on Grand rapids staff. Article not all its cracked up to be.

Carlson has turf on their main field. Their practice field is NOT turf.

GRNP will be fine guys. Should be a great game. I guess nobody cares about the weather, hopefully the players feel that way.

By the way, 2 good teams played in Jackson last weekend. The best team in the state played in Ithaca last weekend. Can't argue with 75 straight wins and 4 state championships in a row. Sorry guys. Now that's impressive.

Anonymous said...

SMCC fans, I have a great suggestion for your program. If you are able to win the State Title, leave the Huron League.

With the talent you draw in, however you may get that talent, you have no challenges in this league, year in, year out your at the top or very near it. You go far in the playoffs every year.

Time to go. Tired of it. Tired of hearing about you.

You have the county all star team every year. Go play against the other county all star teams in southeast Michigan.

Anonymous said...

@ 12:24

Ithaca has won 68 games in a row, and it doesn't matter how good they were in the past, it matters how good they are this year.

Anonymous said...

12:24pm
SMCC practices on Carlson's main field. Why else would they go there to practice if they were going to use their practice field? Use your head

I can't argue with 75 wins in a row and 4 state championships. They started that streak with a great QB Alex Niznak and continued with a great QB in Smith. Smith Jr is a good QB but not as good as his brother. Words don't mean much at this point, I just hope both Ithaca and SMCC can meet again to prove who the best team in D6 is this year.

1:03pm
Why would you want a talented team out of the league? SMCC isn't dominating the league year in and year out. Milan has been great the past couple of years. You didn't see people trying to run Milan out of the HL. There are ups and downs for every team throughout the years. Why don't we throw out Huron too since they're doing better? You want a league with talent and success. It only helps the league as a whole.

-SO

Anonymous said...

@ 1:03

Yeah I'm sure the SMCC administration is going to read your comment and go "You know what, we're gonna do this!" I wonder if the same thing is being said to Brother Rice or Ithaca? It's the people like you that annoy me the most. Not the ones talking about tuition and recruiting, but you. CC has other sports too. They're not going to leave the HL just because they're good at football sport almost every year. It may be different if CC dominated at every sport that they offer. Stop complaining and prep your team for next year if you want to beat them so bad, or leave the league yourself.

Anonymous said...

Giarmo has won 4 league titles in like 16 years. Redmond won more.. Heck Hoskins has won 2 in 4 years. I could see you point if CC has won the league every year but they haven't. Only a school of 400 playing against schools as big as 1000.

Last week we heard, you haven't played anyone yet.. beat JLC and now you have done something. Well we did that.

Now we hear Ithaca is the best team... ok maybe. we will hopefully find out.

By the way.. Flat Rock would go 7-2 with Ithaca's schedule.

Anonymous said...

That's very impressive. But SMCC is better than Ithaca this year.

Anonymous said...

http://www.statechampsnetwork.com/state-champs-videos-shows/?id=3900181101001&contentID=E4C3DC92-5056-8946-89FAF4676CB57748

Anonymous said...

Hey 1:03, you might want to check your facts. Since 2000, Airport has won or shared the league championship more than any other school - 6 times (source: TheDZone.net) and Milan 4 times. Using your logic, I guess they should leave the league too so it's softened up enough for the school you support to win. Better yet, maybe every school should get a trophy every year so everyone feels good about it. Then we could change the name to the Huron Tee Ball League...Or, maybe your boys could work a little harder in the weight room and on the practice field, play with discipline on Friday nights, bring home some trophies like Huron and CC are doing right now and know how it feels to beat the best and be a champion...just my thoughts.

JI

Anonymous said...

The Huron League is very hard to win in all sports. Nobody dominates.

Anonymous said...

Ithaca should leave their league too. In fact, we shouldn't have leagues at all. Tradition and geography is meaningless. All teams should just start the season in a big playoff bracket. You ARE an idiot.

Anonymous said...

I have a suggestion for you get better, work harder. What all star phenomenal athletes do you speak of cc drawing in. All of these kids were skinny little 9th graders 4 years ago. Coaches put them in position to win.

Anonymous said...

Was actually in attendance at the Ithaca v Madison Hts Madison game: Will reserve comments for later, should a SMCC v Ithaca matchup occur, and I hope it does !

Anonymous said...

@ 1:03 speak for yourself.

I enjoy seeing SMCC in the league. They are a good team. Why would you want to get rid of a skilled team and take a challenge away from the other teams? SMCC is fine in the league. Chris knew this year's team was going to be a powerhouse before they ever stepped foot on the field... and 2 years before this, Milan ran thru the league also... so it isn't consistently SMCC at the top. Quit making excuses and play better and beat them if you haven't. SMCC isn't going anywhere and Flat Rock isn't going anywhere. Get off the topic people. It will not happen.

KC

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
SMCC fans, I have a great suggestion for your program. If you are able to win the State Title, leave the Huron League.

With the talent you draw in, however you may get that talent, you have no challenges in this league, year in, year out your at the top or very near it. You go far in the playoffs every year.

Time to go. Tired of it. Tired of hearing about you.

You have the county all star team every year. Go play against the other county all star teams in southeast Michigan.

