Eagles need to win in Gwinn
Wednesday, October 09, 2013 7:00 PM
Stephenson and Gwinn are both looking toward Friday's game as a chance to snap out of tailspin.
Stephenson’s Quinten Lukasik breaks off a long gain during the Eagles’ game against Bark River-Harris last week. Stephenson plays at Gwinn Friday night. EagleHerald/Jody Korch
The Eagles have lost three of their last four games and need to win out to reach the playoffs.
"We're coming back and practicing hard," coach Chad Brandt said. "We're really concentrating on Friday night. We know what we have to do down the road, but we're focused on getting better and playing good football Friday."
The Modeltowners (2-5) have lost three straight games. With their playoff chances blown up in last week's 32-6 loss to Westwood, a win over Stephenson would put a brighter face on a disappointing season.
"They've had guys banged up like we have," Brandt noted. "I'm sure they want to put it together and get a home win."
Senior quarterback Justin Nyquist (6-4, 195) leads Gwinn's I-formation, while senior tailback Luke Sinnaeve (6-2, 190), the son of coach Darren Sinnaeve, leads the ground game. Sinnaeve has been sidelined with an injury and is questionable for Friday. The Modeltowners also have size at fullback in senior Owen DeVooght (5-11, 195). Travis Corkin (5-8, 150) is the top receiver.
DeVooght carried the ball 30 times against Westwood last week.
"They'd rather establish the running game but Nyquist can beat you outside," Brandt explained. "Bark River only threw the ball four times last week but they completed passes in crucial situations."
The Modeltowners' front line has decent size and moves well.
Gwinn has been held to one touchdown in four of its six games while posting the lowest scoring total in the Mid Peninsula Conference. The Modeltowners have been vulnerable on defense, allowing 25 points per game. Their two wins have come against winless Gladstone (18-6) and Manistique (24-13).
Bark River-Harris stunned Gwinn 34-6 in the fourth week of the season. The Eagles lost to the Broncos 32-24 last week.
Skyler Joslin, who is a major key for the Eagles on offense, defense and special teams, will be back in the starting lineup after sitting out last week with an injury.
"Not having Skyler had a major effect on offense and defense (last week)," said Brandt.
The Eagles' coach pointed out that the defense was stout against Bark River-Harris but the Broncos converted on fourth-and-long four times.
"We really defended the run really well, but we have to finish off a defensive series on fourth down," Brandt said.
Trevor Christopherson, who suffered multiple fractures of his leg in last week's game, had surgery Saturday.
He had a rod inserted into his femur. He also cracked his fibula in three places and his tibia was splintered into the muscle.
Noah Pearson earned TNT honors for his play in the defensive line, Jake Maki had Hit of the Week and Sean Kacynski was the Scout Player of the Week.
Kickoff is at 6 p.m. (CDT).