Football teams face key tests this week

REED CITY — It’s Week 7 for high school football with Evart celebrating its homecoming and Reed City and Pine River on the road against key conference opponents Friday night.

McBain at Evart

The Wildcats are 2-4 and will bid for their third win of the season when they face the Ramblers. Evart is coming off a 16-6 loss to Pine River last Friday.

“I thought we did well Friday night moving forward, and hopefully we can build off of that,” Evart coach Pat Craven said. “McBain is a good football team, and this will be a tough task for our kids. We hope to prepare well for them and compete to the best of our ability.”

McBain is 3-3 overall but 3-0 in the Highland.

Evarts roster is at 16 players. “We’re doing OK,” Craven said. “I’m proud of our kids and how hard they’re working and how tough they’re playing. We’ve luckily avoided that big injury.”

Pine River at Manton

The Bucks are 4-2 overall and will get a fifth win Oct. 17 when Marion officially forfeits to Pine River. That means a win Friday at Manton would clinch a playoff spot for the Bucks.

“I knew they have some talented athletes especially in the skill position,” Pine River coach Terry Martin said. “It will be their homecoming and they’ve had a week off to prepare for this game. I anticipate it will be a tough game for us.”

Manton, 4-2, runs the double wing T and likes to spread out the offense, Martin said.

The team entered the season with a goal of making the playoffs.

“To see the achievement of that goal so close will be, I’m guessing, a high motivating factor,” Martin said.

Reed City at Central Montcalm

Central Montcalm is 4-2 but, like Reed City, is 3-1 in the Central State Activities Association Gold Division. The winner will still be alive in the league race.

The Coyotes are also starting the first of three road games to end the regular season. Reed City is 5-1. Central Montcalm handed Chippewa HIlls its first loss of the season Friday, 28-27.

“It sounds like they’re pretty darn good,” Reed City coach Monty Price said. “They’ve got a big W at Chippewa Hills, is 4-2, and played everybody tough. They’ve lost two games by a total of three points. They’re looking to be a pretty potent football team right now.”

Price is confident the Coyotes can do well on the road.

“Grass is grass, the 5-yard line is the 5-yard line and it’s still 100 yards on the field,” Price. “We just have to execute and play our game.”