Buczek: Pine River in the Driver’s Seat for Highland Conference Title
A week after upsetting Beal City (34-7) in its Highland Conference opener and recording its first win over the Aggies since 2000, Pine River has suddenly found itself in the driver’s seat to claim its first league title in 17 years.
The Bucks (3-1, 2-0 Highland) followed up their Week 3 win with a lightning-delayed victory over previously ranked and undefeated McBain (36-20) on Saturday and are the lone remaining undefeated team in the Highland.
Cedarville and Engadine on a collision course
Though five weeks still remain in the regular season, No. 3 Cedarville (4-0, 4-0) and honorable mention Engadine (4-0, 4-0) have already separated themselves from the rest of the pack in the Bridge Alliance Football League and appear headed on a collision course when they meet in Engadine on Oct. 7.
The two programs have combined to post four shutouts and have outscored opponents 372-75.
Engadine has not beat Cedarville since 1998.
Burning the midnight oil
Traverse City Central had to wait out two lightning delays last Friday at Thirlby Field but pulled off one of its biggest wins in years with 38-22 victory over ranked Portage Central, as the Trojans continue to prove that they’re better than “Up North good.”
The Trojans (4-0, 1-0) were rewarded for their marathon game, which didn’t end until after 12:30 a.m. Saturday, moving up to sixth in the latest Associated Press Division 2 rankings.
What to watch in Week 5
Houghton Lake (3-1, 2-0) at Roscommon (4-0, 2-0) – The host Bucks can start 3-0 in Jack Pine Conference play for the first since 2006 with a win over the Bobcats on Friday.
Houghton Lake has won three straight after dropping its season opener against Breckenridge (38-29) and has a chance at three conference wins in a season for the first time since 2011.
Houghton Lake coach Joe Holloway departed Roscommon in 2014, bringing a majority of his staff with him, with the exception of his assistant coach and half-brother Steve Clements, who stayed behind and took over the coaching reins.
Roscommon has won two of the last three meetings.
The Bobcats won last year’s meeting (40-36) in the final minute of regulation.
Charlevoix (4-0, 1-0) at Glen Lake (3-1, 2-0) – Division 6 eighth-ranked Glen Lake has been on a tear since dropping a one-score game to Traverse City St. Francis (21-13) in Week 3, rolling over Mesick (76-6) and Onekama (42-7) to open Northern Michigan Football League Leaders play.