November 20, 2014 at 1:03 PM


What an idiot. Do you realize that all you are saying is that with your GIGANTIC student pool, you cannot scrounge up enough decent players to field a football team? We have about 400 kids, half of which are female. How about this? Instead of SMCC leaving the Huron League, how about you, and the sorry team you root for, shut down your football program completely and leave the Huron League. It's obvious to ALL of us that no matter who is in the HL, you will have SOMETHING to complain about. Milan has a better field, Jefferson has bigger players because they're closer to the Fermi plant, Huron's talent pool is better, etc. Just admit that YOUR team can't compete, and just go away! Have you read the sports pages lately? CC isn't the only one in the playoffs. Huron is one game away from Ford Field. HURON. The perennial bottom dwellers have a GREAT team! Oh well, maybe you can't read. You may be tired of us, but we can't STAND people like YOU! Moron.

Anonymous said...

You heard it here first ....CC is a volleyball school. Good luck though

Anonymous said...

Like I said, Carlson does not have a practice field with turf. Just grass and goose dung. And if you are sick of hearing about SMCC then stay off the site. Who else would we talk about other than Huron right now? Poor loser is all you are.

ST said...

6:49pm
They practice on Carlson's main field that does have turf. How many times does it have to be said? Why would they go to Carlson to practice if there wasn't turf for them to practice on? Use your head!

Anonymous said...

Another state championship for volleyball it looks like. Wow what a coach

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
You heard it here first ....CC is a volleyball school. Good luck though

November 20, 2014 at 5:05 PM

I don't know for how much longer. Tuller is leaving, you know.

Anonymous said...

Clown

Anonymous said...

4:32. That's fine. Probably a deserved comment. Feelings are mutual. I have been on Hurons website praising them. They very much have earned their status with the kids God gave them from their district.

You are the moron.

Anonymous said...

I reviewed your blog the week our local team played SMCC in the playoffs. I was very disturbed by some of the comments of our over zealous parents. The reason I returned to the blog today was to see what the parents of SMCC and Huron had to say about the success of their outstanding football teams. I thought that the huron community would be proud and supporting their local teams. To have Huron and SMCC still in the running is amazing. I have pity for the parents that get on this blog and badmouth the SMCC football program. I hope these haters turn into adults some day. Please, teach your kids that hard work and a drive for greatness makes champions. Bad mouthing and hating winners will not make your team or athletes any better. Wanting to remove a great program from your league to increase your chances of a win is sad. Chris - great job running this blog. You have my respect for putting up with the haters. You are doing a great service for the adults that visit your blog. Adult parents are proud of their league and athletes. You supply a venue to comment on their success.

12:32 poster, remember God gave each district the athletes they have. It's now our job to raise them with the values and work ethic to make them successful. I pray you childish parents never tell your athletes that he lost because God gave the other team better players. If you do, they may too grow up to be haters of the better athletic programs.

With all that said I will not return to this blog again.

Anonymous said...

I really wish there were "like" and "dislike" options on here! Lol! Let the haters hate. It's all sour grapes. They've gotta find an excuse as to why SMCC is a perennial power and their team isn't. Proud to be a Falcon! Good luck Kestrels!! Good luck Falcons!! Good luck Chiefs!!

Anonymous said...

Do you guys realize how much like idiots you sound talking about recruiting? I hope other fans outside the Huron League don't come on here.. its embarrassing.

Anonymous said...

Enough of the bickering! It's getting a bit out of hand! Time to strap it up and play ball. Good Luck to the Falcons and Chiefs!!

Anonymous said...

I'm gonna get some coldcuts tonight !

Anonymous said...

Like

Anonymous said...

"By the way.. Flat Rock would go 7-2 with Ithaca's schedule."

This comment interested me. I highly doubted 7-2, but I thought maybe 2 or 3 wins. I decided to use calpreps to see what they predicted. After putting Flat Rock up against all of Ithaca's schedule, their final record was 0-9. Sorry Flat Rock.

Anonymous said...

GAME DAY MEN--FALCONS-FALCONS-FALCONS!!!!

Anonymous said...

Ithaca won 20-16

Anonymous said...

2:22 you are unaware of the history of SMCC around here. Theres alot more to it than what you see on this blog.

Huron, very quality program, should never be bad mouthed. Attained there goals fair and square with the kids they have .

SMCC has built there program in ways that our town is not happy with. Until they move to an all-catholic league they will always be bad mouthed around here.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
2:22 you are unaware of the history of SMCC around here. Theres alot more to it than what you see on this blog.

Huron, very quality program, should never be bad mouthed. Attained there goals fair and square with the kids they have .

SMCC has built there program in ways that our town is not happy with. Until they move to an all-catholic league they will always be bad mouthed around here.

November 23, 2014 at 10:13 AM

Working hard, practicing long into evenings, practicing on holidays, weight training all year long, while maintaining a high GPA, is frowned upon in this area. You should only have to put on a uniform to play in this area. Complaining, OBVIOUSLY isn't frowned upon in this area. Neither is JEALOUSY. You're just a SORE loser. You'd still be complaining if CC was in a Catholic league.

Anonymous said...

Huron has only had one good season ever an that this year. Huron has the worst record in the history of Michigan high school football ever.

Anonymous said...

Your right, I would complain, complain, complain.

Anonymous said...

It is spelled y-o-u-'-r-e. Dork.