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Trojans look to rebound

October 4, 2012
The Daily News

CRYSTAL FALLS - Forest Park, despite losing its first game of the season at North Dickinson last week, still remains the only unbeaten squad in the Great Western Conference.

Head coach Bill Santilli's Trojans (5-1, 2-0) resume league play Friday, hosting Baraga (0-6, 0-3) at 6:30 p.m.

A win puts the Trojans in the postseason for the 16th consecutive season.

Winless Baraga has scored more than six points in just one of its games this season, a 42-10 loss against Gwinn on Sept. 14. The Vikings shutout by L'anse 49-0 on Sept. 21, and lost at Hurley 55-6 last Friday.

"We couldn't tackle. We were running the wrong way," said Coach Doug Hodges, whose Vikings gave up 34 first-quarter points. "Traditionally we've never played well here, but this was just horrific for us.

The Trojans earned a 42-0 win against the Vikings last season and have allowed a total of 14 points in the past three meetings combined.

In other area action Friday night:

North Dickinson (6-0, 4-0) at North Central (4-2, 3-0), Mid-Eastern, p.m. - Joe Reddinger's Nordics, in addition to being ranked No. 1 in the U.P., were listed at No. 4 in the state's AP Division 8 poll this week.

The Mid-Eastern Conference title remains with the Nordics for a fourth straight season with a win over North Central Friday night, and North Dickinson would be just a win away from its first perfect regular season since 2006.

Senior Dominic Christian enters Friday's game 132 yards shy of 1,000 for the season. He also has 13 touchdowns.

North Dickinson's defense, allowing more than six points just twice this season, has recorded 13 quarterback sacks this fall. Dylan Dario's four QB takedowns lead the team. And Cody Berg is up to five interceptions for the year.

West Iron County (3-3, 2-2) at Northland Pines (6-0, 4-0), West PAC, 7 p.m. - Mike Berutti's Wykons aim to throw a kink in Northland Pines' West PAC title hopes Friday in Eagle River, Wis.

The Wykons had a two-game win streak snapped last week at Calumet. And with just three games remaining, West Iron County will need to begin another win streak quick in order to earn a MHSAA automatic playoff berth.

The Eagles feature star back Austin Ramesh, a University of Wisconsin recruit.

"They're good," Houghton Coach Karl Borree said after the Eagles built a 34-0 halftime lead en route to beating the Gremlins 48-22. "They're undefeated for a reason."

Norway (2-4, 0-3) at Westwood (2-4, 0-3), Mid-Peninsula, 6:30 p.m. - Bob Madigan's Knights look to break a three-game skid at Westwood Friday night.

The game marks the start of a two-game road swing ahead of a home season finale against Iron Mountain.

The return of All-U.P. Dream Team performer John Grayvold, Jr. should continue to provide a lift on both sides of the ball for Norway.

Norway and Westwood are the only two remaining teams in the Mid-Peninsula Conference still in search of their first league win. Westwood is coming off a heartbreaking 22-19 loss to Gwinn where the Modeltowners scored twice in a 34-second span of the fourth quarter.

"We just gave the game away," Westwood head coach Jon Beckman said. "The kids played hard, but mistakes happen. It's just unfortunate."

Northern Elite (2-4, 2-2) at Laona/Wabeno (3-3, 3-1), Northern Lakes, 7 p.m. - The Predators can move into a second-place tie with the Rebels Friday night.

Ben Laarman's squad shows the conference's second-leading rusher in Joey Swanson with 664 yards.

Laona-Wabeno, a 48-0 loser to Ishpeming last week, features a balanced ground attack with Joey Kroll (366 yards), Ryan Brauer (291) and Tom Cleerman (240) all among the league's top five rushers.

Ishpeming was without junior quarterback Alex Briones (foot fracture).

Florence (2-4, 2-3) at White Lake/Elcho (3-3, 1-3), Northern Lakes, 7 p.m. - Dan Robinson's team aims for .500 in the conference in its season finale.

Last week's 42-0 win over Menominee Indian gives the Bobcats' offense 74 points in its past two games after being shutout by the Predators on Sept. 14.

Florence downed White Lake/Elcho 52-12 last year.



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