Boyne City, St. Francis Prep for NMFL Legends Showdown
BOYNE CITY – The Northern Michigan Football League Legends Division title will once against be settled by Traverse City St. Francis and Boyne City, as the Ramblers welcome in the Division 7 top-ranked Gladiators for our Overtime on the Road matchup on Friday.
Friday’s game marks the fourth straight year that the winner of the NMFL Legends title will be decided between these two teams.
“It’s a huge game every single year,” Boyne City senior Jacob Ager said. “It’s going to be a great game, but it’s what we play for all year. Coach has been saying we play for the big games at the end of the year, and that’s what’s going to happen.
“It’s a huge game every single year. It could go one way or another every single year, and it’s the biggest game I’ve ever played in.”
The Gladiators (8-0, 6-0) are riding a 30-game regular season win streak, with their last loss coming to Boyne City in a 28-27 overtime defeat in Week 5 of the 2014 season.
“Ever since we were freshmen it’s always been good games every year,” St. Francis senior Joey Muzljakovich said. “We have not lost to them yet…cross our fingers for this last one for sure.
“We definitely know that they’re big, and they like to run hard and block hard, so we definitely have to prepare for that. And then stop the run first and defend the pass second.”
St. Francis owns a 29-9 record all-time against Boyne City, but the series has seen plenty of competitive games over the years.
“When we were in the old Lake Michigan Conference, it was pretty much a two-horse race. It was either Boyne City or us,” St. Francis coach Josh Sellers said. “Coach Hills always has his kids ready to go.”
“I think we match up pretty well with them,” added Boyne City coach Dave Hills. “Traverse City’s a good football program, they do a lot of the little things well, so you know for us, it’s just going to be doing what we’ve done all year, and taking care of the things we can control.”
Opponents have found scoring coming at a premium this fall, as the two teams are allowing less than 10 points per game, with St. Francis recording four shutouts and allowing just 29 points in conference play.
“We’re actually playing really well as a team,” Hills said. “The last two, three weeks I think we’ve played better as a unit. We’re making fewer mistakes, and our execution has picked up.”
“We are playing well in the middle of the games, second and third quarters,” added Sellers. “First quarters have been kind of slow, so that’s been a focus for us.”
Following Friday’s game, both teams will await to hear their playoff fates on Sunday.